Lydiate – Rosehill Gardens a more gradual graduation

Rosehill Gardens is the new housing estate in Lydiate which, by road, can only be reached via Maghull’s Turnbridge Road. However, it now has pedestrian and cycle access into the rest of Lydiate. The link from the estate is onto the Leeds Liverpool Canal towpath not far from the Bells Lane swing bridge.

Rosehill Gardens Leeds Liverpool Canal link as seen on 2nd July 2021 during construction.

I was recently asked why this link had seemingly moved from where it was originally planned to be i.e. slightly nearer towards Bells Lane? A look at the works to provide the link brought me to the personal conclusion that it had been moved due to the need to have a shallower gradient and so it turned out when I exchanged e-mails with a Sefton Council Planning Officer.

My understanding is that some form of bollards are to be placed at either end of the link to try to dissuade motorbikes from using it and that if this does not prove to be successful then other obstacles to motorbikes will be considered.

As readers of this blogsite may recall, the Canal and River Trust have gained what is called a Section 106 contribution, via this new housing development, towards resurfacing the section of towpath which runs from Green Lane Maghull to Bells Lane Lydiate. It may also be recalled that Lydiate Parish Council has been trying to engage with both Sefton Council and the Canal & River Trust to see if some of that S106 money could be spent on sections of the towpath north of Bells Lane swing bridge where it is in far worse condition. That dialogue has, as far as I am aware, not brought about any changes to date.

Lydiate – The state of our LLC towpath

Towpath north of Jackson’s Bridge

The towpath of the Leeds Liverpool canal through Lydiate leaves a lot to be desired; a subject I’ve blogged about before I might add. Here’s a couple of links back to previous postings in October 2015 and June 2019 :-

October 2015 – tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2015/10/22/lydiate-leeds-liverpool-canal-bank-collapse/

June 2019 – tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2019/07/29/lydiate-improvemnets-to-tow-path-flow-from-controversial-house-building-site/

The worst section of towpath is probably that which is north of Lollies Bridge (Southport Road Bridge) up to and past Lydiate Hill Bridge (also known as Billy’s Bridge) where the land and fields adjacent to it is higher. This causes water run-off onto the towpath with muddy almost impassable conditions at times especially after heavy periods of rain.

Lollies Bridge

View from Billy’s Bridge looking back towards Lollies Bridge.

Canal bank collapse just south of Lydiate Hill Bridge – Photo 2015

Ok, now to try to put all this in context of what Lydiate Parish Council is trying to do in 2021. If you’ve read the links above you’ll know that some planning gain money (otherwise known as Section 106 money) from the housing development at the end of Maghull’s Turnbridge Road (the new estate is known as Rosehill Gardens) has been allocated to the Canal & River Trust to upgrade the towpath along the section of it which is adjacent to the new housing i.e. the Green Lane Maghull to Bells Lane Lydiate section. The money amounts to £67,000 I understand. These works are yet to be undertaken I might add.

The recent intervention by Lydiate Parish Council has been along the lines of saying to the C&RT that whilst money to upgrade the towpath is obviously welcome there are actually worse parts, far worse parts, of the towpath through Lydiate which could do with attention and can we discuss how this can be achieved either using the S106 money or other funding sources. The response of the C&RT has been that the S106 money can only be spent on the defined section of canal towpath as detailed in the planning permission.

The Trust do however acknowledge though that the towpath elsewhere through Lydiate Parish Council’s area is in poor condition and that it can become impassable during inclement weather. They also say they’d be happy to work with the Parish Council to help identify improvements and priorities for the canal in such locations.

As readers may know the C&RT is a charity (similar to the National Trust – I’m a member of both I might add) and it is reliant on securing funding via developments (such as Rosehill Gardens) to try to improve the condition of the towpath surface or through bidding for funding via local and national schemes and initiatives. They seem to be happy to work with LPC to try to improve the canal towpath but clearly this means significant extra resources will need to be identified. At a very rough back of a fag packet type guess I’m thinking that to do up the whole of the towpath through Lydiate Parish could involve say £250,000+ and presently there’s just £67,000 in the pot for one already defined section of it, which is partly in Maghull.

There’s some good news however as the canal bank collapse (pictured above in 2015) is, we are told by the Trust, scheduled to be repaired in the next financial year – 2021/2022 assuming scarce maintenance resources do not have to be redirected to more urgent works.

The Parish Council is going to discuss the matter again at its February Zoom meeting to see if ways forward can be identified with regard to the bad sections of towpath.

I’ll update further as things hopefully develop…….

And a look back to the days when pedestrians and cyclists were unwelcome on our canal towpath – notice as seen at the National Waterways Museum Ellesmere Port

Maghull – Leeds Liverpool Canal swing bridge at Green Lane – Closure for repairs

Sign on Green Lane Maghull adjacent to canal swing bridge. A Maghull in Bloom planter can just be seen behind it.

I saw this sign and wondered what the long closure was all about. The Canal and River Trust website gives the answer and the link below refers:-

canalrivertrust.org.uk/notices/15189-bridge-15-methodist-swing-bridge-maghull-leeds-and-liverpool-canal

The odd thing is that the C&RT says the bridge will be closed for longer i.e. until 13th March? This longer period could just be for canal boats though? I’ve run this past Sefton’s Highway Engineers for clarification and will update when I know more.

Barge at Green Lane (Methodist Turn Bridge), Maghull

14/01/20 Update from Sefton Council:- The date on the C&RT link is for the closure of the actual canal which needs to be done in 1 phase as the bridge will need to remain in the canal closed position during the upgrade works.

The highway part of the bridge will be closed twice. Phase one to remove the working parts that require attention (27/1-7/2) Then it will be closed again (24/2 -11/3) to install the upgraded parts.

A floating walkway will be installed during the closures to minimise disruption for pedestrians. A diversion will be in place for vehicles.

Downholland – Queueing for the swing bridge to open

Following the shocking vandalism to the electrical control box of Bridge 20 on the Leeds Liverpool Canal a few weeks back where Greens Lane/Eagar Lane cross it this was the scene one day recently:-

Interestingly the C&RT refer to the bridge as ‘Coxhead’ (see notice displayed by the bridge below), a name I’ve not heard before. I thought it’s local name was Rimmer’s Bridge. Can anyone with local knowledge clarify? I suppose it could be like Billy’s Bridge in Lydiate also being known as Lydiate Hill Bridge i.e. more than one local name?

Is there any update from Lancashire Police about the unprovoked attack on the bridge control box? – Not that a control box could provoke an attack of course!

Click on the photos to enlarge them

Downholland – Rimmer’s Bridge Damage Update

Following my posting of yesterday about the criminal damage to the bridge the latest news is that the bridge can be opened manually and it was today at 12 noon to let a large number of queuing boats through.

The top photo shows boats waiting to travel through to Liverpool, whilst the lower one is of boats waiting to travel north toward Scarisbrick marina etc.

My understanding is that the bridge will be manually opened each Monday and Friday. I’m not aware of the detail of the openings but I’m sure boat owners will be getting up to speed via the Canal and River Trust.

Melling – Leeds Liverpool Canal is open again into Liverpool after repairs completed

Leeds Liverpool Canal at Wango Lane Aintree Village yesterday. It’s back in water and boaters can again sail into Liverpool.

Good news our canal is back in business after a couple of months of being closed after it breached its banks in Melling. My previous posting refers and is available via the link below:-

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2018/06/13/melling-canal-breach-this-mornings-photos/

The canal from Melling to Liverpool was reopened 3 days ago at a cost, I’m told, of around £500,000 to repair the breach as detailed in my previous posting. Here’s a couple of photos of the repaired breach site:-

Click on the photos to enlarge them

Thanks to the Aintree & Maghull Champion Newspaper for using one of the photos above in it’s edition of 29th August 2018