M58 ‘Ashworth’ Junction – Delayed and costing more say Place North West

Looking towards Maghull over the M58 ‘Ashworth’ junction road works (when work had just commenced) and the vast Maghull East site that is prestly growing the food we eat but is designated for housing.

Place North West has the article on its website – see link below:-

www.placenorthwest.co.uk/news/cost-of-maghull-motorway-improvements-increases-by-1m/?fbclid=IwAR3x4bGr80bo8_FaGasZpggAfWnI2dDP5bUs4WA2QFnmzTBmG949tbOR3jg#.XeQDWMxKq3U.facebook

Says Bob Robinson a former project engineer, who brought the article to my attention, ‘Maghull Cost Over-run. The issues causing the over-run are not untypical especially where it is necessary to buy a number of different properties/land to deliver the scheme.’

Looking at recent works to provide a new cycle path from the ‘Ashworth’ junction towards Kirkby

I’ve been watching the works regularly as they are on a cycling route I often use. Sefton Council has had the contractor do some additional works, so I understand, associated with putting in the new cycle path, which has been planned for some time. This work has been done although the whole cycle route to Kirkby is yet to be constructed.

My good friend and former Sefton Borough councillor Cliff Mainey launched the campaign to get this M58 junction made into a full one around 15 years ago. Sadly, although it is now being constructed, it’s alongside a planned and massive urban extension to Maghull of @1,600 houses. The housing is to be built on the very highest quality of agricultural land which I and many others fought against. Sadly we lost.

Note – to be clear the junction is actually in Melling not Maghull

Maghull – Parking for its new North Station – Some observations

Maghull North Station car park

Firstly, like virtually every railway opening/reopening project across the UK the number of people using a new rail facility is always greater than anticipated. In the case of the newish Maghull North Station project the greater than planned for issue is without doubt the size of its car park, which on working weekdays is full by around 8am.

Some of us with long memories and residents who live around the other Maghull Station will say something along the lines ‘we knew this would happen’. The history of Maghull Station’s now pretty large car park is that each time it has been expanded it has always filled up and the consequence has been commuter’s cars being parked on surrounding residential streets. Sefton Council addressed the latter issue by putting a 1hr morning parking restriction on the nearby streets who’s residents voted to have such a restriction. The effect has been to deter all day commuter parking.

So on to Maghull North Station where history is clearly repeating itself it seems. I hear that some residents of the Poppy Fields Estate and the more established nearby residential roads on the other side of the railway line are up for trying to stop commuter parking in their roads. At face value a solution similar to the one used at Maghull Station should be possible in the established roads and that could be surely be undertaken (with prior consultation of course with residents) by Sefton Highways at any time. The Poppy Fields estate presents a different problem though as I’m guessing that none of the roads there are yet adopted by Sefton Council. If this is the case the Council can’t do anything until after the contractor/builder hands over the roads, pavements etc., in a suitable condition, to the Council.

This matter came to mind again now (I’ve mentioned it in previous blog postings about the new station) because I’ve experienced difficulty in parking at Maghull North Station myself at times and it’s also on a regular cycling route of mine so I can see how full the car park is each day. On top of this I’ve read social media posts where folks are expressing frustration with the situation. Finally, the issue came up in a conversation with an old friend of mine, former local Sefton Councillor Cliff Mainey who is now well retired from local politics. I mention Cliff because together with fellow former Sefton Councillor for Sudell Ward, Roy Connell, they worked up (with Sefton’s traffic engineers and residents) the scheme brought in around Maghull Station around 10 years ago.

I suppose the next step for concerned local residents is for them to lobby Sefton Council to take action.

And to close this posting a bit of history which I don’t think needs repeating but I will anyway. One of the major problems is that the two stations north of Maghull North Station have either very little in terms of car parking facilities (Town Green) or nothing (Aughton Park) and this obviously causes folks to drive down to Maghull to try to get a parking space at either of its stations.

M58/Melling – Ashworth Junction works start

Well it seems that works have finally started to make this junction a full one. This was the scene this morning 28th May as set up works were commencing:-

My old friend and former Sudell ward Sefton Councillor (and former Mayor of the Borough of Sefton) Cliff Mainey started the fight to get this junction made into a full one quite some years ago; early 2000’s if memory serves.

Fire cover in Sefton Borough – Searching questions from a Melling resident

Below is a letter which was emailed to prominent Sefton Councillors and the Sefton Central MP on 20th December regarding fire cover in parts of Sefton Borough. Clearly, this is a matter of local significance so it will be interesting to see what replies are received:-

‘Dear Councillors,

Are you aware that the fire station that covers Waterloo/Crosby/Litherland has two fire engines, both available with crews from 08-30hrs to 20-30hrs. At 20-30hrs the crews then go off shift and are then on a thirty minute recall to duty system. The station does give the impression that the staff are there 24hrs every day and the two fire engines are both available. The lights are on, but there is no one in. Surely it would be more beneficial to the residents of Crosby and Waterloo to have one fire engine fully staffed until 20-30hrs, and then the other covers 20-30hrs to 08-30hrs. Thus giving the residents of the areas mentioned a fully staffed fire engine cover. Better still, have both fire engines available 24hrs for immediate response. There is an Integrated Risk Management Plan that has been issued by the fire service. Unfortunately, this is only what they hope for and not what actually happens in reality. This Integrated Management Plan must not only be monitored by the Fire Service to check standards are being met, but by all other public bodies that represent their residents. The questions to be asked of the Fire Authority are listed below. I look forward to your responses to this very important matter of safety for residents. And more importantly, what response is received by yourselves from the Fire service.

Questions

> A. Can you please confirm that the fire cover levels as set out in the IRMP have been complied with, in that fire cover levels have never fallen below what is required within your IRMP.
> **IRMP = Integrated Risk Management Plan**

> B. Can you confirm that the DCWTR duty shift system is a lawful duty shift system that complies with the law and the Working Time Regulations.
> **DCWTR = Day Crewing Wholetime Retained.**

> C. Can you confirm that LLAR system is a lawful duty shift system that complies with the law and the Working Time Regulations.
> **LLAR = Low Level Activity Risk**

I thank you for your time, and I look forward to your earliest reply please. Thank you.’

With thanks to Cliff Mainey and Mal for the lead to this posting

A Royal Wedding and an FA Cup Final – A good time to bury fracking bad news

Click on the photo to above to enlarge it

Fracking is a hugely controversial environmental issue. What’s more its happening on Sefton Borough’s doorstep and this proposed relaxation of planning rules is clearly aimed at smoothing the process of getting it started across the UK.

Of course Fracking is also a vision of the past because its a fossil fuel and not sustainable energy. The more we use fossil fuels the faster we accelerate global warming and make the lives of future generations more difficult.

But of course we all know all this so the big issue here was to bury the matter whilst eyes were turned on a royal wedding and the FA Cup Final. Some things never change and Governments of all colours do it because it works and we are easily distracted form the really important things.

With thanks to Cliff Mainey and Roy Connell for the lead to this posting.

Melling – Work starts on the M58 Motorway Junction

Monday the 5th February saw work starting on land clearance prior to full construction works to make the present ‘Ashworth’ junction (Junction 1) of the M58 a full two-sided junction.

My old Council colleague Cliff Mainey will be pleased as he launched the campaign to get this work done quite some years ago.

The work yesterday seemed to be tree clearance, ironically trees that would have been planted when the the M58 was built (around 1980) and when Giddygate Lane was diverted and made an Access Only gated road. The photo below was taken on Monday from Giddygate Lane looking back towards the motorway junction through the trees:-

Giddygate Lane is now to be diverted a second time to facilitate the full motorway junction which should have been built back in 1980. Informed opinion says that the half-junction was a financial saving in 1980 or more appropriately (with the benefit of of hindsight) a big error of judgement which is costing a lot more to correct now.