‘And he drove the fastest milkcart in the west’ – and serious speeding matters too

Edie Pope’s scarecrow traffic cop on Southport Road Lydiate, which is meant to make drivers think about their speed.

Yes a line from that well known Benny Hill song. But the other day whilst on one of my solo fitness cycle rides I came across a rival to Ernie (for that was the name of the fastest milkman in the west) on Northway/A59 in Aughton.

I was just about to exit Winifred Lane when down the hill from the Ormskirk direction came a milk float doing a fair old lick. I don’t think I’ve ever seen one doing more than 15 mph and that with a following wind too. But the ‘souped up’ one I saw made me smile and that daft old song came back to mind.

Then a few days later another surprising experience with another vehicle we usually see going very slowly – a bin wagon. But this one was out at 8.30pm (never seen one out that late before) and it hurtled along Southport Road, Lydiate in a northerly direction at what must have been well above the 30mph speed limit. Indeed, it went so fast I could not read the signs upon it!

But it was not your usual Sefton Council bin wagon; much smaller and probably with a ‘Jaguar engine’ added to give Police cars a run for their money:-) Again the experience made me smile but this time grimace as well.

These two somewhat bizarre events happened with our roads being generally very quiet as a consequence of our health crisis. But sadly there is a real issue underneath as speeding in this crisis is happening everywhere and most of the time. Clear roads have given petrol heads or at least the most irresponsible of them what they think is a green light to drive at whatever speed suits them and beggar the consequences/speed limits.

Being a cyclist I notice speeding and frankly the antics are off the scale during this crisis whether it be in a ‘bin lorry’ or a car. It’s ironic that at the request of a fellow Lydiate Parish Councillor, Neil Spencer, Merseyside Police had a speed trap on Southport Road in Lydiate just before our health crisis hit. Now we have far less vehicles on this busy road but many of them have drivers with their clog firmly down to the boards. If this continues there’s bound to be a terrible accident……..

Stop Press – An as if to emphasise the point I’ve been trying to make about speeding a lady driver nearly did for me on the Ashworth Motorway junction this morning. Due to the road works around the junction the contractors temporarily sealed off the access to the cycle track around it about a week ago. This in turn forces cyclists onto the island itself and what I’ve always got my eye out for happened this morning i.e. a car from the Melling direction came hurtling around the island and found me crossing the entrance to the eastbound carriageway of the M58. But not content with having to slow down to avoid me she then blew her horn as if I had no right to be there! I was cycling around a roundabout for goodness sake, that meant I had right of way. OL she was just a bad tempered driver but if she had not been driving so fast……. Oh and by the way where are the signs warning drivers that cyclists will be in the road? If there are any I didn’t see them.

Lydiate (and everywhere else) – The quest for speed and how it impacts on our lives

Southport Road, Lydiate

This is a matter I have oft thought about and not necessarily in the way you might think.

Yes, we all see the mad drivers blasting through our communities at a rate of knots neither aware or caring about the potential consequences of their actions. Indeed, in my own community of Lydiate there are growing concerns from Joe and Jane Public about irresponsible speeding along Southport Road and Moss Lane and I’m quite sure others can add to these two roads.

To his credit local Labour Parish Councillor Neil Spencer is trying to get the powers that be (Sefton Council and Merseyside Police) to address this problem and I’m with him all the way. I’ve previously tried to get Moss Lane’s speeding addressed and the rural part of it was reduced to 40mph a few years back. And my Parish Council colleague Edie Pope campaigned for the speed restriction to be reduced to 40mph along the section of Southport Road where it becomes Mairscough Lane because it’s a notorious accident black spot near the junction with Church Lane. But, and its a big but, bringing in lower speed restrictions does not stop the mad drivers who want to blast along at 50, 60 or even 70mph as they don’t really care. So good luck to Neil, let’s have another go at trying to make Lydiate’s roads safer.

Edie Pope outside her Southport Road farm shop. The notorious accident black spot is in the background.

But to me this speeding problem is probably far more deeply seated in our way of life than we may realise. Everything has to be quick, immediate and now. Our working lives are all about doing things faster to save costs and boost productivity. We leave too shorter time to get from one place to another, probably because we are either too optimistic about how long a journey will take or because everything we do is at 90mph so to speak. In turn all this causes much stress an anxiety so should we really be surprised if it produces more and more racing car drivers on our streets? Just a thought……..

Edie Pope’s scarecrow traffic cop from 2019, which was meant to make drivers think about their speed.

Lydiate – That Flooding is back on Lambshear Lane AGAIN!

Well this has been quite a saga and it’s still yet to be resolved. I first blogged about this flooding after heavy rain back in December 2015, here’s a link to that posting:-

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2015/12/20/lydiate-flooding-in-lambshear-lane/

Subsequently I’ve blogged and chased up Sefton Council about it a number of times and my Parish Councillor colleague Edie Pope has also been on the case. Back in June of 2018 we reported (on this blog site) the latest position to be like this:-

Cllr. Edie Pope and I have recently heard from Sefton Council’s drainage engineers to the effect that United Utilities have seemingly taken/accepted responsibility for fixing the problem and they are commissioning some works to try to resolve the flooding.

Fingers crossed……….

Well whatever has happened since June of last year it hasn’t fixed the problem which adversely affects road users, pedestrians, householders and Lydiate’s Lambshear Ln/Village Center site. On that basis the flooding has been photoed again and sent off to Sefton Council asking them or indeed United Utilities to try to get the matter fixed; it’s been getting on for 4 years now!

Lydiate – Parish Council notes for May

* Lydiate Parish Council was in effect no change as a consequence of the local elections held on 2nd May – 7 Labour and 2 Lib Dems although 4 of the Labour members are new to the Council. Cllr. Edie Pope and myself are the two Lib Dem members. I think we all hope that the Parish Council can continue to work well for the community as has been the case for many years now. I’m sure that it will.

Footpath sign at Sandy Ln – There’s a similar one off Moss Ln

* A site meeting took place today to try to resolve issues surrounding the public right of way from Sandy Lane to Moss Lane (Lydiate Footpath No.14) – my posting of 14th May refers – see link below:-

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2019/05/14/lydiate-footpath-no-14-and-a-dog-run-may-be-a-conflict-of-uses/

The outcome was, I understand, inconclusive as the presently held legal documentation is not detailed enough for Sefton Council’s Footpath Officer to determine the exact route of the public right of way. More detailed research will be required using the deeds of Sandy Lane Playing Field. More news when I have it.

* A suggestion was made at the last but one Parish Council meeting that an outdoor table tennis facility could be provided by the Parish Council on the Village Center site and the idea met with general approval. If it comes off it may look something like this:-

What to make of the local election results & a big thank you from Cllr. Edie Pope and myself

Firstly, it was great to see Southport Lib Dems regain a strong footing in their Town, winning 4 of the 7 seats up for election this year. Well done to all involved.

And a big swing from Labour to Lib Dem in Crosby’s Victoria ward for Hannah Gee as well. The way that determined young lady is going she’s going to win that ward back from the Red Tories soon.

Nationally it was a very good night for the Lib Dems and a bad one for the two main Brexit Parties (The Red Tories and the Blue Tories). As I make this posting the running totals of gains and losses of council seats in England was stood at:-

Lib Dem + 597
Labour – 101
Tories – 1136
Greens + 165
UKIP – 109

Brexit Parties Losses (Con, Lab, UKIP) so far – 1346
Remain Parties Gains (Lib Dem & Green) so far -762

With these local elections being fought to the loud background noise of Brexit it was always going to be a test of whether the electorate would continue to back Brexit or would signal a move away from it by backing Remain parties such as the Lib Dem’s and Greens. Yes I know local elections are supposed to be about very local issues but many electors these days use them to give their verdict on national political matters.

Labour were in a dilemma because they could not announce they had done a Brexit deal with the Tories before local elections as they would have been hammered, but let’s face it none of us will be surprised if the Red Tories back the Blue Tories in a job loss, NHS funding cut deal as the Labour leadership has wanted for a long time now.

Oh and just a footnote – I held my seat on Lydiate Parish Council – 34 years and counting as a Parish, Town and/or Borough Councillor in Sefton Borough’s East Parishes. It’s been a blast and the electorate keeps backing this old radical Liberal leftie for some odd reason. My Lib Dem colleague Cllr. Edie Pope also retained her seat on Lydiate Parish Council so congratulations to her too.

Maghull North Station – Still not disability and cycle accessible without a long detour

This is the only pedestrian/cycle access off School Lane without a long detour to the entrance to the new Poppy Fields estate.

As a level/accessible entrance/exit to the new Maghull North Station has still not been created off School Lane, despite the station being open for a couple of months now, I thought it was time to put some pressure on Merseytravel. My previous posting on this matter from 23rd July is accessible below:-

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2018/07/23/maghull-its-new-north-station-an-accessible-interchange/

With the help of Merseytravel Committee member Cllr. John Dodd I got a response from Merseytravel which firmly puts the ball in the court of Persimmon the builder/developer of the adjacent Poppy Fields housing development. This is what Merseytravel have said:-

‘the accessible path linking School Lane adjacent to the bus stops to the station is contained on Persimmon Homes land (outside the railway and station footprint).

The issue has been recognised earlier and contact has been made with Persimmon to reinstate the path as soon as is possible in light of the issues this causes for passengers and residents. We were informed that they would do this, but there has been a passage of time since during which this work has not been done.

We have continued to apply pressure to them to reinstate this path but would welcome any support from Sefton and local Councillors to encourage Persimmon to complete this work.’

This is the access point which Merseytravel are referring to:-

So the spotlight is now shining on Persimmon Homes to get a wriggle on and complete the required work so that there is a level/accessible entrance to the new station off School Lane. Come on Persimmon surely this is a minor task in the great scheme of your housing development works at Poppy Fields. Surely we all want to see life made a little easier for those who can’t manage steps and indeed for cyclists arriving at the new station from the Maghull direction.

Cllr. Edie Pope and I would welcome any pressure that others can put on Persimmon. Their e-mail address is:- feedback@persimmonhomes.com