Southport – Wigan – Manchester trains – 5 days with no trains running due to bridge replacement

Passengers are being warned about a five-day closure of the railway in November to renew a bridge over the Leeds Liverpool Canal.

The bridge in Burscough will be completely replaced as part of the Great North Rail Project. In order to carry out the major work no trains will run between Southport or Parbold stations from Saturday 16 until Wednesday 20 November.

To allow engineers to carry out the work, there will also be a seven day closure of the canal tow path beneath the bridge from Friday 15 November.

During the closure, work will also be undertaken to upgrade over 400m of track drainage at Hoscar Lane station, as well as replacing sleepers and sections of rail in the Southport station area.

Passengers are being advised that bus replacement services will operate during the closure.

To inform passengers about changes to train services, posters will be displayed at all affected stations. Information hand out’s to passengers travelling during the morning peak (week commencing 14 October) will also take place I understand.

Passengers are being advised to allow extra time for their journeys and to check before they travel at www.nationalrail.co.uk

My thanks to Cllr. John Dodd for the lead to this posting

Maghull/Lydiate area bus changes from 1st September

Merseytravel are advertising the following changes to some of our local bus routes

31, 31A, 32, 32A, 33, 34, 34A, 34B Maghull Circulars
Evening and Sunday Route 32A journeys and Routes 34/A/B are withdrawn but are replaced by additional Route 32/33 journeys and a new Route 32A which runs during the morning and evening peak periods. Some times are changed.

36 Aintree Hospital – Maghull circular
Service is rerouted out of/into Aintree University Hospital. Journeys exit the hospital grounds onto Lower Lane and enter the hospital grounds via Longmoor Lane. Times are unchanged.

133 Kirkby – Waterloo
Service is now operated for Merseytravel by Huyton Travel. Minor retiming of mid-journey times of the 0653 journey from Kirkby Admin.

With thanks to Cllr. John Dodd for the lead to this posting

Southport – Looking back to 1967 and the County Borough’s Centenary Celebrations

The other day I had the opportunity to purchase a booklet (originally priced at 2/6d. but I paid a fair bit more than that) celebrating transport in Southport County Borough in the 100 years from 1867 to 1967. Obviously I could not let the opportunity pass me by so I bought it. This is the cover:-

Inside it states – ‘Brochure issued by Southport Corporation Transport Department to commemorate the Borough’s Centenary Celebrations, 1967’ and back then the Borough Transport Committee had 2 Aldermen and 13 Councillors on it. If my understanding is correct there’s presently one Southport Councillor (John Dodd) on the Merseytravel Committee and that covers the whole of Merseyside! That’s some change indeed. Here’s the back cover of the booklet:-

The booklet traces the history of trams and buses in this 100 period and it is illustrated with many black and white photos but this page particularly interested me with it’s statistics:-

Southport like many towns and cities across the UK must now regret the fashion on getting rid of trams as they would make a great addition to the town as tourist destination in 2019. Of course Southport did have a pier tram until recent times as illustrated below:-

Southport Pier and its much missed pier tram

And here’s a photo I took not so long ago of a former Southport Corporation bus, now lovingly preserved:-

Click on any of the photos to enlarge them

Walking and cycling in the Liverpool City Region (LCR)

Via my good friend Sefton Councillor John Dodd I have become aware of a web site called Arrive Happy in the past few days:- Here it is via the link below:-

www.arrivehappy.org/our-cycling-and-walking-masterplan

As I understand things 31 walking/cycling routes were previously identified across the City Region/Merseyside and now 9 of them are to be progressed towards a funding bid.

Liverpool City Region Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan (LCWIP) – I’m told that the LCR Transport Partnership, have identified, using the evidence collected, a total of 31 potential cycling and walking corridors. The previously agreed and approved methodology used for the Active Travel prioritisation process has identified 9 corridors to be developed in more detail with a view to submitting a bid for Transforming Cities Fund funding.

I understand that these 9 corridors will form the basis of the next phase of the LCWIP and will be subject to formal engagement with stakeholders across the LCR which started on the 17th December with an engagement meeting with key stakeholders in the morning and the launch of an online survey into cycling and walking in the city region – www.arrivehappy.org/our-cycling-and-walking-masterplan

The two diagrams below show firstly the 31 identified potential corridors and then the 9 to be taken forward for more detailed design work. More detail will be shared, I understand, as the plan develops.

BUT if you live in Sefton Borough

Now I don’t know about you but if you live in Sefton Borough north of Bootle then there’s little to cheer about as no routes have made it into the 9 to be taken forward! I hold no information as to why this is the case although above you will see reference to an ‘approved methodology’ for choosing the routes to take forward. However, to say the least, I’m at best disappointed. On the ’31 map’ Maghull, despite being a large community, does not even get a mention!

Note:- Click on the two graphics above to enlarge them

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