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
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:-
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
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:-
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:- firstname.lastname@example.org
A TravelSafe initiative to educate motorists on the dangers of parking in bus stops has been launched across Merseyside.
The 12 month operation will see those who park in bus stops given the opportunity to appear before a ‘court’ of local school children acting as mini police, along with a retired magistrate and a person with a disability, who will explain the issues bus drivers face when they cannot access a bus stop safely.
Those offenders who opt to go before the court will avoid prosecution.
With thanks to Cllr. John Dodd and Merseytravel for the lead to this posting
News reaches us that the originally planned opening in May will not happen and presently the target day to open the new station on Merseyrail’s Northern Line (between Liverpool and Ormskirk) is said to be 18th June.
That a major project like this fails to reach its target opening date is no surprise at all – Just look at the new station at Kenilworth where 3 opening dates have come and gone and now no dates are being offered for the opening. Let’s hope Maghull North will not be on a similar track!
I asked our man on the inside of Merseytravel, Cllr. John Dodd, to find out what what’s going on and this is what he found out:-
‘The date [June 18th] has been selected based on the essential work Network Rail need to undertake on the signalling system to allow the introduction of the new station.’
A not particularly exciting answer but at least we have one.
Click on the photos to enlarge them