Formby – More on Fisherman’s Path Level Crossing

www.southportvisiter.co.uk/news/southport-west-lancs/fishermans-path-crossing-closed-network-13743190

The Southport Visiter has the story on its web site – see link above

Wow this one keeps doing the rounds and there’s still no workable permanent solution on the cards between Network Rail and Sefton Council.

Surely a bridge with suitable access ramps for those with disabilities etc. is one permanent solution is it not? So why does this go on and on and on when lives are at stake?

Formby – More on those tragedies that have happened where Fisherman’s Path crosses the Liverpool – Southport railway line.

I was recently able to pick up on what is going on or indeed not going on with regard to this notorious railway level crossing point where there have been a number of fatalities in recent times.

Readers of this blog site and Sefton/Merseyside based newspapers will know that the fatal accidents have received a lot of publicity but must also be wondering why little is seemingly happening to make this crossing point safer?

The ball seems to be firmly in Network Rail’s court and my understanding is that their preference is to close the Fisherman’s Path crossing point altogether. Yes they did come up with a pedestrian bridge solution a while back, which was rejected by Sefton Council on the basis that it did not adequately address the legitimate need for people to be able to cross the railway at this point on what is after all a public right of way.

There are clearly other solutions available to Network Rail such as automatic locking gates triggered by approaching trains, warning lights, a disability accessible bridge etc. However, from Sefton Council’s perspective, Network Rail have yet to put a solution on the table which addresses all issues at this crossing point.

From what I hear Sefton Council are not holding the job up but are simply saying to Network Rail, no you can’t have it closed altogether – come up with a sustainable safe solution that keeps the public right of way open. Trouble is fatal accidents keep on happening so we could do with Network Rail getting on with it without further delay.

Sadly this crossing is one that has seen suicide attempts.

Formby – Just how many more deaths will there be at Fisherman’s Crossing?

www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/police-confirm-42-year-old-12638787

The Liverpool Echo has the story – see link above

Yet another tragedy has taken place where Fisherman’s Path crosses the Liverpool Southport railway line at Formby.

Surely these deaths must mean that Network Rail and Sefton Council have to agree a safe solution soon otherwise it’s odds on that another death is likely to follow all the others to date.

Sefton Rights of Way Liaison Group

Now here’s something that could have been utterly boring but was actually quite interesting.

I attended my first meeting of this group recently representing both Lydiate Parish Council (which I am a member of) and Maghull Town Council (which I am not a member of). The meeting was held in Ainsdale’s Discovery Centre near to Pontins.

Other Parish Councils in Sefton were represented on it together with Ramblers and horse riding groups.

I have always had a fascination with public footpaths and regularly walk them both locally and further afield with Sheila and old chum Keith.

Scramble motorbikes on the local footpath network are a constant menace so erecting barriers to make life difficult for them is desirable where it’s possible. The representative of Sefton Parish Council asked for a style to be considered for the start of the footpath to Netherton off Bridges Lane in Sefton Village. Presently there is just a gap that makes scramble bikes access rather too easy. Here’s a photo of the site:-

Footpath off Bridges Lane, Sefton Village 27 05 16

A worrying problem that could do with being addressed is the lack of safe crossing facilities across the Formby by-pass particularly for horse riders. As you can imagine this road, with a speed limit of 60mph and which will usually have vehicles travelling on it at over over 70mph, is not a safe one to cross. A solution could be costly but I hope one will be fully investigated as a consequence of our discussion today.

We also touched on the recent success of the Sustrans Merseyside North Volunteers who not so long ago won a large grant from Tesco to improve the environment around the Sefton Drive (Maghull) access footpath to the Cheshire Lines Footpath/Trans Pennine Trail. This is the area concerned. The photo is from 2013:-

rsz_sefton_drive_litter_01_13

The tragic accidents where Fisherman’s Path crosses the Liverpool – Southport railway line in Formby also came up and we were assured that Sefton Council and Network Rail were still trying to find viable solutions following a number of pedestrian deaths in recent times. My previous blog posting from January this year refers to one of the tragic accidents – see link below:-

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2016/01/21/formby-another-death-at-fishermans-path-level-crossing/

So on the whole and interesting first meeting for me.

What is important though is that issues with the Sefton public footpath and bridleway network are reported so that they can be addressed. So if you come across issues such as broken styles, overgrown paths, fallen trees blocking paths, illegal blocking of paths by land owners etc. just let me know and I will pass the concerns on to Sefton Council in the hope that they can be addressed.