A random act of abuse on a beautiful day

Cycling along Acres Lane in Great Altcar yesterday was glorious; the countryside and weather were just right for peddling. However, someone had to spoil it and they achieved that by abusing a fellow cyclist all because they had been slowed down by a bike. Indeed, instead of simply safely passing the cyclist, they had to draw up alongside wind down the passenger window and take a bit more of their day to ensure they were fully understood by the cyclist, if you get my drift!

So what was it all about? Testosterone, selfishness, petrol-headedness, intimidation of a more vulnerable road user – your guess is as good as mine but one thing I have yet to see as a daily cyclist around Sefton and West Lancashire Boroughs is for such behavior to be exhibited by a female driver. Yes, abusing/intimidating cyclists is very much a male-dominated hobby in my experience.

And what you might ask was my fellow cyclist doing other than peddling along a country lane to get this chap so upset? Nothing at all, he was simply going about his lawful business, following the Highway Code and enjoying his day.

When I’m cycling pedestrians are the most vulnerable things on the road. When I’m driving pedestrians, horse riders and cyclists are the most vulnerable things on the road. It’s the mindset of drivers who think they are the most important thing on the road that’s dangerous. Powered vehicles are never the most important, except on a Motorway.

Yes, I’m fully aware that some (usually male) drivers very much disapprove of cyclists and that they think we should not be allowed on our roads. I’ve even had one barmy driver tell me to get onto the pavement, which of course is telling me to do something which is illegal (although rarely enforced)!

Photo from Cycling UK showing the likely chage to the Highway Code for passing a cyclist.

Cycling UK, of which I’m a member, recently told me that many UK police forces had taken part in a campaign (#OperationClosePass Day) to tackle close-passing of cyclists. This practice is sadly a regular thing you get used to but it’s dangerous and often caused by poor driving or even done deliberately to intimidate cyclists. The Highway Code presently says a driver should leave as much room as possible when passing a cyclist but that is soon to be changed to a more specific distance to leave beween a cyclist and a passing/overtaking vehicle. I raise this aspect now of course because close-passing of cyclists is very much related to the kind of driver behaviour which I observed yesterday.

I’ve asked both Lanashire Police & Merseyside Police to publish information about how they participated in the safety campaign but have yet to hear back from either Force. The idea, as I understand it, was to send out coppers on cycles, dressed in plain clothes/cycling gear, so that they could identify bad/dangerous drivers who were not observing a safe passing distance when overtaking. I’ll let you know what I get back from Lancs & Merseyside Police.

Virually all cyclists are drivers too but many drivers are not cyclists. Cycling is getting more and more popular for fitness and environmental reasons so the conflict bewtteen cyclists going about their lawful riding with drivers who want them off our roads is only going to become a bigger issue. The police really need to tackle dangerous and intimidatory driving that’s why initiatives like #OperationClosePass Day are so important.

Fracking – Lydiate Parish Council backs Moss Alliance with hard cash

I’ve mentioned this many times on this blog site because of the threat of fracking locally via a well site that is proposed for Altcar Moss between Lydiate and Formby in West Lancashire.

Without wishing to rehearse all the issues again I think the letter below from The Moss Alliance to Lydiate Parish Council sums up the current situation very well:-

Lydiate Parish Council,
Lydiate Village Centre,
Lambshear Lane,
Lydiate,
L31 2LA

5th November 2019

Dear Councillors,

AURORA’S PLANNING APPLICATION – FINANCIAL SUPPORT

Further to our presentation on 5th September and our request for financial support we would like to thank the Parish Council sincerely for its agreement to grant £500 to The Moss Alliance to assist in funding the appointment of expert planning consultants to object to Aurora’s planning application to frack at Altcar Moss.

Notwithstanding the “moratorium” announced on 2nd November 2019 our planning consultants are in the process of preparing an objection report for submission to Lancashire County Council. We have spoken to the Team Leader and case handler at Lancashire County Council Development Management and Aurora appear to have several options whilst the “moratorium” is in place which our consultants are also analysing with a Barrister:

* Withdraw the application (unlikely);
* Leave it in and let it be refused in the light of the moratorium and deficiencies in their EIA (then appeal);
* Write fracking out of the application and drill the wells to “obtain more data”.

We have no idea how long the “moratorium” will last and therefore we will be submitting our consultants’ objection report to Lancashire County Council when finalised.

For the Council’s information, Lancashire County Council has already (on 25th October, see attached) written to Aurora’s agents in detail expressing the deficiencies in their EIA etc. However, we cannot be complacent, and must be aware that the effect of the “moratorium” is still very unclear and therefore we intend to carry on “business as usual” in our opposition.

Once again, thank you for your extremely valuable support. The Moss Alliance bank account details are: TMA Fund Account – Sort Code 01-06-45 Account No.: 45755825

Yours faithfully,

On behalf of: The Moss Alliance

Great Altcar – Fracking Moratorium – What does it mean?

Many Lydiate folk attended one of the local Moss Alliance meetings held in September:-

That Government has brought in a moratorium on fracking is on one level welcome but does it mean that fracking has effectively gone away for good, bearing in mind mid Sefton Borough has a potential fracking site being developed yards away in Great Altcar?

Probably our first reaction is one of saying, hang on we are in an election period so with fracking being so unpopular this could well be just a political ruse to try to take it off the political agenda. My view is this is exactly how we should view the moratorium.

Letter to Lydiate Parish Council from The Moss Alliance

The letter copied above from The Moss Alliance, the independent community group who are fighting the planning application (which is before Lancs County Council) to frack in Great Altcar, sums up the situation far better than I could. The matter will be discussed at the next meeting of Lydiate Parish Council.

Click on the letter to enlarge it for reading.

Lydiate – Opposition to Fracking – Meeting 7pm 5th September at Lydiate Village Center

This coming Thursday the 5th September the Moss Alliance are holding a meeting at Lydiate Village Center on Lambshear Lane at 7pm to press the case for halting the proposed fracking process at Great Altcar on land between Formby and Lydiate.

Please click on the graphics above to enlarge them

Lydiate & Great Altcar – Stenciled slogans on country lanes?

If you’ve walked, cycled or driven along lanes such as Pygons Hill Lane in Lydiate or Acres Lane in Great Altcar you may have, like me, noticed these slogans and wondered what they mean. They are not all the same but this one is in Pygons Hill Lane:-

Is this one of those situations where most folk out there know exactly what this means and I’m just in the dark?

And here’s another one in Longdale Lane, Lunt:-

When asked Sefton Council Highways Dept. had no idea.

How to object to fracking on Altcar Moss

If like me you want to oppose fracking on Altcar Moss then you can do so by using the website of Lancashire County Council (LCC) who will determine the planning application before it’s Planning Committee to either agree to or oppose the fracking.

The LCC planning representations form is available via this link:-

lancashire-self.achieveservice.com/service/Development_Control_Have_Your_Say_Process?F.Name=jqTfXn9isB4&HideToolbar=1

The planning application number is LCC/2019/0037 and the site is ALTCAR MOSS WELLSITE, SUTTON’S LANE, GREAT ALTCAR. You’ll need to put this information on the generic form that the link takes you to

Lydiate Parish Council, of which I’m a member, has already objected to fracking on this site, which while it’s in Lancashire is situated between Formby, Ince Blundell and Lydiate.

My own submission to LCC via the link above is:- I have grave reservations about fracking taking place at this site, which whilst being in Lancashire is likely to also have detrimental effects on the surrounding Sefton Borough communities of Lydiate, Formby and Ince Blundell. Earth tremors are to be expected from this site if the other one in Lancashire at Preston new Road is anything to go by. I hope that LCC will stand firm against fracking so the political tide can be turned against further fossil fuel extraction.