Firstly let me say that I’m delighted that Sefton Council is, together with Knowsley Council, creating a safe cycle route from Melling to Kirkby, but, there’s always a but……..
Have a look at this photo:-
What you can see is the end of the brand new cycle path where it crosses over the dual carriageway to continue on the other side of the road in the Kirkby direction. From where it ends the narrower original pavement can be made out. Beyond that is the junction with Prescot Road.
My question is what are cyclists supposed to do if they are heading northwards along Prescot Road? Answer – they either have to stay on what becomes pavement or rejoin the traffic coming off the motorway junction. Both options are hardly desirable so why hasn’t the cycle path also been continued (on the side as in the photo) down to the Prescot Road junction and around into Prescot Road for a short distance to facilitate safe cycling?
Obviously I don’t know the answer to my question but I highlight the matter as, in my view, highway engineers who are not themselves cyclists or who do not know the routes cyclists take in a community can end up (with all the best of intentions I might add) not really resolving safety issues for cyclists as their cycle routes do not end in appropriate places.
I’m always happy to promote local history events and this looks to be one to check out between the 23rd September and 16th November:-
Poster for Made on Merseyside Exhibition at Kirkby Gallery
Click on the poster to be able to read the text on it.
And here’s a map showing how to access Kirkby Gallery:-
The Frank Hornby Heritage Center, based in Maghull’s Meadows Leisure Center, is pleased to be lending some items to Kirkby Gallery as one part of this exhibition will cover the Binns Road Meccano Factory in Liverpool and its products.
I understand that Merseytravel has told the Champion newspaper that it isn’t the case that they are reducing the service based on the publicly available tender document/service specification that is doing the rounds on this and at least one other website where a Maghull resident first spotted it.
They say that the cut-back timetable [in the service specification that I hold] was one of the options considered when the tender was put out, but it wasn’t the one taken up and that there will actually be no change to the present timetable.
They have however confirmed that a new operator (Hatton’s) will be taking on the route as of April.
So we now know that the service spec’ found by the local resident and passed to me was genuine and that it was one of the options being considered. What any additional options were, other than stay as is, of course, if there were more than two we do not know.
That Merseytravel was seriously considering a reduction in the 133 is a given as they had gone well down the planning route to the point of having a draft timetable to implement. But why consider reducing this route other than for the rather obvious reason of not enough money to spread around the publicly subsidised bus routes across Merseyside?
Was some extra funding found for the route at the last minute? Was Merseytravel aware of a negative backlash if they took the reduction plan further? Did the tenders to run the route come in lower than the price they had been expecting thereby creating the scope to keep things as they are?
I guess we are unlikely to get to know the back story to this matter but however, we got to the point of no service reduction in the 133 bus route it looks like it was a close shave but a very welcome one at that.
Oh, and by the way, the service spec’ that has not now had the timetable reduction within it implemented says that the start of the new contract is on 28th April 2019 and that it ends on 1st September 2019. Is that still the case and if it is will there be another challenge for the 133 bus route later this year?
Remember the ill-fated Kirkby Ski Slope project from the mid-1970’s?
It was the talk of Merseyside for quite a while but whilst it was meant to be for downhill skiing the whole project went down the hill far too fast to the great embarrassment of the Council of the day.
The Liverpool Echo has the story on its website – see link below
All lined up – Merseyside’s waste packed into containers for a ride to the north east.
Well it’s sent to Kirkby (Knowsley Freight Terminal to be precise) where it’s loaded into containers, put on the 2 trains that leave each day and taken to the north east of England to be burned.
The destination is a power station called Wilton which uses the waste to generate electricity. Wikipedia has a page on the power station – look for ‘Wilton 11’ down the page for comment about Merseyside’s waste:-
A double-headed (2 loco) train departs Knowsley Freight Terminal on its way to Wilton Power Station.
Waste-to-energy (WtE) or energy-from-waste (EfW) is the process of generating energy in the form of electricity and/or heat from the primary treatment of waste, or the processing of waste into a fuel source. WtE is a form of energy recovery. Most WtE processes generate electricity.
Landfill is now a very expensive and an environmentally dubious process although it is hugely more regulated than it used to be when rubbish was literally tipped into a hole in the ground with little if any thought as to the consequences of such tipping.
I recall as a child living in Maghull the tipping that was once done on Sefton Meadows during the 1960’s and 1970’s on land north and south of Sefton Lane/Bridges Lane. The southern tipping land is now forested and called Jubilee Woods and as a youngster at Ormonde High School cross country runs took you on a public footpath right through the tipping land – the smells were appalling. That same footpath is still there but walking it now you would never realise what’s under your feet.
Merseyside Waste Disposal Authority set up and negotiated the contract to send Merseyside’s non-recyclable waste to Wilton.
Class 66 diesel locomotives 66040 and 66145 leaving Knowsley Freight Terminal on 24th August 2018 with another trainload of Merseyside’s waste.
Click on any of the photos to enlarge them
The 2nd photo is amongst my Flickr shots at:-
The Merseyrail half of Kirkby Station looking towards Liverpool.
I have posted previously about the bizarre severing of the Liverpool – Preston railway line at Ormskirk which leaves a great 15 minute service from Ormskirk to Liverpool and a far from impressive irregular service from Ormskirk to Preston.
My posting about the Liverpool – Preston Line is available via this link:-
But there’s another of these bizarre serverings on the Merseyrail network at Kirkby where the Liverpool – Wigan Line is in effect chopped in two. In some ways this is actually more bizarre than the severing at Ormskirk because there’s another Merseyside community which Merseyrail does not reach just up the line at Rainford, part of St Helens Borough. If a severing had to take place surely Rainford would have been the obvious place would it not? BTW I am not arguing for such split tracks, indeed they make no sense to me at all.
Kirkby (like Ormskirk) is a single line, single platform station where the two separate train services meet end on and like Ormskirk the service on to Wigan and beyond is far less frequent and the Merseyrail one into Liverpool.
Also like on the Ormskirk Line there is is always talk of the Merseyrail system being extended, in the case of the Kirkby Line onto Skelmersdale. To achieve this a brand new spur line needs to be built into the 1960’s ‘New Town’ of Skem as the planners of the day ripped up and built on the railway line that ran through the old town of Skem from Ormskirk to St Helens. It will also mean a new station as well so the bill will be huge if the project ever gets the go ahead.
Looking at this optimistically the proposals are reasonably sound as Merseyrail would then run directly into Skem with a separate diesel service from Skem to Wigan from the new station. If the project was in the south it would have have had money chucked at it at least a decade ago but with recent back-tracking by Government over rail electrification schemes across a huge swathe of Northern England, whilst Cross-Rail 2 in London starts to get the thumbs up from Ministers, optimism about rail investment in the North of any sort is in very short supply. So for the foreseeable future Merseyrail will continue to stop at Kirkby.
The photo is amongst my Flickr shots at:-