So is Skem’ to get linked to Merseyrail? It’s still a wait and see

The old Skelmersdale Station – now long gone in the name of 1960’s progress!

The Liverpool Echo has the latest in what is clearly going to be a very long saga with at present an uncertain outcome – see link below:-

www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/skelmersdale-could-finally-merseyrail-station-17549470

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

How Preston’s transport plan could benefit Southport & the Ormskirk Merseyrail Northern Line

The graphic above*, which you will need to click on to enlarge for reading, is an extract from the recently published Preston City Transport Plan. It’s an important document because it discusses much needed transport, in this case rail, improvements to the south and west of Preston.

If you look closely the document is promoting the re-connection of the Burscough North Curve so that trains can once again travel between Preston and Southport. This is what the curves looked like when they were in place in the 1960’s:-

The Burscough Curves are in West Lancashire. This historic shot of them is from when they were in place, in 1960’s.

OPSTA, the Ormskirk, Preston & Southport Travelers Association has been promoting the re-connection of the Burscough Curves since the 1980’s and they have been the driving force behind improving the Ormskirk – Preston Line and the reopening of Midge Hall Station. But it’s been an uphill struggle with Lancashire County Council (the Transport Authority) seeming being at best lukewarm about the line the present train operator (Northern) struggling to deliver the present basic service reliably.

Ormskirk’s Station where Merseyrail and Northern trains meet.

Another way forward is for Merseyrail to run trains all the way from Liverpool Central to Preston via the removal of the buffer stops at Ormskirk and other signaling/track improvements. To me this has always been the most sensible solution to bring the Ormskirk – Preston Line up to its true potential, together of course with the introduction of Southport – Preston trains. The fact that some of Merseyrail’s soon to arrive Class 777 Stadler rolling stock will now have battery operation facility (this had been in doubt previously) then them operating on the line without the need for expensive electrification equipment opens up real opportunities.

A mock-up of a Class 777 – The new Merseyrail trains that will soon replace the Class 507/508 EMU’s

Graphic Notes:-
* ‘P’ is Preston – Numbers 2, 3 & 6 are points along the Ormskirk – Preston Railway Line – 2 is the proposed new Coote Lane Station – 3 being the proposed reopening of Midge Hall Station and 6 is where the connecting Burscough Curves are situated i.e. where the Ormsirk – Preston and Southport – Wigan lines cross each other.

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

Aughton – Butchers Lane flooding

Flooding under the railway bridge is now almost a constant problem and we have not even reached autumn and winter

My recollection is that it was this bad some years ago but that some drainage work was done which seemed to solve the problem except in the worst of weather conditions. Time to get on to Lancashire County Council me thinks to see what they are doing about it…….