Melling – Leeds Liverpool Canal is open again into Liverpool after repairs completed

Leeds Liverpool Canal at Wango Lane Aintree Village yesterday. It’s back in water and boaters can again sail into Liverpool.

Good news our canal is back in business after a couple of months of being closed after it breached its banks in Melling. My previous posting refers and is available via the link below:-

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2018/06/13/melling-canal-breach-this-mornings-photos/

The canal from Melling to Liverpool was reopened 3 days ago at a cost, I’m told, of around £500,000 to repair the breach as detailed in my previous posting. Here’s a couple of photos of the repaired breach site:-

Click on the photos to enlarge them

Thanks to the Aintree & Maghull Champion Newspaper for using one of the photos above in it’s edition of 29th August 2018

Maghull – Footbridge to where?

The other day I was cycling the short path that leads from Green Lane to the Cheshire Lines Path/Trans Pennine Trail when I noticed workmen reconstructing a footbridge across Maghull Brook.

Maghull Brook is the boundary between Maghull & Lydiate and it also forms part of the boundary between Sefton and West Lancs. It was indeed this very brook that the Leeds Liverpool Canal collapsed into in 1995. Here’s a reminder of that day:-

Anyway I digress as this posting is about what seems to be a rarely used Maghull Footpath which the bridge pictured above serves. Trouble is I have never seen anyone use that footpath, a point also made to me by one of the workmen who clearly lived locally. The path runs northwards effectively alongside Maghull Brook towards that group of houses on the sharp bend in Bells Lane. The houses, once known as Upper Gore Farm but now called Mercer Court, are actually just in West Lancashire. In fact two footpaths radiate from that group of houses, the one we are talking about here and a second which ends up crossing the Cheshire Lines Path and then the River Alt on Showicks Bridge and leads you to either Sefton or Lunt Villages.

Showicks Bridge over the River Alt

Um, I seem to digressed again! Anyway a footpath sign showing where the path across the recently rebuilt bridge goes would be handy, then maybe it would be used by walkers who don’t have a local Ordnance Survey Map.

Melling Canal Breach – This morning’s photos

Having been down to have a look at the Leeds Liverpool canal breach in Melling this morning it looks to be of a similar nature to the 1995 breach on the boundary between Maghull & Lydiate i.e. the canal may well have broken through into a culvert that crosses underneath it. Here’s the latest photos, including one of a very unfortunate narrow boat caught near to the breach point:-

dam built by Canal and River Trust at Holmes swing bridge. From here the canal is in water through Maghull, Lydiate and northwards

A canal with virtually no water in it from Holmes swing bridge through Aintree towards Liverpool.

A sadly marooned narrow boat quite near to the breach site.

The breach point in the Waddicar part of Melling

The breach happened yesterday evening according to Merseyside Fire and Rescue.

Melling – Canal Culvert Collapse

Ongoing developing incident in Melling regarding a Leeds Liverpool Canal breach

www.merseyfire.gov.uk/aspx/pages/Incidents/IncidentDetail.aspx?id=8674

Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service have the details on their web page – see link above

I’ve seen some video footage of water flooding surrounding fields on the Aintree Village Community Page of Facebook.

Lydiate – Reclaying a canal aqueduct

A few days ago a Canal and River Trust dumb barge with an excavator on it was being pushed northwards through Lydiate and it passed the end of our Lydiate garden.

A brief chat with the chap in charge of the movement led me to understand that work was going to commence just north of Jackson’s Bridge (where Hall Lane/Pygons Hill Lane cross over the LLC) on reclaying the canal over the small aqueduct that takes the Leeds Liverpool Canal over what I think is still called Sudell Brook at that point.

The brook is also the Lydiate/Merseyside boundary with Downholland/West Lancashire and I’m guessing that the canal has been leaking into the brook below it hence the need to reclay the canal. The photo below shows the dumb barge with the excavator in it on Saturday 14th April over the position of the small aqueduct.

Lydiate – More work on that Neighbourhood Plan

Yes I know it seems to go on forever, putting one together for Lydiate Civil Parish that is. And yes I’m still a skeptic of them, seeing NP’s as of little or marginal benefit only, at best.

But whatever I’m doing my bit to help put together the Lydiate one.

Our last Neighbourhood Plan meeting went into all kinds of detail but two particular areas really interested me, the lack of a cycle path on the A59/Northway through Lydiate and the poor state of the canal tow path through Lydiate.

What have these issues got to do with a Neighbourhood Plan you might ask. Well the connection is that when house building does takes place in Lydiate developers have to provide money to support local infrastructure. Presently that’s via a process known as Section 106 agreements. They may be morphing into CIL – Community Infrastructure Levy – but Sefton Council can’t seemingly make up its mind whether to make the change or not. But whichever process is used it means that the Parish Council can try to direct how up to 25% of that money is spent.

The two major areas that we have identified, via our NP process, are upgrading the tow path of the Leeds Liverpool Canal tow path through Lydiate and addressing the lack of a cycle lane alongside the A59/Northway through Lydiate.

The following 2 photos from 2014 show the canal tow path as little more than a rut in the grass alongside the canal:-

Looking north from Pilling Lane bridge along the canal

Looking south from Pilling Lane bridge along the canal.

It’s still the same now and we want it upgraded so that cyclists and pedestrians can make greater use of it. A wider hard wearing surface is required.

With regard to the cycle path along the A59/Northway, it comes to an abrupt halt at Robin’s Island. North of here there are cycle paths on either side of the dual carriageway through Aughton Civil Parish. We would like to see a safe cycle path/route coming into Lydiate. Here’s a photo of the end of the cycle path as you reach Robins Island from Aughton direction:-

A59 Cycle path becomes narrow pavement at Robins Island.

So there are a couple of our stated ambitions in the draft NP for Lydiate. Lydiate folk will get to vote on the plan, via local referendum, before it is finalised I might add.

Click on the photos to enlarge them