Thornton Nostalgia – Marching down the road for a road

I have commented on the recently opened Switch Island to Thornton Relief Road (called Brooms Cross Road) many times before but have just come across another photo of the public march through Thornton that re-launched the campaign for a by-pass around that community.

Thornton by-pass campaigning @2000

Click on the photo to enlarge it

It’s around the turn of the Century (I can’t recall the exact date) in this photo and Thornton residents are marching along the service road of Lydiate Lane near to its junction with Westbourne Avenue with the houses of the Lydiate Park estate in the background.

Thornton Parish Council – Probably one of the most successful Parish Councils in Sefton Borough and indeed beyond.

My connection with Thornton Parish Council goes back a number years to when they and the good people of Thornton decided enough was enough and they were going to re-launch the campaign to get a relief road built around their traffic congested community.

The previous campaign (which eventually became known as the Blue Route) had stuttered to a halt because of environmental issues mainly and I think it fair to say that mainstream politicians were hardly keen to dip their toes in that water again! But Thornton Parish Council thought differently and they knew their community still needed a solution to the environmental nightmare they faced virtually every day of the week because the road system taking traffic out of Liverpool towards Formby and Southport had a missing link in it. It certainly did so clouds of pollution were being spewed out along Lydiate Lane and Green Lane as a consequence.

This is the presently being constructed junction with Brickwall Lane just to the west of Sefton Village and south of Thornton.

This is the presently being constructed junction with Brickwall Lane just to the west of Sefton Village and south of Thornton.

The initial campaigning led to a public march, which I took part in, to raise the profile of the issue once again and then things really took off. This time mainstream politicians took notice and I like to think that I helped build the cross-party consensus to get some action rather than yet more warm words.

So a movement was built and what was ultimately a successful campaign was launched. But it would not have happened had Thornton Parish Council and the people of Thornton not shown great determination. The new road will, I hope, help ease their traffic congestion in Thornton when it is complete and open soon.

So why did what I look upon as one of the most successful of Sefton Borough’s 10 parish councils (because they won this massive campaign) only have 4 people nominated to sit on the 7 member Parish Council in this May’s elections? It makes no sense, people usually like to be part of success even those who have done nothing to bring about the success. Whatever the reason/s it is sad to see the lack of nominations to this Parish Council which has achieved so much.

But let’s look at it another way the road is only being built because of the campaigning of Thornton people, without them it simply would not have happened. I think that simple fact indicates that Thornton Parish Council deserves a huge thank you for raising a dead project and forcing it onto Sefton Council’s agenda. Yes people like me picked the issue up and ran with it but that was what I was expected to do when Leader of Sefton Council.

I really like Parish Councils, they are so diverse and are capable of so much and I am determined to let Thornton Parish Council have its 15 minutes of fame whilst others, particularly in the Labour Party, try to claim credit for a project they have had precious little at all to do with.