Things are now moving on quickly with the new access roads taking shape to make the ‘Ashworth’ junction a full one. Here are a few photos from Saturday 18th January:-
The first shot is of the new pedestrian/cycle access down to Giddygate Lane and the second the access steps of course. The last one is looking at the motorway junction from what is now the end of Giddygate Lane for vehicles.
Click on the photos to enlarge them
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 thought it was time to have a look at the progress of the major road works to turn the M58 ‘Ashworth Junction’ in Melling into a full junction. Here’s some shots taken on 22nd December:-
Looking in the Maghull direction with the new pedestrian/cycle access running down to Giddygate Lane.
The present access to Giddygate Lane which will be lost when the new western access road to the M58 is finished.
Looking across the M58 with the slope of the new access road for traffic coming from the Switch Island direction clear to see.
My understanding is that the project is over budget – My recent posting refers:-
Looking towards Maghull over the M58 ‘Ashworth’ junction road works (when work had just commenced) and the vast Maghull East site that is prestly growing the food we eat but is designated for housing.
Place North West has the article on its website – see link below:-
Says Bob Robinson a former project engineer, who brought the article to my attention, ‘Maghull Cost Over-run. The issues causing the over-run are not untypical especially where it is necessary to buy a number of different properties/land to deliver the scheme.’
Looking at recent works to provide a new cycle path from the ‘Ashworth’ junction towards Kirkby
I’ve been watching the works regularly as they are on a cycling route I often use. Sefton Council has had the contractor do some additional works, so I understand, associated with putting in the new cycle path, which has been planned for some time. This work has been done although the whole cycle route to Kirkby is yet to be constructed.
My good friend and former Sefton Borough councillor Cliff Mainey launched the campaign to get this M58 junction made into a full one around 15 years ago. Sadly, although it is now being constructed, it’s alongside a planned and massive urban extension to Maghull of @1,600 houses. The housing is to be built on the very highest quality of agricultural land which I and many others fought against. Sadly we lost.
Note – to be clear the junction is actually in Melling not Maghull
A while back I posted about proposed plan to build a safe cycle path/route from the M58 at Ashworth alongside Prescot Road and into Kirkby. Here’s the relevant post from May 2018:-
Well things are starting to move and the photos in this posting shows the scene on 27th October. The shot immediately above is looking back towards the M58 junction and you can see where the present highly dangerous end is to the cycle path around the junction. I say dangerous as it’s just past the end of the bend where someone thought it would be great place for cyclists to rejoin the road with them being unsighted of vehicles doing high speeds around the junction. Suffice to say that having tried to do the right thing a couple of times on my bike and seen how dangerous it was I have since continued along what is actually pavement a while longer before regaining the road. I would add that this is the only section of pavement I cycle on locally but it seems I won’t have to now.
My understanding is that the first section of new cycle path is being constructed by the contractor who is building the M58 slip roads. The remainder of the cycle route will be constructed in the next financial year (2020/21) once the legal agreements have been completed for the land transfers.
My thanks to Sefton Council highway engineers for the update.
Click on the photo to enlarge it.
I went to have a look at how the junction works were coming along and clearly things are starting to take shape where the new slip road will be going in for traffic to access the M58 west to Switch Island:-
This shot is taken from where Giddygate Lane presently joins the junction but that lane is being diverted as part of the works. The new pedestrian steps and cycle path can clearly be seen.
And whilst I’m on about that junction, regular readers may recall me saying how unsafe I thought the end of the cycle path around this very same motorway junction is. Here’s my original post about it from April 2018:-
Well this is how things look now!:-
I feel like saying to Sefton Council and Highways England ‘I told you so’ – the cycle path ends too near to the junction and in my opinion it’s still dangerous.
Click on the photos to enlarge them