I decided to have a good look at the progress being made on making Melling’s Ashworth junction on the M58 a full junction for the first time. Here’s how things looked on my visit:-
New steps down to where the new route of Giddygate Lane will be I think.
Looking towards Maghull over the junction road works and the vast Maghull East site that is presently growing the food we eat but is designated for housing.
I’ll try to keep an eye on progress here and update via this blog site.
Click on the photos to enlarge them
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
Most folk do not walk or cycle around the now infamous Switch Island where the M57 & M58 Motorways join with the A59, A5036 and the new(ish) Brooms Cross Road but it’s quite possible and even safe to do so. Indeed it’s probably safer than driving around it based on the almost daily road traffic accidents that happen there. However, if you do walk or cycle it you will come across this large boulder with 2 metal plaques set into it:-
The plaques record the 1st and 2nd phases of the reconstruction of the junction in 1998 and 2006. But what about the other phases? I think there have been 2 additional ones – one when Brooms Cross Road was joined to it and then very recently when major re-signage and safety changes were made. Now it could be that austerity means there’s no money for additional plaques, or the boulder’s not big enough for additional ones, or despite all the phases and changes the damn thing (the island not the boulder) is a bit of an embarrassment to Highways England so they are trying to keep a low profile? All 3 are, I’m willing to believe, potentially the case of course.
Click on the photo to enlarge it
Well it seems that works have finally started to make this junction a full one. This was the scene this morning 28th May as set up works were commencing:-
My old friend and former Sudell ward Sefton Councillor (and former Mayor of the Borough of Sefton) Cliff Mainey started the fight to get this junction made into a full one quite some years ago; early 2000’s if memory serves.
Anyone who tries to negotiate the hugely complex Switch Island will have seen that the recent upgrade/safety works by Highways England have all but been completed. The big question now is will it be any safer?
I’ve commented on this matter many times before as both a driver and indeed as a cyclist as I have witnessed driver behaviour.
To sum up, the problems as I have seen them are:-
* Too higher speeds approaching the junction
* Red light running/jumping
* Confused drivers veering from lane to lane
* Impatient regular users not allowing for the confused/lost drivers
One issue that comes quickly to mind is that towards the end of the M57 the speed has recently been reduced to 50mph and then even nearer to Switch Island to 40mph. That these new speed restrictions are almost completely ignored, you will not be surprised to hear, is pretty much all of the time. Indeed, the other day I reached the 50mph section, I slowed to 50 mph and had a horn blown at me because I had slowed down a fellow driver! My point being why are there not speed cameras on the approaches to Switch Island like at the end of the M62 as you near the Rocket in Liverpool?
Oh and another thing, this time from a cyclists perspective. Why have the street lamps which foul the cycle path around one part of Switch Island not been re-sited? Highways England have known about the problem for quite some time now:-
Is this sign, which has been on display for a while now, an indication that the long-promised works are about to start on making the M58 Junction 1 a full junction? Having said that it’s only closing Giddygate Lane for 3 days from tomorrow:-
And only yards away was this scene! How on earth did that car get down into the farmer’s field and why?