Maghull – Some ‘from experience’ reflections on that new North Station

Maghull North Station car park

Well firstly the car park seems to be too small already and the station’s been open less than 3 months! It was full on Monday 3rd September at 2.30pm and I only got a space because a car left whilst I was in the car park. I hear that others have had similar experiences.

View of Liverpool bound platform at Maghull North Station

Secondly, there’s only one passenger shelter on the busy Liverpool bound platform and it is open to the elements so to speak. I have the feeling that this new station may well be unwelcoming in poor cold weather conditions. Did the budget not stretch to a enclosed heated shelter for the winter months I wonder?

The level access point off School Lane that still needs sorting out.

Really pleased that others have joined the campaign to try to push Persimmon Homes to get a trot on in finishing their works so that there’s a level access point to the new station for those who can’t manage the flight of steps off School Lane (see photo above). But really this should all have been sorted before the first train stopped at the new station. We are promised early action, so let’s hope Persimmon do get on board.

And what about the originally promised access path through from Park Lane (see photo above) to the station? I’ve heard differing perspectives on this. One saying it won’t now happen due to the lack of a pavement on the side of Park Lane which the footpath would come out on. Another perspective that it simply depends on Persimmon finishing off their works. Which is correct? I’m on the case so to speak.

Maghull North Station bus stops on School Lane

And finally, I was asked recently why the 31 circular bus which serves Lydiate and parts of Maghull does not go to the new station? I raised this very point with Merseytravel way back and if I recall correctly their response was that they were not planning on any circular bus changes in the Maghull/Lydiate area at least until the new station had bedded in, or words to that effect. Well it’s been up and running for nearly 3 months now so when will the review of local buses take place? Ball firmly in Merseytravel’s court me thinks.

Maghull North Station – Still not disability and cycle accessible without a long detour

This is the only pedestrian/cycle access off School Lane without a long detour to the entrance to the new Poppy Fields estate.

As a level/accessible entrance/exit to the new Maghull North Station has still not been created off School Lane, despite the station being open for a couple of months now, I thought it was time to put some pressure on Merseytravel. My previous posting on this matter from 23rd July is accessible below:-

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2018/07/23/maghull-its-new-north-station-an-accessible-interchange/

With the help of Merseytravel Committee member Cllr. John Dodd I got a response from Merseytravel which firmly puts the ball in the court of Persimmon the builder/developer of the adjacent Poppy Fields housing development. This is what Merseytravel have said:-

‘the accessible path linking School Lane adjacent to the bus stops to the station is contained on Persimmon Homes land (outside the railway and station footprint).

The issue has been recognised earlier and contact has been made with Persimmon to reinstate the path as soon as is possible in light of the issues this causes for passengers and residents. We were informed that they would do this, but there has been a passage of time since during which this work has not been done.

We have continued to apply pressure to them to reinstate this path but would welcome any support from Sefton and local Councillors to encourage Persimmon to complete this work.’

This is the access point which Merseytravel are referring to:-

So the spotlight is now shining on Persimmon Homes to get a wriggle on and complete the required work so that there is a level/accessible entrance to the new station off School Lane. Come on Persimmon surely this is a minor task in the great scheme of your housing development works at Poppy Fields. Surely we all want to see life made a little easier for those who can’t manage steps and indeed for cyclists arriving at the new station from the Maghull direction.

Cllr. Edie Pope and I would welcome any pressure that others can put on Persimmon. Their e-mail address is:- feedback@persimmonhomes.com

Maghull – It’s new railway station has snagging issues

A visit to Maghull North railway station yesterday morning, for a train to Liverpool, brought up a few issues, one of which must be driving the residents of Mersey Avenue round the bend!

A refer to the testing of the station announcements system; I don’t think I’ve ever heard anything like it! Noisy yes, but also all kinds of weird noises and verbal statements. Each time it kicked in I had to stop a conversation with a chap stood next to me. Has it really been necessary to inflict this on the Mersey Avenue residents living yards away?

Secondly the lifts were still not working 9 days after the new station opened and I was told, by another passenger who had asked about them, that it would be a few more days yet before they were working. Was it sensible to open the station with non-working lifts bearing mind that there are quite a few steps down and indeed up from the platforms? Having said that a lovely young man from Merseyrail had just escorted an elderly lady down the steps to get her train, so assistance where required, is being provided.

And lastly a question. Is the footpath originally proposed to link to the new station from Park Lane going to be constructed? I have heard opinions expressed on this and you can probably guess the matter is still unclear to me.

Maghull – It’s 2nd railway station opens tomorrow 66 years after it lost its original 2nd station

Maghull lost its original 2nd railway station when it closed on 7th January 1952. That station (Sefton and Maghull) was on Sefton Lane and was a part of the former Southport & Cheshire Lines Extension Railway.

I’m told by an old Maghullian in the know that the first talk of a 2nd station for Maghull, on the Liverpool – Ormskirk line, was just after World War 2, so its taken a while you might say to get it built.

The serious talk has been going on for I suppose over the last 25 years and it took some time to secure the station site. My good friend and former Sefton councillor for Maghull, Roy Connell, had a hand in that effort and the battle was won some 10 or more years ago when the rest of what was then called the Ashworth South Site* was down to have a prison built on it. That prison, which was never built of course**, is not to be confused with the temporary prison (HMP Kennet) which did operate from the former Ashworth East site for just under 10 years until quite recently.

Maghull North Station site – 27th September 2017

Construction of the new station (somewhat unimaginatively called Maghull North***) started last September and when it became apparent that it was due to open alongside the May 2018 railway timetable changes some of those in the railway know scratched their heads and said ‘that’s not going to happen’ or words to that effect. And indeed it did not and the opening was put back a month until 18th June.

This photo shows, on the left hand side the shortish back gardens of the Mersey Avenue houses.

The building of the new station has not been without considerable upset though for the residents of Maghull’s Mersey Avenue, who will have the station at the bottom of their back gardens. Noise, overnight working and the height/scale/position of the lift towers became huge issues and it led to demands for compensation payments which remain unresolved I understand. So it’s worth those standing on the platform of the new station taking a few moments to think of the troubles of the Mersey Avenue residents.

Having fought for the station to be built for more years than I care to recall I’m obviously pleased that it’s finally arrived. Now we want Merseyrail’s Liverpool – Ormskirk Line extended to its logical end of Preston. The present arrangement of a poor and unreliable service by Northern Trains onward from Ormskirk is a hang over from the decline of our railways in the 1960’s. I hope I’m still breathing when Northern are kicked off that line and we can all once again travel the length of the Preston to Liverpool railway.

Welcome Maghull North, your birth has been a long and tough one but you should be of benefit to many future generations.

* Former site of the world famous former Moss Side Hospital which pioneered the treatment of shell shock during and after World War 1.

** When the new prison was cancelled @2010 the site was designated for housing and presently the Poppy Fields and Pavilions housing estates are being built on the site.

*** Campaigners seeking to acknowledge the world groundbreaking medical history made at Moss Side Hospital wanted the new railway station to be called ‘Maghull Moss Side’ but the dead hand of railway administration was having none of it. They had made a decision and we were stuck with it so to speak just as they refused a quite sensible request to change the name of the old Maghull station (which was once called Maghull & Melling) to ‘Maghull Hornby’ in recognition of former Maghull resident and world famous toy maker Frank Hornby.

Click on the photos to enlarge them

Maghull – Latest photos as race to complete new station hots up

As the clock ticks and the days go by contractors are battling to get Maghull’s new 2nd railway station ready for the big opening day on 18th June. Here are the latest photos taken on Friday 25th May:-

Things do seem to be moving on quickly so it looks like the deadline will be met I guess.

Maghull – Count down to new station opening on 18th June

With just 28 days to go before the planned opening of Maghull’s 2nd railway station (Maghull North) there still seems to be much to do. These two photos were taken on 20th May:-

The top photo shows the station building and the bottom one the present state of the car park.

It is now pretty obvious that the station could never have been ready for the original 20th May opening date and I think it fair to say that most folk thought that date was just a little too optimistic anyway. We were told that the delay was due to signalling issues but clearly the station itself was far from complete on 20th, the day the new timetable changes were made nationally.

So the big question now is will the revised date of 18th June be met? We all hope so but I don’t think it will be any great surprise if it is not. Ainsdale station, also on the Merseyrail’s Northern Line, is presently being rebuilt and it was due to be completed by March 2018 so I’m told; work is still ongoing there and far from complete.