Maghull – 2017 will see work start on construction of its new railway station

After years and years of being talked about (some say it was first mooted after the Second World War!) Maghull is to finally get its long promised second railway station to be called quite unimaginatively ‘Maghull North’.

It will be on Merseyrail’s Northern Line from Liverpool to Ormskirk and will be sited between the two over-bridges on School Lane and Park Lane. Here’s the site before construction starts from both bridges:-

Site for the new Maghull North Railway Station. Photo taken looking north from School Lane road bridge. The former Moss Side Hospital site is to the right and Mersey Avenue to the left.

And here’s a shot looking from the Park Lane over-bridge towards the bridge on School Lane from which the first photo was taken:-

The most recent and successful campaigning for the new station goes back to the decision to close the former Moss Side Hospital. The site it occupied (also know these days as the Ashworth South Site and by the housing developer that has recently started building there as Poppy Fields) was down to be sold off. Here’s a couple of shots of the triangle shaped site which is bounded by Park Lane, School Lane and the railway line:-

Looking at the site from the School Lane over-bridge.

Looking at the site from the only road access to it off School Lane.

Whilst houses are presently being built on Poppy Fields/Ashworth South the original plan was for a prison, possibly a Titan-type prison to be built there in 2007. Plans were drawn up but then the Government changed in 2010 and the prison idea was ditched. But it was whilst the plans were being processed for the prison that councillors of day, led by Roy Connell, waded in saying they wanted a site for Maghull’s second railway station secured via that process. They succeeded in that aim and despite the prison being ditched in favour of housing the station site was preserved from other developments. So that’s how the site was secured.

The next stage was to get Government to stump up a large amount of cash to build the station – it did. The rest of the cash would need to found locally and Merseytravel/Sefton Council had that task.

And the unimaginative station name? Well campaigners who know the historical significance of the former Moss Side Hospital did try to get a more appropriate name adopted but the railway powers that be were having none of it. One idea was rename the present Maghull Station as Maghull Hornby and the new one as Maghull Moss Side. I quite liked the historical ring of those names but railway authorities have no soul you know and probably little interest in local history. Moss Side Hospital was world renowned for its pioneering treatment of soldiers with shell shock during World War 1 and the world famous toy maker Frank Hornby lived literally yards away from the present Maghull Station. It’s really frustrating that two world-wide historical events/figures can be so easily ignored.

But despite a sadly missed opportunity of station names Maghull will soon be getting its second and much needed railway station as the present station is beyond capacity at peek times. Maghull North station should be open in 2018 we are told.

Click on any of the photos to enlarge them.

Maghull’s New 2nd Station – railfuture’s perspective on it

The article below is from the pages of Rail User Express

Site for the new Maghull North Railway Station.  Photo taken looking north from School Lane road bridge. The former Moss Side Hospital site is to the right and Mersey Avenue to the left.

Site for the new Maghull North Railway Station. Photo taken looking north from School Lane road bridge. The former Moss Side Hospital site is to the right and Mersey Avenue to the left.

2017 OPENING PLANNED FOR MAGHULL NORTH STATION

Merseytravel has begun a public consultation on plans for a new railway station at Maghull North. The new station would be located off School Lane in Maghull on the Ormskirk branch of the Merseyrail network Northern Line. With significant housing development planned for Maghull as part of the Sefton Local Plan, a new station would take pressure off the existing Maghull station and help meet the anticipated increase in demand from the new housing.

Proposals for the station include six carriage platform with shelters, a 200-space car park, step-free access to both platforms, a ticket office, secure cycle parking, passenger waiting facilities and toilet. Funding for the scheme is coming from a government contribution via the Local Growth Fund, Merseytravel and the Homes and Communities Agency, which is developing land on the east side of the railway.

The closing date for the consultation is 5 January 2016. Merseytravel says the aim is for work to start on site in January 2017 with the new station operational by December 2017.

I loved the phrase ‘significant housing development’ as it must be the one of the most alarming understatements of the year ‘massive urban extension’ would be an more appropriate description!

Also the words ‘closing date for the consultation’ rings a little hollow too. Sadly, it seems it closed before it even started because Merseytravel have given me the distinct impression that unless you suggest something that they already planned to do it will be rejected. My previous posting on this can be accessed below:-

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2015/12/14/maghull-consultation-response-on-towns-2nd-and-new-railway-station/

I wonder how many ideas put forward by residents to Merseytravel about this new station were immediately knocked on the head? Has it been real consultation or window dressing?

Sefton Focus hopes for 2016 and beyond

Here are a few of my local hopes for 2016 and beyond. They are in no particular order:-

Here I am at Lambshear Lane Lydiate checking out farm land that is coming under threat from house building.

Here I am at Lambshear Lane Lydiate checking out farm land that is coming under threat from house building.

That Sefton Council’s Local Plan is rejected on the basis that high grade agricultural land on which we grow our food should not be used to build houses on.

Site for the new Maghull North Railway Station.  Photo taken looking north from School Lane road bridge. The former Moss Side Hospital site is to the right and Mersey Avenue to the left.

Site for the new Maghull North Railway Station. Photo taken looking north from School Lane road bridge. The former Moss Side Hospital site is to the right and Mersey Avenue to the left.

That Merseytravel actually take some notice of what folks are saying about the planned Maghull North Station. Also, that they stop blocking the idea of the present Maghull Station being renamed Maghull Hornby.

That HMRC’s ‘exit Bootle’ plan is revisited and jobs are kept where they are needed in a community that requires investment rather than being moved to where they are not needed.

That the Environment Agency’s plan to create a flood plain north east of Lunt Village actually works when they turn off the River Alt pumps.

HALT poster

That the Lower Alt wind turbine proposal, to be built on high grade agricultural land would you believe, is rejected by West Lancs Borough Council. I am certainly not against turbines and renewable energy as it is the future for green energy, but not on high grade agricultural land that grows our food.

That Costa in Maghull stop running auditions for screeching child of the year. We only want a bit of peace and quiet while having a cuppa.

Uncut hedge at Maghull's KGV Park

Uncut hedge at Maghull’s KGV Park

That Maghull Town Council cuts its hedges more than twice a year.

That the electrification of the Liverpool – Ormskirk railway line gets the green light to be extended through to Burscough.

That before any more houses are built in Sefton Borough a thorough independent assessment is made of the consequences of building in terms of flooding events.

A Red Squirrel at Formby Point in 2015

A Red Squirrel at Formby Point in 2015

That our precious Red Squirrel population in Formby continues to thrive.

Southport FC

That the remarkable turn around in the fortunes of Southport Football Club in late 2015 continues and it leads to them getting back into the Football League one day.

That youth facilities in Maghull gain some investment instead of them being closed by Maghull Town Council.

Fighting for Southport's Libraries

Fighting for Southport’s Libraries

That volunteers are encouraged and welcomed by Sefton Council instead of them being treated so badly when they try to take over and run community facilities such as closing community libraries.

Leeds Liverpool Canal in Bootle

Leeds Liverpool Canal in Bootle

That the 2016 By-Centenary celebrations of the completion of the Leeds Liverpool Canal are a success in Sefton.

That those of us who live in communities outside of Liverpool do not allow ourselves to be dominated from Liverpool Town Hall now the imposed/unwanted Merseyside Mayor concept has been foisted on us.

That gun crime in Sefton Borough and beyond is brought under control.

nhs-logo

That the concept of NHS drop-in centres is revisited and promoted so that more NHS services are delivered in communities rather than in over worked hospitals. Remember Maghull’s long-promised rebuild of its Health Centre to include a drop-in facility that was dropped by the NHS?

I am sure you will have other/additional wishes for 2016 and beyond and if I spent long enough thinking about it I could add to this list myself. However, I think you get my drift of what Sefton Borough could look like.

A very happy New Year to all.

Maghull – Consultation response on Town’s 2nd and new railway station

I posted about the public consultation event held at Maghull Town Hall last month on this blog site. My original posting (and a follow-up one) can be read via the links below:-

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2015/11/24/maghull-north-station-project-exhibition-at-maghull-town-hall/

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2015/12/07/maghull-name-new-station-maghull-moss-side/

After the event I filed in a Merseytravel consultation form with a few ideas on my own and those brought to my attention by residents. The responses of Merseytravel to the issues that I commented on in my submission are below:-

Dear Mr Robertson

Thank you for your suggestions for Maghull North station following the recent public information event. I am pleased to hear that you found the event helpful and the staff also friendly. It was well attended and there was good discussion about the project.

There is no intention to rename Maghull with the suffix “Hornby”. There would be a significant cost involved in changing systems to accommodate any new name which have implications within the rail operations industry as well as the public facing side of railways. This includes notifications to international organisations and websites.

The drawings shown at the public information event were indicative and intended to stimulate discussion from the public. The designs are not yet sufficiently advanced to show intended / desired minor details, colours and finishes. Those will be shown in the planning application which will be developed once the public comments have been digested and considered. I am sure that you will appreciate that we did not wish to unnecessarily spend resources on producing images that might have been significantly amended after the public event.

At present there are no proposals to modify the 231 to 234 group of bus services but there will be changes to travel opportunities will gradually evolve when the station comes on line and the housing developments in the area become occupied.

With regard to the station name, it has been called “Maghull North” for many years in its various iterations. This has been a logical working title and one that “does what it says on the can”. A final decision will need to be made in due course and I can understand your desire to propose “Moss Side” as an identifier recognising the work done by the hospital previously located on the site. The name finally chosen will need to be clearly understood by visitors who are not too familiar with the area. A quick straw poll of colleagues who are based elsewhere in the north west suggests that “Moss Side” is more obviously known as a district in Manchester which had some notorious chapters in its history in the late 20th Century. Whether or not that association could be misconstrued at Maghull needs to be considered in more detail.

Yours sincerely

Merseytravel’s
Corporate Engagement Team

**********

Some disappointing responses here and it does make you wonder whether Merseytravel and their partners (Network Rail & Merseyrail) really do want to hear alternative views at all. Seems some things are sadly set in stone.

Maghull – Name new station ‘Maghull Moss Side’

Local chap Ross Ferguson is, together with a team of supporters, trying to push the railway powers that be to name the new and soon to be built Maghull North Station as ‘Maghull Moss Side’.

Site for the new Maghull North Railway Station.  Photo taken looking north from School Lane road bridge. The former Moss Side Hospital site is to the right and Mersey Avenue to the left.

Site for the new Maghull North Railway Station. Photo taken looking north from School Lane road bridge. The former Moss Side Hospital site is to the right and Mersey Avenue to the left.

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I support their campaign as Moss Side Hospital is another of Maghull’s claims to world fame along with Frank Hornby and the Maghull Homes. There is a petition running on Change web site which I would urge you to support:-

www.change.org/p/jan-chaudhry-managing-director-for-merseyrail-director-of-merseyrail-customer-services-new-railway-station-for-maghull-let-s-call-it-maghull-moss-side?recruiter=295238821&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=share_facebook_responsive&utm_term=mob-xs-share_petition-custom_msg&fb_ref=Default

Below is why the group are pushing for a change in the present project name for the new station. This is what they have to say in support of their campaign:-

We as members and former members of staff from Ashworth Hospital and the former Moss Side Hospital, would like to have the proposed new Maghull railway station named ‘Maghull Moss Side’ after the former Moss Side Hospital on who’s grounds the new station will be built. The former Moss Side Hospital has had a major influence on worldwide medicine and psychiatry, it was hailed as the first school of ‘Clinical Psychopathology’ in Britain and one of the first institutions in the world to recognise ‘Shell Shock’ (known today as ‘Post Traumatic Stress Disorder’ or PTSD) as a medical condition. Also as a one time major employer and housing provider in and around the town of Maghull, Moss Side Hospital has had a major influence in the shaping of Maghull from a one time small village into a modern town and a desirable place to live. Therefore, we feel the least that can be done to honour this groundbreaking institution is to have the new railway station named after it.

As an aside I also think that the present Maghull Station should be renamed as Maghull Hornby when the second railway station is built.