A large wooden barn behind a bungalow off Maghull’s Park Lane was well alight around 4.30pm today.
Merseyside Fire and Rescue were in attendance but I think they were having difficulty with the neatest fire hydrant and were having to run their hoses to one some distance away
I first saw the thick black smoke whilst cycling a couple of miles away in Aughton and realised that the fire must be in Maghull. The smell of burning in Millbank Lane was strong indeed.
Hope all are OK.
Click on the photos to enlarge them
I have posted previously about the state of the road surface in Millbank Lane. My last relevant posting is available via the link below:-
Without rehearsing too much the history of this lane and how land owners have some significant responsibility for the maintenance of the road surface the situation seems to be like this. Because the lane is a public right of way Sefton Council does have some responsibility for the surface to be in reasonable condition for pedestrians. The responsibility for the lane being suitable for vehicles is definitely with the land owners of this unadopted road.
What has now happened is that Sefton Council has taken some action to try to repair the worst of the potholes where they affect pedestrian access. I understand that at the same time the relevant land owners have been reminded that it is their responsibility to provide a surface suitable for vehicles.
Sadly the stones that Sefton have put into the ruts seem to have been churned out by vehicles or at least that’s what I’m guessing has happened. The photo’s below were taken on 28th January:-
And the next photo is interesting! You can hardly read it as it’s buried in a hawthorn hedge just inside the Maghull/Sefton Borough boundary as you cross over Sudell Brook into the Town from Aughton/West Lancs. It says ‘Lancashire County Council – Private Road – Public Footpath Only’
The sign must therefore predate local government reorganisation in 1974 as it is in Sefton not Lancashire. The things you find when out and about.
That was some heavy rain we had last night and cycling around Maghull and Lydiate this morning I ran into the consequences of it. The first shot is of Millbank Lane, the unadopted road/public right of way that runs from the junction of Dodds Ln/Kenyons Ln/Park Ln to the boundary with Aughton. The surface has been breaking up in the latter 3rd of it for some time now (my previous posting refers – linked below) but today it was impassable for cyclists and pedestrians. I had to turn back and find an alternative route into Aughton.
The second shot is of Pygons Hill Lane near to Jackson’s Bridge. Not too clear in this shot but it was running like a stream down the hill towards the canal bridge.
I noticed yesterday afternoon before the really heavy rain how high the River Alt was, where Bridges Ln crosses it between Maghull and Sefton Village. Reminds us all of how vulnerable to flooding we are when major rain storms hit low lying Sefton.
I cycle around the Sefton East Parishes (Maghull, Lydiate, Aintree, Melling and Sefton & Lunt Villages) part of the Borough quite a lot and the other day I was stopped by a chap on Park Lane who said ‘hey you are a local councillor aren’t you? – can you get the pot holes in Millbank Lane filled in please?’.
Oddly I had just been down there on my bike and had noticed some large pot-holes myself so I was only too happy to get in touch with Sefton Highways to ask them to oblige.
Millbank Lane, I should add runs from the junction with Kenyons Ln, Park Ln and Dodds Ln through to Maghull’s boundary with West Lancs and Aughton Civil Parish. The final 50 yards of it (in Aughton) is a footpath, only the part in Maghull is tarmaced and it serves a part of the Maghull community known by some as The Small Holdings.
Sadly the response from Sefton was that the lane is not one that has been adopted by the Council so it is not their responsibility to repair the pot-holes. I had wondered if that would be the answer because although unadopted roads usually have a sign saying ‘Unadopted’ at their beginning (and Millbank Lane for some reason does not) I had a funny feeling that it may indeed be unadopted.
From the gate and stile to Butchers Lane (behind the camera) in Aughton is only a footpath.
But clearly over the years the lane has been patch repaired on numerous occasions as you can clearly see. So the question now is who does hold the repair and maintenance responsibilities for Millbank Lane. Any answers on a postcard (or by e-mail) to me would be appreciated.
Which brings me to a memory of my first political campaign as a candidate and when when I first won a seat on Maghull Town Council in September 1985 for the SDP/Liberal Alliance.
My agent for that election was none other than Bruce Hubbard and he sent me canvassing up Millbank Lane to the Small Holdings community. So door-knocking I went to be met at one house by a chap asking me about ‘pig subsidies’. Suffice to say that I was floored by that question and Bruce has been using my bewildered response in his after dinner speeches ever since. No wonder I had to leave Maghull in 2011 to move to Lydiate! I would add that I no longer represent Maghull as a councillor – I’m a Lydiate councillor these days.