The lack of a long-promised footpath/cycle path from Park Lane to the new Maghull North Station continues to frustrate those who could make good use of it. However, Sefton Council has told me that it will eventually be provided via the developer of the Poppy Fields Housing development – I’ve mentioned this previously on this blog site.
But the other day I was asked where the path will come out onto Park Lane? Well, it was originally constructed when the Ashworth South site was going to be a brand new prison (yes the majority of the path is there already) and if you look through a hole in the wooden fence next to the Park Lane railway overbridge you will see what the camera saw on 5th November – photo above.
As you can see the path was built with signage and a removable bollard to stop vehicles trying to access it.
How long we have to wait for the path to be completed and opened up is a second question to which I presently do not have an answer but I think we all hope it will be sooner rather than later.
I decided to have a good look at what Network Rail and their contractors are up to whilst the Liverpool – Ormskirk Northern Line of Merseyrail has been shut down for enabling works to take place so the stations are ready for the new class 777 Stadler EMU’s in 2020. All the photos were taken on 5th November.
The first couple of shots show the ongoing platform works at Maghull Station:-
This next shot in effect shows why the works are being done at stations across the Merseyrail network:-
If you look carefully (it may be best to click on the photo to see it enlarged) you will see that the floor of the new trains will be level with the platforms and a small gap filler will come out when the train stops at a station. This is so that people with disabilities, wheelchairs, and bikes can be wheeled straight onto the new trains without the need for station staff to meet trains with portable ramps as at present with the current 507/508 trains.
Here’s a look back at Maghull Station from Poverty Lane and a look northwards from Poverty Lane in the direction of Maghull North Station. Clearly, other works were being undertaken during the shut down such as cutting back overgrowing trees:-
We then move on to the new Maghull North Station where I think that snagging work from the previous works was taking place. There was scaffolding around the lift towers but I could not get a close look as I was advised to leave the station by a member of Merseyrail’s staff. I had wandered onto the station footbridge and had not seen any warning signs but advised to leave I was. The following photo was taken looking back at the station from the Park lane overbridge:-
And finally a look north from the Park Lane overbridge in the direction of Town Green Station. Again other works were clearly taking place in the distance during the shut down of the line:-
Click on any of the photos to enlarge them
I’ve raised this issue a few times recently as back when the Poppy Fields housing estate site was down to be a new prison there was, along with the new Maghull North Station, an access path to be constructed right through to Park Lane. The path was brought into the the design of the site so to provide easier access to the new station for residents in the Park Lane area.
Here’s part of the access path looking towards Park Lane from Maghull North Station car park. Like Goldcrest Road it was constructed as part of the initial works for the prison that was cancelled.
My concern and indeed that of others has been that whilst the new station has been completed there’s no sign of the path being completed and opened up. This led me to chase up Merseytravel and Sefton Council and I now have what looks like some good news. This statement is from Sefton Council Highways Dept:-
I can confirm that I have persuaded Persimmon Homes to incorporate this footpath within their formal s38 Highways Act 1980 submission for the roads and footpath to be put forward to the Council for formal adoption. They will in turn become highways maintainable at public expense.
My thanks to Sefton Highways for chasing this matter through and gaining a good end result. It will just be a question of time now before the footpath/cycle path is completed and opened up for public use. That timescale is presently unknown and is down, I understand, to the phasing of the house builder’s works on the Poppy Fields site.
Hope that helps? Oh and BTW Sefton Highways have also agreed to take up the issue of the requested dropped kerb (for cyclists) onto School Lane where the recently opened level access to the new station reaches the pavement.
Well the pressure finally brought about some action and work is proceeding – This is how things looked earlier today:-
But who will provide the dropped kerb to enable cyclists to access the station off School Lane? Oh no, let’s hope it not another case of here we go again; let’s guess the likely responses:-
It was not considered as part of the new station build project
It’s Merseytravel’s/Merseyrail’s/Sefton Council’s/Persimmon’s/Network Rail’s responsibility
Sefton Council will provide a dropped kerb if someone else pays for it
There’s no money and its not going to happen
Common sense will prevail and someone in authority will get it done ASAP
Take your pick but don’t hold your breath because I’m beginning to think that too many things about this new station project were not thought about/planned for.
PS. I’m still awaiting some firm information about the proposed foot/cycle path through to the station from Park Lane i.e. is it going to happen and if so when?
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.
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