Maghull North Station as it was nearing completion in 2018
I’ve blogged about Maghull new 2nd railway station many times, often with a little frustration about the design details which have been left hanging well after the station opened.
Now don’t get me wrong (a Jim Sharpe’ism – Jim is a journalist on our local Champion newspaper) having campaigned for the station to be built I’m happy that it has been, but for the life of me some of the issues with it should not still be issues now, well over a year since it was opened.
The good news is that a significant length of the old decaying wooden fence left over from the former Moss Side Hospital site has now been removed along the site’s School Lane boundary. I think that fellow environmental campaigner Frank Sharp (no relation to Jim) will have had a hand in this via his chivying of Merseytravel etc.
Now about that cycle/footpath which opened recently and connects the new station with both School Lane and Park Lane. It’s very welcome but at the School Lane end there’s still no dropped kerb for cyclists to access it and the new station via the level access. I lose count of the number of times I’ve pointed this out to Sefton Council and Merseytravel. This photo illustrates:-
whilst at the Park Lane end it does have a dropped kerb:-
At neither end does the path have any pedestrian barriers though and I would have thought that barriers erected in a chicane-type arrangement would make things safer in respect of children running out onto the road.
Small things of detail in many ways, and yes I’m sure there are much bigger matters to think about, but never the less you’d think such straight forward and cheap to fix issues would be all a part of the station building and it’s wider access environment planning.
Click on the photos to enlarge them
Following a tip off from a local resident to the effect that contractors working on the Poppy Fields housing estate were in the process of opening up the long- awaited foot/cycle path through to Maghull North Station from Park Lane I went to have a look.
This how things were panning out this morning around 8.30am:-
But the path does not yet connect to the Station as it’s still fenced off near to the Station car Park:-
By the way at 8.30am today there were no spaces available in the Station car park as far as I could tell.
The path was actually laid out when the Ashworth South Site was down to be a new prison but it has remained out of use throughout it’s significant lifetime – some 10 years or more I think.
Well it looks like it may be fully opened up in the not too distant future when landscaping around it has been installed. A long wait indeed but a useful access path for pedestrians and cyclists will soon be with us, I hope.
With thanks to Frank Sharpe for the lead to this posting.
Notes:- (1) There is a dropped kerb at the Park Lane end of the path so it’s easy access for cyclists unlike the supposed level access off School Lane where there’s still no dropped kerb for cyclists into the station.
(2) Fencing issues off School Lane are yet to be resolved – seems there a lack of money.
I keep on pressing for the promised footpath/cyclepath from Park Lane to the now far from new station to be opened up ASAP. Indeed, I’ve recently raised the matter with both Merseytravel and Sefton Council.
I went to have a look at where the path runs (from the far end of the station car park) towards Park Lane a few days ago and you can clearly see it together with the signs:-
The path was actually laid out back when the Ashworth South site was going to be a new prison so why on earth the present housing developer needs to restrict access to the Station via it beats me. Sefton Highways tell me it’s down to Persimmon Homes to say when the path becomes accessible and from that I’m guessing it forms a part of the site which will be adopted at some point by the Council along with roads and pavements.
I’ll keep on banging the drum………
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.