Liverpool Airport – Is this really a good investment for cash-strapped Liverpool City Council?

www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/business/liverpool-council-investment-would-support-10319471

The Liverpool Echo has the story – see link above

We all want Liverpool Airport to do well but the reality is that it has been a money looser for many years. So when we hear that Liverpool City Council, which say it does not have a Penny to bless itself with, is about to put money into the potentially continuing black hole it makes you wonder.

What’s more it’s not so long ago (just 6 months actually) that KPMG the auditors for John Lennon Airport said, for want of better words, that it was then a struggling concern. See the link below from my colleague Andrew Makinson on Twitter:-

twitter.com/Andrewmakinson/status/657545069759700992?utm_source=fb&utm_medium=fb&utm_campaign=Andrewmakinson&utm_content=657545069759700992

Spending large amounts of money on speculative investments and paying Joe Anderson’s legal fees whilst moaning that the City Council is all but broke indicates, at best, a confused lack of clear priority setting for the spending of the City Council’s scarce resources in my view.

Lancashire Life Magazine – Expansion at Seaforth Dock

Thumbing through a July 2015 copy of this magazine in a local coffee shop I came across a really positive spin article about the new river berth dock at Seaforth and the extra freight traffic that will go through it from later this year.

The present Seaforth Docks and hinterland

The present Seaforth Docks and hinterland

This is a subject I have comment on before but this article really brought home to me how out of sync Sefton Council, the Highways Agency and Network Rail are with the project.

The obvious question is why have these public sector agencies and the Council not brought forward, for public inspection and consultation, any firm proposals to deal with freight access to the port bearing in mind that increased levels of heavy good lorries are going to be thundering through Netherton & Bootle very soon indeed?

It’s not as if they don’t know about the port expansion or the negative consequences that it could well have on the environment and the Netherton/Bootle/Seaforth communities. Indeed, they have known about it for a long, long time.

To quote from the Lancashire Life article it says ‘In December this year Peel Ports massive new Liverpool complex comes into operation’ and ‘It’s been a long time in the planning’.

Well one thing is for sure the Council, Highways Agency and Network Rail seem to have been a long time in the snoozing as goodness knows how long it will be before they have a solution to the increased lorries and associated air pollution that they bring to the south Sefton communities.

Investment in Merseyside’s Motorways & A5036

www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/years-delays-ahead-merseyside-motorways-9557052

The Liverpool Echo has the story – see link above.

The investment in the A5036 from Switch Island to Seaforth Docks is not detailed in the Echo story but then again it would seem that they (the Highways Agency) are not even close to a firm proposals position as yet i.e. they are still pondering upgrading the A5036 or putting a new road down the Rimrose Valley Country Park or indeed both! My previous post of a few days ago refers:-

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2015/06/26/access-to-the-port-of-liverpool-getting-there-slowly/

By the way have you driven along the M57 (northbound carriageway) between the junction with the M62 and the Prescot turn off? If you have you will probably be thinking about those mounds of tarmac in the slow lane that have appeared in recent times. I assume they are meant to fill in potholes but they are are raised up well above the rest of the road surface and drivers can be seen trying to avoid them by weaving around them! Yes, I know, this is a motorway for goodness sake surely the Highways Agency can fix potholes properly, can’t they?

Access to the Port of Liverpool – Getting there slowly!

A few days after I published (see link below) on this very blog site issues of concern about the plodding nature of the process to identify and consult upon options to get traffic to and from this ever busier port the Champion newspaper carried the article below:-

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2015/06/22/seaforth-peels-new-river-berth-construction-moves-forward-but/
IMG

It seems that the plodding nature of this process is set to continue as there is not going to be any public consultation for another 18 to 24 months. Makes you wonder what on earth the Highways Agency, Network Rail and Sefton Council have been doing about this matter for the past 2 or 3 years does it not.

I don’t know about you but I suspect it suits some folk to keep kicking this issue into the long grass – yes I am talking about the Bootle Labour Party here! But doing that simply means it will come back harder when the crunch really does hit. Labour have never wanted this aired in public as they fear what the folks who live around the A5036 and Rimrose valley Country Park will do to them!

I have been saying for a long time now that Sefton Council needs to be leading the debate and pushing for as much freight as possible to go by rail and in doing so get the mothballed Aintree – Bootle line opened up again. Apart from stopping development on this old trackbed in their draft Local Plan it looks like very little is actually being done by Sefton to lead the debate so the Highways Agency are doing their own thing.

I wonder if blaming the Highways Agency for an ‘unacceptable solution’ when it may be too late to change things is the tactic of Labour run Sefton Council?

Maybe a job for the press here to smoke the real story out.

Getting there slowly both in terms of the access project and the congestion.

Seaforth – Peel’s new river berth construction moves forward BUT…..

www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/business/watch-construction-work-300m-liverpool2-9482897

The present Seaforth Docks and hinterland

The present Seaforth Docks and hinterland

The Liverpool Echo has the story of the construction – see link above.

BUT, what is happening with regard to how goods are going to get to and from the port when the new river berth has been constructed and is in use? The Echo article makes reference to transhipment down the Manchester Ship Canal but that is not where all the addition freight is going to go.

Sefton Council, The Highways Agency, Network Rail and Liverpool City Council have been ‘looking into this’ for years yet we know precious little about the proposed solutions that are actually going to be proposed. Yes there’s been a lot of talk and speculation but real hard facts on which residents living near to the port and along the A5036 corridor to Switch Island can be fully consulted upon is hard to find indeed.

Is the old Aintree – Bootle freight railway line, which has been mothballed for years, going to be opened up again?

Do the Council really want to drive a new road down the Rimrose Valley Country Park?

What are the noise and air pollution consequences going to be of hundreds of additional diesel powered lorries thundering through Seaforth, Litherland and Netherton?

Is it not about time all this was debated in the open so that we all know what’s going on?

Switch Island – Seaforth Docks road link – Many questions need to be answered

www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/mersey-docks-set-motorway-link-8202582

The Liverpool Echo has the story – see link above – but the quote from that article below does not really take us any further forward.

‘Funding has been secured to upgrade the A5036 Princess Way – through Seaforth and Litherland – which links Liverpool’s ports to the motorway network.

This upgrade was announced last summer as part of the Liverpool Local Growth Deal.’

This has been a subject that Sefton Council, in particular, has not been at all keen to talk about. Indeed, getting behind this story to gain some detail over recent months has been like pulling teeth.

So now the cat is completely out of the bag can we please be told how this upgrade of the A5036 is to proposed to be achieved and the environmental and community impacts of such proposals? It is no use doing deals behind closed doors just to impose an already agreed solution on South and East Sefton’s communities