Switch Island to Maghull Cycle Route

Cycle path under construction between Switch Island and the River Alt along the A59 – April 2018. This section is now of course complete up to the River Alt bridge.

Regular readers will recall that I’ve raised the issue of the cycle route from Switch Island to Maghull petering more or less where the A59 Northway crosses the River Alt on the Maghull boundary.

My previous relevant posting on the matter can be accessed via this link:-

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2018/04/25/maghull-new-cycle-track-from-switch-island-towards-maghull-on-a59/

Where the cycle route presently stops at the Northway/A59 River Alt bridge.

Following the posting linked above I ascertained from Sefton Council’s highway engineers that they intended to deliver a new safe cycle route alongside the rest of the A59 to the Liverpool Road South junction. Seeing the road works and the presently closed access to Liverpool Road South I decided to check on the delivery of the cycle route and my understanding is this. At present Statutory Undertakers are diverting their equipment (which is the works currently on site) and the main contractor is scheduled to start soon. The junction improvements and cycle path should, I’m told, be completed this financial year.

Thanks to Sefton Highways for the update.

Click on the photos to enlarge them.

River Alt – Everything drains into around these parts

Following all the heavy rain of recent days it’s sadly no surprise that the River Alt is struggling to to deal with all the water flowing into it from the land and other drainage brooks, streams and ditches. In turn this means flood alerts for parts of Maghull as the river water rises.

The first shot below was taken yesterday from the aqueduct which takes the Leeds Liverpool Canal over the Alt near to Aintree Village:-

Just back towards Melling there’s a runoff for the canal to keep it’s levels down and I could see it was in use. I’m guessing that this runoff also goes, eventually, into the River Alt.

The second shot below was also taken yesterday where the A59 (Northway) crosses the Alt in Maghull:-

Then we move on to today and the consequential flooding of Sefton Lane/Bridges Lane on the Maghull/Sefton Village boundary. Here the Alt flows under Bridges Lane and this is how it looks:-

At face value the river looks to be coping until you move a little further east along Bridge Lane to where Dovers Brook is crossed by Bridges Ln/Sefton Ln. It looks like this:-

The first shot is looking north with the adjacent houses on Sefton Lane* clearly visible. The second shot looks like the Dovers Brook has been halted by a stone wall but in fact it’s the bridge under Sefton Ln where the arch of it has been covered by the floodwaters. The houses here are being affected as is sadly often the case when Dovers Brook backs up.

My understanding is that the Alt being so high stops Dovers Brook from emptying into it, hence the backing up. Although there’s nothing new about this problem (I recall Sefton Ln flooding here when I was a lad living on the Lane in the 1960’s /1970’s) it’s all the more frustrating that after many years the problem has not been resolved. You have to feel for the residents of this isolated row of houses and elsewhere along Dovers Brook when it over-tops.

With more rain anticipated tomorrow, well I don’t need to say any more do I………

*Sefton Ln/Bridges Ln has already been closed during the present foul weather although it was passable this afternoon. However, this is what it looked like in December 2015 when the section of road between Dovers Brook and the River Alt was a river in itself:-

A flooded Bridges Lane between Dovers Brook and the River Alt – when it all got too much in December 2015

Maghull – Footbridge to where?

The other day I was cycling the short path that leads from Green Lane to the Cheshire Lines Path/Trans Pennine Trail when I noticed workmen reconstructing a footbridge across Maghull Brook.

Maghull Brook is the boundary between Maghull & Lydiate and it also forms part of the boundary between Sefton and West Lancs. It was indeed this very brook that the Leeds Liverpool Canal collapsed into in 1995. Here’s a reminder of that day:-

Anyway I digress as this posting is about what seems to be a rarely used Maghull Footpath which the bridge pictured above serves. Trouble is I have never seen anyone use that footpath, a point also made to me by one of the workmen who clearly lived locally. The path runs northwards effectively alongside Maghull Brook towards that group of houses on the sharp bend in Bells Lane. The houses, once known as Upper Gore Farm but now called Mercer Court, are actually just in West Lancashire. In fact two footpaths radiate from that group of houses, the one we are talking about here and a second which ends up crossing the Cheshire Lines Path and then the River Alt on Showicks Bridge and leads you to either Sefton or Lunt Villages.

Showicks Bridge over the River Alt

Um, I seem to digressed again! Anyway a footpath sign showing where the path across the recently rebuilt bridge goes would be handy, then maybe it would be used by walkers who don’t have a local Ordnance Survey Map.

Magull to Netherton section of Trans Pennine Trail

If you have ever used the signposted section of the TransPennine Trail from the Cheshire Lines Path in Maghull (just south of the access at Meadway) towards Chapel Lane in Netherton and the new Brooms Cross Road you will know what poor condition the surface is in through Jubilee Woods and across the River Alt. Here’s some photos:-

This path/cyclepath is Numbered 62 on the National Cycle Network and I have taken the poor condition of it up with Sefton Council who are responsible for the Trail throughout its journey through the Borough. At this stage I’m not sure what remedial work they are able to do but if I hear more I will post it on this blog site.

Scrambler bikes – The menace that is never far away

www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/man-arrested-after-pedestrian-hit-14063772

The Liverpool Echo has the story on its web site – see link above

And here we see the sad consequences of irresponsible scrambler bike riding.

It’s far from being a new problem though, indeed it goes back 25 years or more at least. In my years as a councillor one consistent complaint that has come my way, especially in the summer months, has been the menace of scrambler bikes on the Cheshire Line Path/Trans Pennine Trail, on The Leeds Liverpool Canal tow path and on Jubilee Woods between Maghull and Sefton Village.

But now they are all over our roads and one was even driven through Bootle Strand Shopping Centre not so long ago!

In my experience the Police are quick to react to information about where the bikes are being stored because seizing them at such places is far safer than trying to catch them when they are being driven at speed.

I recall one occasion when a sharp eyed resident spotted a van that regularly parked up near the River Alt on Bridges Lane and from which scrambler bikes were unloaded. The boy and girls in blue dealt with that one.

My advice is always tell the police when you see a scrambler bike being driven erratically as it helps them put together a picture of where they appearing. Even better if you know of where any of them are being stored, please ring Crime Stoppers.

It’s so sad that an innocent pedestrian has been run down by an irresponsible scrambler bike driver.

Lydiate – well not really but just into Great Atcar but only by yards

There’s a public footpath/public right of way just where Lydiate’s Bells Lane joins Altcar Lane in Great Altcar Parish. The path crosses the fields of Great Altcar and ends up at Showicks Bridge, which is a footbridge over the River Alt. When you cross the bridge you are back in Sefton Borough (in Lunt Meadows Wetlands & Nature Reserve) as you were in Lydiate but the whole length of the path is actually in Lancashire County such is the odd shape of Sefton Borough.

The former Upper Gore Farm now a small housing development

The former Upper Gore Farm now a small housing development

And why do I raise this matter now? Well the footpath is not presently sign posted at the junction of Bells Lane/Altcar Lane and it could do with being so to aid walkers. It does not help that to those unfamiliar with the area, or who have not got an Ordnance Survey map with them, the path looks to go through a small housing development (which it does) that used to be Upper Gore Farm.

Showicks Bridge over the River Alt

Showicks Bridge over the River Alt

I have raised the matter with Sefton Council’s Footpaths Officer and have contacted the Public Rights of Way Team at Lancashire Council in the hope that a finger pointing sign for the path can be erected.