Maghull – It’s new North Station certainly has had it’s fair share of snagging issues

I guess that any new building and construction will have its snagging issues but Maghull’s new North station certainly has had what some folk would suggest is more than its fair share.

* No level access off School Lane for pedestrians, cycles and those with disability until 3 months after the station was opened and still no dropped kerb off School Lane for cyclists.

* A rather strong smell which I’m told is now being attended to.
* Lifts not working to platforms for first couple of weeks after station opening.
* Still a non-functioning public toilet

* No pedestrian/cycle path from Park Lane yet

* Appalling noise from testing of PA system
* Why only one small open shelter on the busy Liverpool bound platform?

Another issue raised by some locals is the old 6ft wooden boarded fence which has mostly been taken away but for part that fronts the station onto School Lane. Yes it presently has artwork on large banners affixed to it that was produced by local school children but obviously those banners will have a limited life. What happens to the old fence then? It will be no positive advert for Merseyrail that’s for sure when the banners are gone.

And of course there’s some head scratching going on about why the bus stops are a fair step or fifty away from the station:-

Don’t get me wrong, I’m delighted that it’s been built as I campaigned for it over many years but I really do wonder about the detail of the project management. And you may wonder why I’ve not mentioned the size of the car park which is clearly a problem too i.e. it seems to be far too small. Well yes it is but that’s really a consequence of the lack of adequate car parking at the 3 stations north of Maghull North, indeed Aughton Park has none at all! Also the pricing structure of tickets can encourage folk to drive to Maghull’s 2 stations to pick up a Liverpool bound train. Trouble is this in turn means that whilst Maghull has a vast car park and Maghull North has a reasonably sized one there’s no room on a normal work day in either for Maghull, Lydiate and Melling resident’s cars unless they get there very early. This unfortunate conundrum, which will inevitably lead to more and more commuter’s cars being parked on the Poppy Fields Estate, needs to be addressed by Merseytravel & Lancashire County Council.

Click on any of the photos to enlarge them.

Maghull – Foot and cycle path to Park Lane from new station

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.

Maghull – It’s new North Railway Station will have level access soon – Only 3 months after it opened!

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
or
It’s Merseytravel’s/Merseyrail’s/Sefton Council’s/Persimmon’s/Network Rail’s responsibility
or
Sefton Council will provide a dropped kerb if someone else pays for it
or
There’s no money and its not going to happen
or
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 – Some ‘from experience’ reflections on that new North Station

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.

Maghull – Its new North Station – An accessible interchange?

As I have been looking at the layout of the new Maghull North Station two things in particular jump out at me which don’t seem at all right.

Firstly, the vast majority of those approaching the station by foot, on a cycle, pushing a pram, using a disability buggy etc. will do so coming from the direction of Maghull Square yet the access to the new station from this direction is at present via a short flight of steps:-

There’s no alternative to these steps, there’s no dropped kerb and hard standing to School Lane so how are people with disabilities and those arriving on a bike supposed to access the station? The alternative presently is a very long detour along School Lane and then back again via the new Poppy Fields housing estate road.

Could it be that a level/accessible access is still to be provided? I’m wondering if this may be the case because of uncompleted works some 20 or 30 yards away from the steps? See what I mean?:-

Secondly, the bus stops for the new station, on School Lane, are not exactly close to it:-

In the summer maybe the walk to the bus stops is a pleasant one but in winter? Why has it not been possible to create an bus/rail interchange like you see at many stations where both are located right next to each other? This whole area has been designed from scratch so I’m scratching my head about this, I really am.

The new station is great (I use it, indeed I campaigned for it to be built over many, many years) but clearly there are teething troubles which need addressing.

With thanks to the Aintree & Maghull Champion newspaper for making this their lead story in their edition of 1st August 2018

Maghull to Kirkby via Melling – A cycle path for Prescot Road/School Lane?

Well it seems so as Sefton and Knowsley Councils are planning to construct one.

It will effectively run from the site of the new Maghull North railway station, over the Ashworth Junction of the M58 (where there’s already a short section of cycle path taking cyclists around the busy motorway junction) and on down Prescot Road towards Kirkby. The photo below shows the end of the present cycle path as you go around the junction heading towards Melling Mount:-

Sefton and Knowsley Councils are still developing proposals for the cycle track but the project has funding secured. Construction is scheduled for 2020 as I understand it. However, construction of the first section adjacent to the junction will take place soon as part of the contract to build the new westerly slip roads to the M58 junction. This move should alleviate the cyclists problem on the Kirkby side of the junction which I have previously identified.

I’m also told that on the Maghull side of the motorway junction, there will be a requirement on the developer/s of the proposed business park and housing development to continue the cycle path across the whole of the north of the site alongside School Lane. What is being referred to here is Maghull’s urban extension on the Maghull East site. The map below may assist in understanding the geography of what i an blogging about:-

The large red area is the ‘Maghull East’ urban extension. The M58 Junction 1 is in grey – with Prescot Road running north to south on the right of the map. School Lane runs across the northerly edge of red area. The yellow area is the presently being constructed Poppy Fields, Pavilions housing developments and new station site

More news when I have it.