Maghull/Lydiate – Sefton Bus Review implications

Maghull Station buses back in the 1970’s

I’m told that as a result of the recent Bus Review by Merseytravel in Sefton, the following alterations are proposed from 1st September:

* New service 32A introduced to offer a peak hour service for South and West Maghull to Maghull Station and Westway/The Square.

* Service 32/33 hours extended to run of an evening and Sunday.

* Peak hour service 34/34A to be withdrawn due to low usage following the opening of Maghull North Station.

Anyone spotted any other local implications on Maghull/Lydiate from this review please let me know.

Here’s a link to the detail for changes across Sefton Borough from the Merseytravel website:-

Note:- Still no proposal to route a circular bus serving Lydiate to the new Maghull North Station via Maghull Square, a request I have heard on a number of occasions from Lydiate folk. There’s clearly a view out there that some Lydiate folk feel that a bus to the new station would be a much quicker link to Merseyrail. Would be interesting to hear why it has not been trialed…..

With thanks to Kevin Duggan for the lead to this posting

Lydiate – An NHS back water with little in the way of public transport to get to major NHS facilities

There are no GP’s or dentists in Lydiate, the only dentist closed not so long ago. That in itself is unfortunate but if you look at the direct public transport links from Lydiate to the major local NHS facilities the picture is also poor.

This is me with the Lydiate & Maghull resident's petition in 2015 at a 311 bus stop in Lydiate. The petition was not collected by me I would add but by the hard work of locals concerned about the loss of this Arriva route to Ormskirk. The battle was sadly lost.

This is me with the Lydiate & Maghull resident’s petition in 2015 at a 311 bus stop in Lydiate. The petition was not collected by me I would add but by the hard work of locals concerned about the loss of this Arriva route to Ormskirk. The battle was sadly lost.

Lydiate (along with Aintree Village & Maghull) lost the 311 bus route in 2015 which linked it with Ormskirk and of course its hospital. Yes the 310 Liverpool – Ormskirk route just skims the eastern edge of Lydiate but its a long trek for most Lydiate residents to get to a bus stop for it on the A59.

Lydiate (together with Maghull, Melling and Aintree Village) has no direct public transport link to Litherland NHS Walk-In Centre, indeed it never has had such a link despite calls for one. I recall saying, when the Walk-In Centre first opened in the early 2000’s, that it could not reasonably be seen to serve the Eastern Parishes of Sefton Borough because of the lack of direct public transport links to it. Of course we were also fighting for a Walk-In Centre to be provided in Maghull at the time and even got to the stage of the NHS allocating money to rebuild Maghull Health Centre with provision for a Walk-In facility. But then out of the blue the NHS pulled the plug on the project for reasons that have never been satisfactorily explained. I was of course pleased when Maghull Councillor Matt Gannon relaunched the campaign for a Walk-In Centre in Maghull in 2016. I also understand that Maghull Town Council will be including such an aim in its draft Neighbourhood Plan for the Town.

Lydiate’s link to Fazakerley Hospital has been via the 236 bus route in recent years. However, this route is no longer serving Lydiate as a consequence of Merseytravel confirming their Sefton Bus Review proposals recently. This is quite obviously a blow to Lydiate folks visiting friends and relatives by bus in that hospital.

Now the Sefton Bus Review proposals have been confirmed Lydiate’s only direct bus link with a major NHS facility will be via the 300 bus route to Southport and of course its hospital.

The last Chairman of Lydiate Parish Council, Dave Russell, tried every possible way possible to get an NHS facility within Lydiate Village Centre when planning for the new centre was at an early stage but the NHS managed to slip from his grasp there too.

Yes for me Lydiate is sadly an NHS back water both in terms of facilities in the community and with regard to direct public transport links to local hospitals and Walk-In Centres.

Stop Press – I had written this posting a while back but had not got around to finishing it of for publication. Then last night at Lydiate Parish Council’s Neighbourhood Plan meeting the very same issues came up and there seemed to be broad consensus that another attempt to gain NHS primary care facilities within Lydiate had to be made. Let’s hope such a plan will win the day this time around.

Liverpool – The trouble getting there early on a Sunday morning

We live in a 7 day a week society/economy these days and I often wonder if there is not more traffic on our roads on a Sunday than any other day.

But this is not really a posting about the rights and wrongs about Sunday trading. I’m an atheist so the religious angles are not an issue for me but I am also a trade unionist and I really do fear the exploitation of workers and a breakdown of family life. However, I will leave those aspects to one side for now.

No, the reason for this posting is associated with the ability of those who do not drive to be able to access a city like Liverpool from its northern suburbs early on a Sunday morning.

Let’s look at Merseyrail and Maghull to start with. The first train out of Maghull on a Sunday morning is at 8.30am. And if you live north of Ormskirk the Ormskirk – Preston line does not run at all on a Sunday!

Then what about say Lydiate and Arriva buses? Well their first 300 bus on a Sunday to Liverpool is at 08.25am.

But are there any other bus options? Well there’s the No.30/30A bus which starts from Ashworth Hospital. The first bus (30A) on a Sunday runs at 7.22am from Ashworth using Dodds Lane, Moss Lane, Hall Lane, Liverpool Road South. Note it does not serve the north west of Maghull or Lydiate at all. The next bus is a number 30 which starts at 7.43am and covers a similar route although it does call in at Maghull Railway Station at 7.51am some 39 minutes before the first train out of Maghull to Liverpool.

If you need to be in work early on a Sunday and do not have a car or more likely are in a low paid job and can’t afford to run one what are your options if you live in the north west part of Maghull or any part of Lydiate other than a high cost taxi?

PS. I penned this posting before Merseytravel’s Sefton Bus Review proposals were made public just yesterday but I don’t think they change this situation much sadly:-

My last but one posting prior to this one was about the impact of the Sefton Bus Review on the Lydiate and Maghull area.

Sefton Bus Review – The proposals

A shot of the recently lost 311 route

A shot of the recently lost 311 route

The proposals are on Merseytravel’s web site and the link is above.

I have had a quick look at the proposals and two things jumped out at me i.e. the continuing lack of a bus service between Lydiate and Ormskirk (following the loss of the 311 route not so long ago) and on a more mixed note some service improvements to the 236 (now to be renumbered 36), which presently links Lydiate and Maghull, to Fazakerley Hospital. BUT there is a down side to the 236/36 route change in that it will no longer serve Lydiate at all as far as I can see. The significance of both the already lost 311 route and the seeming loss of the 236 to Lydiate is that they both link with local hospitals. This is not good news.

To be honest I and indeed locals who know far more about local bus services and the bus industry generally were expecting much more bad news than in these draft proposals but as I say Lydiate looks to be a loser of here.

I need to get my head around the proposals in more detail though and welcome comments in response to this posting especially if I have got anything wrong.

With thanks to Lydiate Parish Council and Kevin for the lead to this posting.

Sefton Bus Review – What about the inadequate 236 route?

I have posted about this rather worrying review a number of times. My last posting is available via the link below:-

But one thing I missed out of my own submission to the review is the situation with regard to the 236 route. I knew about it but it slipped my mind when I was talking to the Merseytravel people at Maghull Square during their consultation tour of the Borough.

The Merseytravel bus routes consultation event recently held in Maghull.

The Merseytravel bus routes consultation event recently held in Maghull.

The issue is this. The 236 needs to run during weekday evenings and Sunday daytime to enable the visiting of patients (from the Maghull, Lydiate, Melling area) at Fazakerley Hospital, as not everyone in Maghull has a car and taxis are not cheap! It’s also the case that the 236 is not run on a clockface timetable so it is difficult to know when it is running without having access to a timetable.

I have now made these points to Merseytravel and hope they will take them on board as they conduct their review of bus services across the Borough of Sefton.

Once again my thanks to Kevin for his help with this posting.

Sefton Bus Review – Merseytravel put it back/defer it but why?

A shot of the recently lost 311 route

A shot of the recently lost 311 route

From the Merseytravel Web Site –

A Merseytravel spokesperson said: “Following feedback from the public at the initial consultation stage and further discussions with councillors and bus operators, a decision has been taken to delay the implementation of the Sefton Bus Network Review. This will allow for further time to assess the consultation findings.

“The proposals will now be published at a later date for people to be able to give their views. As a result the original start date for the changes to be implemented has been moved from January 2017 to April 2017.

Arriva bus at The Meadows in Maghull

Arriva bus at The Meadows in Maghull

I have blogged about this previously, here are a couple of links to those previous postings:-

The Merseytravel bus routes consultation event recently held in Maghull.

The Merseytravel bus routes consultation event recently held in Maghull.

Now call me a cynic but I smell trouble for Sefton’s bus network and when the ruling politicians who presently run Sefton Council and Merseytravel smell trouble they defer things for ‘more consideration’ or ‘more information’ or ‘more consultation’ or even just for a way out.

With thanks to Kevin for the lead to this story