Formby – Temporary repairs done on cycle/footpath route

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2017/09/11/formby-footpathcycle-path-bridge-collapsing/

I posted a few days ago about the damaged cycle/footbridge over a stream just south of Formby – my previous posting is accessible via the link above – and am pleased to say that some temporary repairs have been completed.

Here’s a couple of shots of the temporary repairs taken by Roy Connell.

Thanks to Sefton Council’s Footpath Officer for acting quickly to try to make the bridge safe. I understand that the bridge is to be replaced by Sefton Council.

With thanks to Roy Connell for the lead to this posting

Formby – Footpath/Cycle path bridge collapsing

Word gets around that I sit on the Sefton Rights of Way Liaison Group and I have recently been asked to press Sefton Council to take action to repair the bridge just at the north end of Altcar Rifle Range, close to the Southport – Liverpool railway line where the path emerges from beside the Range and railway into open land before reaching the southern end of Formby at Andrews Lane.

The photos below show how damaged this bridge is:-

It’s been in a poor state for a number of weeks now and clearly there’s a potential for an accident so I hope Sefton can put things right ASAP.

With thanks to Roy Connell for the lead to this posting

Liverpool City Region’s Rights of Way Improvement Plan – Your views wanted by Merseytravel

Footpath off Bridges Lane in Sefton Village

www.merseytravel.gov.uk/about-us/local-transport-delivery/Pages/Public-Rights-of-Way-Strategy.aspx

The link above takes you to the web site of Merseytravel and the consultation documents they would like responses to – please have a look if you like cycling or walking locally off road.

Gate and stile from Butchers Lane in Aughton to Millbank in Maghull.

I sit of the Sefton Rights of Way Group representing Lydiate and Maghull Councils so this is matter of interest to me, I am also a regular walker and cyclist.

My view is that what we need to get across to policy makers throughout the Liverpool City Region is that the development of pedestrian pathways are vital to the health and wellbeing of our communities. In short we need the following:-

* More hard surfaced paths which enable their use by cycles and those with disabilities
* Clearly way marked circular routes suitable for push chairs and wheelchairs
* Cycle routes that connect communities
* A clear programme to deliver such improvements over the life of the next ROWIP within obviously tight resources.

Please join in and let the powers that be know what you think as they work on the Next Rights of Way Improvement Plan (ROWIP) for Merseyside.

Sefton Borough – Accessible countryside routes for those with disabilities are very limited

I posted not so long ago about Sefton Council’s Rights of Way Liaison Group which I happen to sit on representing both Lydiate and Maghull Councils.

An issue raised with me recently by a Maghull resident was with regard to someone in their family having disability restrictions who finds it hard to access our local countryside.

Accessible paths like this are required by people with disabilities

There’s no doubt this is an issue and it’s one that is often compounded by the obstacles that are placed on public rights of way to try to stop abuse of them by motorbikes/quadbikes. The Leeds Liverpool Canal tow path and Cheshire Lines Path come to mind here. This is of course on top of routes often being uneven, crossing fields, stiles etc. All of these things can be overcome by those of us who are capable of walking/climbing freely but they are a barrier to those with restricted mobility.

I undertook to investigate the matter with the Sefton Council officer who leads our local Liaison Group and this is what he said in response:-

Hi Councillor

In regards to fully accessible countryside routes, unfortunately these are limited in number.

It is an action in the current Rights of Way Improvement Plan to work on improving the accessibility of the network and work in partnership with people with mobility impairments and as such efforts and improvements to accessibility are being made.

Under the Active Walks scheme there is an independent walks pack that has 24 walking routes in various locations around the borough and some of these are promoted as being accessible. The details of these routes can be found on the Sefton website via

www.sefton.gov.uk/around-sefton/walking-cycling/walking-routes-and-ideas.aspx

I think this is clearly a piece of work in progress and with severely restricted amounts of public money being around these days you would have to be quite an optimist to think that much will happen soon. However, whenever I get the opportunity I intend to bang the drum for disability access to Sefton’s countryside.

This is the front cover of the Rights of Way Improvement Plan made reference to above:-

This document, which covers all of Merseyside, runs to 98 pages and is due to be updated next year

it runs to 98 pages and is due to be updated by 2018.

Sefton Rights of Way – Any issues out there?

For my sins (can an atheist sin?) I am a member of this Group which meets on a 3 monthly basis to discuss and highlight issues with the Borough’s public footpath and bridleway network.

Footpath of Bridges Lane in Sefton Village

I represent both Maghull Town and Lydiate Parish Councils on the Group and am happy to take up issues with public rights of way in the two civil parishes and beyond. So if you have any comments to make please get in touch with me.

And whilst on the subject of walking I am presently reading a book by Stuart Maconie called ‘The Pie at Night’ – its all about what those of us Oop North do for fun! I was struck by some comments about the Ramblers Association now re-branded Ramblers. What I did not know was that it grew out of the Communist British Workers Sport Federation. Can I hear any Conservative members of Ramblers laughing at that surprising bit of history?

Sefton Rights of Way Liaison Group

Now here’s something that could have been utterly boring but was actually quite interesting.

I attended my first meeting of this group recently representing both Lydiate Parish Council (which I am a member of) and Maghull Town Council (which I am not a member of). The meeting was held in Ainsdale’s Discovery Centre near to Pontins.

Other Parish Councils in Sefton were represented on it together with Ramblers and horse riding groups.

I have always had a fascination with public footpaths and regularly walk them both locally and further afield with Sheila and old chum Keith.

Scramble motorbikes on the local footpath network are a constant menace so erecting barriers to make life difficult for them is desirable where it’s possible. The representative of Sefton Parish Council asked for a style to be considered for the start of the footpath to Netherton off Bridges Lane in Sefton Village. Presently there is just a gap that makes scramble bikes access rather too easy. Here’s a photo of the site:-

Footpath off Bridges Lane, Sefton Village 27 05 16

A worrying problem that could do with being addressed is the lack of safe crossing facilities across the Formby by-pass particularly for horse riders. As you can imagine this road, with a speed limit of 60mph and which will usually have vehicles travelling on it at over over 70mph, is not a safe one to cross. A solution could be costly but I hope one will be fully investigated as a consequence of our discussion today.

We also touched on the recent success of the Sustrans Merseyside North Volunteers who not so long ago won a large grant from Tesco to improve the environment around the Sefton Drive (Maghull) access footpath to the Cheshire Lines Footpath/Trans Pennine Trail. This is the area concerned. The photo is from 2013:-

rsz_sefton_drive_litter_01_13

The tragic accidents where Fisherman’s Path crosses the Liverpool – Southport railway line in Formby also came up and we were assured that Sefton Council and Network Rail were still trying to find viable solutions following a number of pedestrian deaths in recent times. My previous blog posting from January this year refers to one of the tragic accidents – see link below:-

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2016/01/21/formby-another-death-at-fishermans-path-level-crossing/

So on the whole and interesting first meeting for me.

What is important though is that issues with the Sefton public footpath and bridleway network are reported so that they can be addressed. So if you come across issues such as broken styles, overgrown paths, fallen trees blocking paths, illegal blocking of paths by land owners etc. just let me know and I will pass the concerns on to Sefton Council in the hope that they can be addressed.