Southport – Betting on a bright future for our local seaside town

The Liverpool Echo has the story on its website – see link below

www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/seven-reasons-2019-could-southports-15593282

A really positive article here which can only help our local seaside town – well done Liverpool Echo

Sunset -As seen from the end of Southport Pier

But what else could help Southport develop its potential? Well, a bypass around Ormskirk would be a big boost as would regaining the once excellent rail link to Wigan and Manchester which has seen very poor services in recent times.

Remember Southport was built on the success of its railway connection to the east because Manchester business people came to live in the Town due to its once excellent and reliable trains to Manchester. Restoring reliable, comfortable, fast and regular trains on this line could work wonders for Southport. And reconnecting Southport to the north and Preston would be a welcome positive step as well and all it will take is the rebuilding of a short section of connecting track at Burscough.

Departure board at Southport Station.

The Liverpool City Region and indeed Sefton Council needs to stop looking at the Lancashire boundary, which surrounds most of Southport, as a no-go barrier and instead see it as an opportunity. For too long Southport has been held back by an invisible on the ground local government boundary. The transport solutions to help Southport develop are mostly in Lancashire and it’s not rocket science to see what they are!

Southport – The bucket list

Sunset as seen from the end of Southport Pier

The Liverpool Echo has come up with a bucket list for Southport and it’s on the newspaper’s web site – see link below:-

www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/whats-on/whats-on-news/things-southport-before-you-die-14353042

Come to Sunny Southport and do the Echo bucket list!

Birkdale – It’s tramway into Southport – An historic photo

Whilst at the Merseyside Transport Trust Open Day on 9th July I came across and purchased this photo of a horse drawn tram in Birkdale:-

Is this shot taken on Cemetery Road, Southport? Can it be dated by anyone?

Click on the scanned photo to enlarge it

The photo is also amongst my Flickr photos at:-

www.flickr.com/photos/86659476@N07/

Here are links to my previous postings about Southport’s long-gone trams:-

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2014/01/12/southports-tramways/

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2014/02/24/more-on-southports-trams-with-a-wallasey-twist/

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2014/05/14/sefton-the-only-tramway-in-the-borough-southport-pier-tram/

Sadly since my May 2014 posting about Southport’s Pier Tram it has also ceased to run and been disposed of. I understand this was said to be the result of it being too heavy for the aging pier.

BTW – Are the 3 chaps in the photo my old friends and Birkdale Ward Councillors, Richard Hands, Simon Shaw and Iain Brodie Brown?:-)))

Southport – Pier Pleasure

The May edition of The Railway Magazine has a 6 page article entitled Pier Pleasure all about the pier railways of the UK of which we are told there used to be more than a dozen.

rsz_southport_pier_tram_-_fastest_in_the_town

Few are left now but here in Sunny Southport we still have one and there is a short write up about the history of our local pier railway together with a photo of the Silver Belle diesel powered train which ran on the pier up until the 1970’s.

The photo is amongst my Flickr shots at:- www.flickr.com/photos/86659476@N07/15748367594/in/photolist-pZCv2d-nB5wK3-njPo5G-qWy4zN

Southport’s almost forgotten railways and a Town forgotten by Sefton Council.

As well as Southport’s excellent rail service to Liverpool and the (let’s be charitable) it’s less than excellent service to Wigan and Manchester, the Town has two other railways that carry the public around.

rsz_southport_pier_tram_-_fastest_in_the_town

The obvious one is the Pier Tram but a lack of ambition and forward planning by Sefton Council, in particular, means that what could be a useful east – west passenger carrying line still simply shuttles up and down the Pier.

End of the line or the end of Sefton Council's ambition?

End of the line or the end of Sefton Council’s ambition?

The aim of the Town’s Lib Dem councillors is to extend the line to either Southport Railway Station or even to the Central 12 retail park but is anyone in power listening? It seems not as our request for the plan/project to be be included in Sefton’s Local Plan for the Borough has been dismissed. A lack of ambition for the Town can be the only sad conclusion from Bootle based/biased Sefton Council.

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The other line is the Lakeside Railway that has long been a summer-time tourist attraction. Sadly it is looking rather down at heel these days but maybe that is because it is not running past enough places that trippers want to visit? A line around the whole Marine Lake with stations at appropriate places may well be more in keeping with what Southport’s present day tourists require? Just an idea.

What all this tells me is that with Sefton Council now withdrawing behind it’s Bootle barricade Southport is unlikely to prosper if it’s future is left to Bootle Town Hall or even worse Liverpool Town Hall, should a Metro Mayor be imposed on Merseyside.

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England’s Classic seaside resort sadly seems to need to find a way forward despite Sefton Council with its lack of ambition for the Town.

STOP PRESS – Since I penned this posting Sefton Council has also decided to build houses on the Kew Park and Ride car park site instead of looking to the future and using the site for parking cars using a new railway station on the Southport, Wigan, Manchester line. I despair!

The photos above are amongst my Flickr shots at:-
www.flickr.com/photos/86659476@N07/