Me in my cycling gear looking grumpy over the lack of investment in Sefton’s cycling infrastructure.
Being a regular cyclist I often talk about the deficiencies in the cycling network in Sefton Borough’s East Parishes – Aintree Village, Melling, Lydiate, Maghull & Sefton/Lunt Villages – so when I came across the article linked below my eyes light up, if only just a little. And by just a little I mean that’s related to the the small amount of money on the table – £2m will fund very little in terms of safe cycling. Have a look at the article:-
Yes you’ve probably picked up on the very same issue that I did i.e. nothing for the East Parishes part of Sefton Borough what so ever! To save you going back to the article this is what it says will be done in Sefton Borough:-
Sefton: Cycle route through Southport town centre, segregated cycle route from Bootle town centre to Liverpool city centre.
And you know just relatively small investments in the cycling network in the East Parishes would bring some benefits. I blogged about a few of these not so long ago in the Maghull, Melling & Lydiate area:-
When will Sefton Council invest in the Cycling infrastructure of the East Parishes to sort out the simple missing links that are already sat there never mind getting down to serious cycle facility investment in the forgotten part of our Borough? Yes I know a new cycle path is being built from the M58 ‘Ashworth’ junction in Melling to Kirkby and there’s also been a recent ‘half hearted’ attempt to bring a cycle path into Maghull along the A59 from Switch Island but that’s about it for the East Parishes of the Borough.
Glad I got that off my chest…….
Farm access bridge over the former Cheshire Lines Railway between the former Lydiate and Sefton & Maghull Stations.
My exercise as we all try to keep safe is solo cycling around the East Parishes part of Sefton Borough and into West Lancs and South Sefton.
One of my recent rides (on a glorious Sunday morning) was from my Lydiate home down the Cheshire Lines Path/Trans Pennine Trail from the site of the former Lydiate Station down to the site of the former Sefton and Maghull Station, then on via Old Racecourse Road to regain the path at Meadway. From there through Jubilee Woods to the new Brooms Cross Road and into Netherton joining the A5036 cycle path at Copy Lane and back into Maghull via Switch Island, the A59 (Northway) and local roads and lanes back home. It was 9.5 miles in total.
I took a few photos along the way and here they are:-
I spotted this sign on a tree right next to the farm bridge in the lead photo above. It seems to be part of a trail by Altside Scouts but I’ve not seen any of the others.
Looking north from a bridge over the River Alt. Sefton Church can be made out in the background.
I wonder what the back story is to this road nameplate just off the Northern Perimeter Road in Netherton?
Commemoration boulder at Switch Island
A closer look – It’s Maghull’s very own Cliff Mainey now living in retirement in Maghull’s Gainsborough Avenue.
The road works which have been driving local folk around the bend at the Alt in Maghull. Still more to be done as the junction is upgraded.
I hope I can keep going with my solo cycling around our local lanes, roads, tracks and cycle paths during health crisis. You never know I might detail more of my rides……….
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:-
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.
Most folk do not walk or cycle around the now infamous Switch Island where the M57 & M58 Motorways join with the A59, A5036 and the new(ish) Brooms Cross Road but it’s quite possible and even safe to do so. Indeed it’s probably safer than driving around it based on the almost daily road traffic accidents that happen there. However, if you do walk or cycle it you will come across this large boulder with 2 metal plaques set into it:-
The plaques record the 1st and 2nd phases of the reconstruction of the junction in 1998 and 2006. But what about the other phases? I think there have been 2 additional ones – one when Brooms Cross Road was joined to it and then very recently when major re-signage and safety changes were made. Now it could be that austerity means there’s no money for additional plaques, or the boulder’s not big enough for additional ones, or despite all the phases and changes the damn thing (the island not the boulder) is a bit of an embarrassment to Highways England so they are trying to keep a low profile? All 3 are, I’m willing to believe, potentially the case of course.
Click on the photo to enlarge it
I’m probably getting near to doing this one to death but with Highways England having just spent a few £m on ‘upgrading’ it for safety reasons I’m struggling to see how they have effectively tackled speeding.
To my mind, one of the major issues at this junction has always been the approach speed of vehicles coming off the M57. Yes, I know that unfamiliarity with the junction (by infrequent users) and the complexity of it leads to accidents as well due to drivers veering from lane to lane. And it seems to be this aspect that Highways England has tried to address with new signage (although some say it has made things worse), lane lights etc. BUT the vital speeding aspect has seemingly been ‘addressed’ by just putting up large (and largely ignored) 50mph and 40 mph signs towards the end of the M57. That they are ignored is sadly a given.
The other day I was traveling from Maghull to the Aintree Retail Park so had to cross the end of the M57. As I waited at the lights to cross the M57 traffic two cars literally flew past at goodness knows what speed and the drivers must have been banking on having green lights right through to the junction and onto Brooms Cross Road because the speed they were going meant there was no way they were going to be stopping.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the M57 needs speed cameras at the end of it just like the M62 has at the Liverpool end just before the Rocket junction. So the question Highways England is why has this obvious safety aspect been ignored?
Oh and by the way, having spent all that money how come a street lamp has not been moved out of the middle of the cycle path yet around Switch Island? Highways England were informed of the need to sort this out well before they started the project by me and indeed by Sefton Council’s Rights of Way Officer.
Over to you Highways England…………
With thanks to Keith Page for the lead to this posting
Click on the photos to enlarge them
Anyone who tries to negotiate the hugely complex Switch Island will have seen that the recent upgrade/safety works by Highways England have all but been completed. The big question now is will it be any safer?
I’ve commented on this matter many times before as both a driver and indeed as a cyclist as I have witnessed driver behaviour.
To sum up, the problems as I have seen them are:-
* Too higher speeds approaching the junction
* Red light running/jumping
* Confused drivers veering from lane to lane
* Impatient regular users not allowing for the confused/lost drivers
One issue that comes quickly to mind is that towards the end of the M57 the speed has recently been reduced to 50mph and then even nearer to Switch Island to 40mph. That these new speed restrictions are almost completely ignored, you will not be surprised to hear, is pretty much all of the time. Indeed, the other day I reached the 50mph section, I slowed to 50 mph and had a horn blown at me because I had slowed down a fellow driver! My point being why are there not speed cameras on the approaches to Switch Island like at the end of the M62 as you near the Rocket in Liverpool?
Oh and another thing, this time from a cyclists perspective. Why have the street lamps which foul the cycle path around one part of Switch Island not been re-sited? Highways England have known about the problem for quite some time now:-