These two photographs tell a story and in the case of the Trans Pennine Trail, specifically the part of it through West Lancashire which is also known as the Cheshire Lines Path, it’s not a good one as far as maintenance is concerned
Trans Pennine Trail/Cheshire Lines path – Looking south from Cabin Lane Great Altcar – December 2020
Tissington Trail Derbyshire – March 2019
The difference in maintenance regimes is stark indeed yet (I thought*) both are National Trails and I’ve cycled them both.
I’ve commented on the terrible condition of the Cheshire Lines path, through West Lancashire, previously but it continues to deteriorate and seems to be fast becoming the forgotten Trail – so very sad. But before you shout ‘austerity’, which will of course clearly be a significant factor in recent years, this path has been suffering a lack of maintenance since it was fully opened some 30 years ago through West Lancashire. There was, in my view, hardly any maintenance to cut back on!
The part of the Trail/Path in Merseyside (Maghull) has seen some improvement work in recent years at the hands of the Merseyside North Volunteers. This is some of their excellent handiwork just north of the site of the former Sefton & Maghull Station and behind Sefton Drive, Maghull:-
* The Trans Pennine, it turns out, has not been made a National Trail (despite efforts to have it designated as such) and that probably indicates why its maintenance levels are not up to National Trail standards – With thanks to those correcting my view that it is a National Trail.
I’ve said before that the piecemeal reorganisation of what was once the huge county council (with numerous small district councils such as West Lancs Borough) area of Lancashire has ended up leaving a mess of everything that has not already become a unitary authority.
Former BBC and Liverpool Post reporter Political commentator and writer Nick Hancock debating with Sefton’s Cllr. Iain Brodie Browne.
Below, via the link, respected north west journalist Jim Hancock updates us on the tortuous ‘progress’ towards a resolution (scroll down to ‘Driver’s Umbrella’):-
Lancashire should have been sorted out as one whole package
The process of doing bits here and there over numerous years via different governments has led directly to this mess and muddle. I support the move to unitary authorities as in my view having a County, a District and often a Parish/Town Council too has not worked.
Power to the Parishes!
Getting rid of the muddle in the middle i.e. the District Councils is the right thing to do. However, it should be being done whilst devolving more powers and responsibilities to the network of Parish and Town Councils across the County (and set up new ones where they don’t presently exist) – of course that’s not being done!
I’ve been trying to find the public footpath that starts (or finishes) at the junction of Bells Lane/Altcar Lane* right on the boundary of Lydiate and Great Altcar. It runs from this point in a southwesterly direction over the Cheshire Lines/Trans Pennine Trail footpath/cycle path and then on via Showicks Bridge to Lunt Meadows Nature Reserve.
Actually, it’s just the short section of it from Bells Lane/Altcar Lane to the Cheshire Lines Path that I’m trying to trace because when I travel along the CLP I can’t find it at all. Below is a photo of the general area of the CLP that I’m referring to and the footpath should cross it just a few yards to the north of the concrete posts according to the Ordnance Survey map that I have:-
The concrete posts denote where a farmer’s track crosses the CLP (although on the right-hand side it is clearly out of use – note the fencing) and I think the path should cross it more or less where the large tree is.
I’ve raised the matter with West Lancashire Borough Council’s Footpaths Officer to see if they can shine any light on the matter.
If any local walkers or indeed Maghull Ramblers can assist with this mystery please do so…..
* The starting/finishing point which I refer to used to be through Upper Gore Farm but that was redeveloped for housing some years ago and it’s now called Mercer Court.
Click on the photo to enlarge it
The Liverpool Echo has the story on this web site – see link below:-
Planning applications, particularly those for vast new urban housing estates on what has to date been Green Belt and/or high grade agricultural land, always causes huge public upset. We’ve seen it neighbouring Sefton Borough in Formby, Southport and Lydiate/Maghull as is recorded on this blog site numerous times.
Having been on a Borough Planning Committee my thoughts are this. Local people do not have enough control over how their communities are developed, the planning system is far too complicated and difficult for ordinary folk to engage with and Councils are poor at engaging with their own residents.
As I’ve have also said time and time again there is a huge disconnect between planning and environmental policy making with the environment usually taking 2nd place in the process.
But probably more than anything else I bet that the house building that is planned for West Lancashire will, like in Sefton Borough, fail to meet the actual needs of local people anyway. More 3, 4 and 5 bedroomed properties when the need is almost bound to be for social housing, smaller properties & bungalows/single level properties. The land will be sacrificed, often land that grows the food we eat, but even then housing need in the real world will sadly not be met.
No wonder folk get angry with the system!
With thanks to Roy Connell for the lead to this posting
Yes I saw them pop up out of nowhere too in the past couple of weeks and also wondered about them.
A cycle along the Cheshire Lines Path as far as United Utilities’ Sewage Treatment Works (actually officially called – Hillhouse Waste Water Treatment Works) in Wood Lane, Great Altcar gave me the answer; they are both within the confines of the works so must have been erected to help power it.
Clearly they were still to be commissioned when I went for a closer look on 30th March and took these photographs:-
A nice lane to cycle is Outlet Lane which turns off Prescot Road by Carla Lane Animals in Need. Starting off in the Civil Parish of Melling it soon leaves Sefton Borough and goes into West Lancs Borough and the Civil Parish of Simonswood.
It’s a single track road so you have to watch out for farm vehicles but sadly you can also watch out for the consequences of those in our society who care nothing for the environment – the fly-tippers.
And you know much of what I saw dumped in ditches alongside the road could easily be disposed of at a waste disposal site, for goodness sake there’s such a site within a couple of miles at Sefton Meadows! So why go out to a country lane to dump when you can do so without any issues at a local recycling centre?
Yes I now some of the dumping is old tyres, asbestos, builders rubble etc. from companies and contractors who are deliberately trying to evade the legal processes to safely dispose of such waste and that this is becoming a national scandal.
Here in Outlet Lane Simonswood Parish Council are trying to do their bit to stop the fly-tipping:-
But surely this lane could easily be protected from the activities of the anti-social element of our society and indeed we could have the pleasure of catching them too! All that is needed would be a couple of covert surveillance cameras at each end of the lane. Why can’t West Lancs and Sefton Borough Councils do this?