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  1. Published on: 05/10/2020 10:19 AMReported by: roving-eye
    A businessman is hitting back at demands from local Lib Dems to drive new cycle lanes through Birkdale Village.

    Lee Durkin, who has worked in his family business, MD Joinery, since 1997, has already seen the devastation that pop up cycle lanes have caused businesses in Southport town centre.


    And the Conservative Party candidate for Birkdale Ward is warning of the dangers of extending the lanes from Southport town centre and through Birkdale.


    Local Lib Dems Simon Shaw and Iain Brodie Browne revealed their calls for cycle lanes to blight Birkdale in their recent Birkdale Focus newsletter.


    In the leaflet they said they have already met with Sefton Council’s Cycling Officer to discuss a cycling route through the area.


    Lee Durkin said: “I have been contacted by a number of local residents about the recent leaflet distributed by local Liberal Democrat councillors, saying they are very concerned about their plans to create cycle lanes and electric charging points for cars in Birkdale .


    “This is a hot topic among business owners in Southport town centre at the moment, who have seen these lanes imposed with no consultation at all and with devastating consequences for their shops, offices, restaurants and cafes.


    “The new cycle lanes have seen a substantial number of vital parking spaces in Southport town centre lost, meaning customers can no longer drive in and park outside.


    “This is at a time when businesses are desperately trying to survive and build themselves back after the Coronavirus pandemic.


    “As an experienced businessman myself, I know how vital it is for customers to be able to park outside.


    “Everyone in Birkdale knows one of the major problems in the area is a lack of parking. We need more parking spaces here, not more cycle lanes, which as the business owners in Southport town centre are finding out to their cost are unsightly, impractical and damaging to trade.


    “Why on earth would Birkdale want them? And why are the Lib Dems holding secret meetings with council officers about bringing them here without business owners and local residents being consulted first?


    “The new cycle lanes, in addition to the new electric charging points they propose, would reduce the number of available parking spaces in the village, and would cost Birkdale shops, restaurants and other businesses many thousands of pounds in lost revenue every year.


    “I do believe the current Birkdale councillors have lost touch with the local residents and local businesses.”


    Southport Conservative MP Damien Moore said: “I have received a substantial number of emails and letters from business owners in Southport town centre who are horrified at the impact these new cycle lanes are having on trade.


    “I have long campaigned for more parking spaces in Southport town centre as well as free parking concessions such as first hour free.


    “We want to see people being able to drive into places such as Southport town centre or Birkdale Village, being able to find parking spaces easily and cheaply, before enjoying their lunch or a coffee in local restaurants and cafes, and then loading up their cars with things they have bought in local shops.


    “These new cycle lanes have proved to be disastrous in Southport town centre and calling for them to be extended through to Birkdale, which already suffers from a lack of available parking spaces, is baffling.

      

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  3. The PNP says:05/10/2020 10:44 AM
    Just what is the matter with these cycle-nimbys?

    Southport - Birkdale is a low-lying area and will become one of the first places to flood out, due to our rising sealevels...Electric cars and bikes are a great way to reduce CO2 emissions, because they don't emit greenhouse gas or toxic fumes. Yet whenever a positive move is as much as suggested in the right direction - another nimby pops up to counter it - duh!
    Last edited by The PNP; 05/10/2020 at 11:25 AM.

  4. Ric says:05/10/2020 10:52 AM
    I was looking at renting a shop in Hoghton Street but after speaking to some of the business owners along there i've decided to look elsewhere either Burscough or Ormskirk. I hope that Sefton council and Southport Bid have a contingency plan on how they are going to make up the shortfall in business and bid rates which they will lose over time.

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  6. Anon says:05/10/2020 11:23 AM
    Quote Originally Posted by The PNP View Post
    Just what is the matter with these cycle-nimbys?

    Southport - Birkdale is a low-lying area and will become one of the first places to flood out, due to our rising sealevels...Electric cars and bikes are a great way to reduce CO2 emissions, because they don't emit greenhouse gas or toxic fumes. Yet whenever a positive move is as much as suggested in the right direction - another nimby pops up to counter it - duh!
    What's it got to do with you, I understand that you don't live in Southport?

  7. Likes millsey, Kafoozalum liked this post
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  8. The PNP says:05/10/2020 11:42 AM
    Quote Originally Posted by Anon View Post
    What's it got to do with you, I understand that you don't live in Southport?
    I have lived on The Moss in W.Lancs for many years, and yes we still have our yard/workshop there......However, your information re my residential address is somewhat out of date. I moved back to town a couple of years ago, and have been on the Southport Council Tax register since then. :-)

    So you see, I've as much to lose as the rest of the population, who now live precariously at sealevel. What I can't get my head around, is why there's always so much fuss about providing a strip of tarmac here and there for the bikes. Can these people in cars not park around the corner and walk a few hundred metres?

  9. Likes Drugged Onions liked this post
  10. Little Londoner says:05/10/2020 12:43 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by The PNP View Post
    I have lived on The Moss in W.Lancs for many years, and yes we still have our yard/workshop there......However, your information re my residential address is somewhat out of date. I moved back to town a couple of years ago, and have been on the Southport Council Tax register since then. :-)
    So let's get this straight you didn't live in Southport and you know Southport is not going to exist before long, what more evidence is required as proof that you are an absolute barmpot.

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  12. Sap33 says:05/10/2020 12:54 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by The PNP View Post
    Just what is the matter with these cycle-nimbys?

    Southport - Birkdale is a low-lying area and will become one of the first places to flood out, due to our rising sealevels...Electric cars and bikes are a great way to reduce CO2 emissions, because they don't emit greenhouse gas or toxic fumes. Yet whenever a positive move is as much as suggested in the right direction - another nimby pops up to counter it - duh!
    Agree that bikes reduce emissions, but while electric cars don’t spew out fumes from their exhausts, they indirectly produce emissions as the electricity needs to be produced from somewhere. In addition, the batteries are resource intensive (often in third world countries where their environmental standards are almost non existent) and in a few years time, there’s going to be need for consideration on what to do with the spent batteries/ how/if they can be recycled.

    That said, more thought needs putting in to the whole transport infrastructure. Some proper thought needs to be put in place for cycle ways to keep cars and bikes separate, to encourage cycling like on the continent. If it were more convenient to cycle I’d hope more would, which would have a knock on effect for motorists as there’d be less traffic on the streets.

  13. Likes The PNP liked this post
  14. Anon says:05/10/2020 01:12 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by The PNP View Post
    I have lived on The Moss in W.Lancs for many years, and yes we still have our yard/workshop there......However, your information re my residential address is somewhat out of date. I moved back to town a couple of years ago, and have been on the Southport Council Tax register since then. :-)

    So you see, I've as much to lose as the rest of the population, who now live precariously at sealevel. What I can't get my head around, is why there's always so much fuss about providing a strip of tarmac here and there for the bikes. Can these people in cars not park around the corner and walk a few hundred metres?
    Whenever I've been to Birkdale recently, I've always had a problem parking and found that the side roads round there are already full of cars. If people can't park in Birkdale village, they'll just shop elsewhere or online.

    And how many bikes have been using the lanes in Hoghton Street? Anyone know?

  15. Likes SteveandLois liked this post
  16. The PNP says:05/10/2020 01:16 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by Little Londoner View Post
    So let's get this straight you didn't live in Southport and you know Southport is not going to exist before long, what more evidence is required as proof that you are an absolute barmpot.
    I originally lived in Southport, then in the '70's relocated to The Moss - then moved back to Southport again.....Happy now?

  17. The PNP says:05/10/2020 01:18 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by Anon View Post
    Whenever I've been to Birkdale recently, I've always had a problem parking and found that the side roads round there are already full of cars. If people can't park in Birkdale village, they'll just shop elsewhere or online.

    And how many bikes have been using the lanes in Hoghton Street? Anyone know?
    Perhaps if more of the locals used their bikes, there'd be less demand for parking spaces, increasing the chance of you finding a space for your car!

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  19. sandGroundZero says:05/10/2020 01:21 PM
    Amplifying particular local grievances for perpetual campaigning is a technique the LimpDems have practised with such success that their opponents have adopted it.


    This is no way to select representatives for local government

    Safe cycling infrastructure is favoured more-or-less by all parties at national level and in principle (— who would speak-out for 'unsafe' roads?) The recent implementation of cycle routes by a Conservative party central government in disarray over virus restrictions is a new gripe over which to contest next year's Council elections. That seems not to matter to Conservative prospective Councillor Lee Durkin.

    For what it's worth, cycling in Lord Street today (Monday), vehicle traffic was heavy and the air quality was noticeably stinky. Like many cyclists, I am a motor vehicle operator as well. The Emergency Active Travel Route at the centre of this storm in a tea cup will not change my habits one iota. Sadly however, they are unlikely to encourage many timid cyclists to brave the vehicle traffic. So, what is their real significance? I believe that they are a harbinger of future policy initiatives.

    Councillors (and many MPs) do little apart from campaign and agitate for their respective parties. We need a better way for citizens to input their views for accountable, democratic local government.
    Last edited by sandGroundZero; 05/10/2020 at 04:01 PM.

  20. Dislikes Sap33 disliked this post
  21. Sap33 says:05/10/2020 01:33 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by Anon View Post
    Whenever I've been to Birkdale recently, I've always had a problem parking and found that the side roads round there are already full of cars. If people can't park in Birkdale village, they'll just shop elsewhere or online.

    And how many bikes have been using the lanes in Hoghton Street? Anyone know?
    Birkdale is and always has been a nightmare to park, maybe getting people out of cars and onto bikes may help?

    As for bikes using the cycle lane, while not many, it’s still a lot less than the number of cars choosing to ignore the giveaway signs on Queens Road! (Like the halfwit taxi driver who was trying to force his way passed me this afternoon as I cycled into Queens Road from Hoghton Street!)

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  23. said says:05/10/2020 02:05 PM
    I have been to almost every UK region on a bike, and as far as I am concerned if a cyclist cannot negotiate the relatively quiet roads of Southport without cycle lanes then they should not be riding a bike in the first place. Cycle lanes act to obstruct free flowing traffic, there are many occasions when even the best intentioned motorist has to veer on to the cycle lane due to sudden traffic events, cyclists are more aware of road conditions and can take evasive action, which is far easier when there are parked cars on the road. In many instances, I have found a cycle path to be more dangerous than normal roads, particularly when emergency vehicles are coming through.

    I would suggest the new cycle lanes have very little to do with 'safe cycling' and more to do with reducing traffic in Southport to an even greater extent than it is now. A great idea which falls short when you consider a cyclist having to balance a number of shopping bags on the handlebars.

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  25. Anon says:05/10/2020 02:11 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by Sap33 View Post
    Birkdale is and always has been a nightmare to park, maybe getting people out of cars and onto bikes may help?

    As for bikes using the cycle lane, while not many, it’s still a lot less than the number of cars choosing to ignore the giveaway signs on Queens Road! (Like the halfwit taxi driver who was trying to force his way passed me this afternoon as I cycled into Queens Road from Hoghton Street!)
    Getting people out of cars and onto bikes would help. The problem is, judging by the zero impact previous cycle initiatives have had, such as the Cycle Town fiasco some years ago, adding more cycle lanes will not change people's habits in the slightest. Apart from going to town less often, if at all.

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  27. The PNP says:05/10/2020 03:25 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by Anon View Post
    Getting people out of cars and onto bikes would help. The problem is, judging by the zero impact previous cycle initiatives have had, such as the Cycle Town fiasco some years ago, adding more cycle lanes will not change people's habits in the slightest. Apart from going to town less often, if at all.
    That's because there's only ever been a half-hearted approach to cycling here. With hardly any joined-up routes, and fines being regularly dished-out to riders trying to get safely across town (on Chapel St), Southport 'Cycling Town' has been a standing joke! Until people can get from A to B on a proper network of safe continuous routes, uptake of cycling will remain limited.


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