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  1. Published on: 20/11/2020 09:43 AMReported by: roving-eye
    Plans have been revealed that are set to support Southport’s return to the grandeur of Victorian England, when it was the country’s second most popular tourist destination.

    The project, dubbed “Les Transformations de Southport”, looks at interconnectivity across the whole town centre, from improved pedestrian and cycling routes in the town centre and waterfront, to the creation of new public spaces for hosting events.

    A key proposal of the Southport Town Deal submission included a bid for funding to facilitate the early phases of this project, which could deliver around 30,000sqm of new, accessible, well-connected high-quality public spaces, providing priority for walking and cycling in support of clean growth. The first phase would include a new civic events space on Lord Street, and public realm enhancements in areas adjacent to the key strategic projects identified within the Town Deal bid.

    Cllr Marion Atkinson, Labour Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Skills, explained:
    “While living in exile in Southport in 1838, Prince Louis Napoleon, later Emperor Napoleon III, was so inspired by the grandeur of Lord Street that he ordered Baron Haussmann to model the reconstruction of Paris on it. Les Transformations de Paris made the French capital the “Southport of the South”. Les Transformations de Southport will ensure we again fulfil the potential of our public realm spaces, on Lord Street and beyond.

    “When we carried out our extensive consultation on the Southport Town Deal bid, the connection between Lord Street and the Promenade, the need for maintenance of existing infrastructure to create safe spaces accessible for all emerged strongly as priorities.”

    The illumination of Lord Street, lighting within the landscape of the iconic town centre
    Boulevard, will be a key feature of this exciting project, which aims to address connectivity and congestion issues between the seafront area, the town centre and the railway station, including elements of improved signage and wayfinding around the town.

    The recently launched Southport Townscape Project (a partnership between the Council, Southport BID and the Heritage Lottery) recognises the links between Lord Street and the Promenade as an area of priority investment.

    The hope is that this project will deliver significant improvements on key routes, providing an improved visitor experience on arrival and in the town centre, resulting in increased focus and footfall for the town centre.

    Cllr Atkinson continued: “The town centre is dominated by north-south movements, particularly by vehicles, resulting in relatively poor (east-west) connectivity between the seafront area and the town centre and there are many competing demands for highway space which can be difficult to accommodate. The post Covid-19 decline in public transport use may also create additional pressure on the highway network to accommodate private vehicles.

    “If we can address these issues, provide infrastructure which allows for more walking and cycling in the town centre, along with the associated health and well-being outcomes, it will provide an entirely different proposition for visitors, strengthening Southport’s vibrancy, attractiveness and accessibility, and enhancing visitor numbers.”
     

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  4. The PNP says:20/11/2020 10:07 AM
    Quote Originally Posted by roving-eye View Post
    improved pedestrian and cycling routes in the town centre and waterfront, to the creation of new public spaces for hosting events, inc 30,000sqm of new, accessible, well-connected high-quality public spaces, providing priority for walking and cycling in support of clean growth. The first phase would include a new civic events space on Lord Street, and public realm enhancements....Les Transformations de Southport will ensure we again fulfil the potential of our public realm spaces, on Lord Street and beyond...... the need for maintenance of existing infrastructure to create safe spaces accessible for all emerged strongly as priorities.”.....provide infrastructure which allows for more walking and cycling in the town centre, along with the associated health and well-being outcomes, it will provide an entirely different proposition for visitors, strengthening Southport’s vibrancy, attractiveness and accessibility, and enhancing visitor numbers.”
    Which all makes for great reading......Let's hope this progressive scheme doesn't end up being shot down/sabotaged by angry motorists and the local anti-cycling brigade!

  5. susanb says:20/11/2020 10:10 AM
    Any plans for car parking areas? For all thee extra people.

  6. The PNP says:20/11/2020 10:17 AM
    Quote Originally Posted by susanb View Post
    Any plans for car parking areas? For all thee extra people.
    Re-opening the northern Park and Ride would be a wise move......What we don't need, is a town centre being turned into a glorified version of a Tesco car-park!

  7. r4dent says:20/11/2020 10:26 AM
    Quote Originally Posted by susanb View Post
    Any plans for car parking areas? For all thee extra people.

    Don't be silly ... they will all arrive by bike.

  8. sandGroundZero says:20/11/2020 11:32 AM
    …the Southport Town Deal submission included a bid for funding to facilitate the early phases of this project
    • which could deliver around 30,000 m² of new, accessible, well-connected high-quality public spaces,
    • providing priority for walking and cycling in support of clean growth.
    The first phase would include:
    • a new civic events space on Lord Street, and
    • public realm enhancements in areas adjacent to the key strategic projects identified within the Town Deal bid.
    Cllr Atkinson continued:
    “The town centre is dominated by north-south movements, particularly by vehicles, resulting in relatively poor (east-west) connectivity between the seafront area and the town centre and there are many competing demands for highway space which can be difficult to accommodate. The post Covid-19 decline in public transport use may also create additional pressure on the highway network to accommodate private vehicles.

    “If we can address these issues, provide infrastructure which allows for more walking and cycling in the town centre, along with the associated health and well-being outcomes, it will provide an entirely different proposition for visitors, strengthening Southport’s vibrancy, attractiveness and accessibility, and enhancing visitor numbers.”
    An upbeat press release; but this begs many questions not least about on-going funding.
    There is no indication of how traffic issues will be resolved consistent with the objective of improving "(east-west) connectivity between the seafront area and the town centre".

  9. clive764 says:20/11/2020 12:08 PM
    I would feel slightly more confident and reassured if the self promoting Cllr Atkinson, and Sefton Council were not involved.

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  11. Lamparilla says:20/11/2020 12:39 PM
    There's little or no mention of what these hordes of visitors will actually do - it's highly unlikely that they will be shopping.

  12. Likes lambsey liked this post
  13. said says:20/11/2020 01:21 PM
    I have never been comfortable with the claim that Napoleon III was so taken with the architecture of Lord Street, that he adopted the idea for Paris. The architecture of France, throughout France - is breathtaking and is the most popular reason for people visiting the country. Only Liverpool City would have rivaled Paris.
    The Boulevards of Paris were first presented during the reign of Louis XIV when the wall surrounding Paris was dismantled (1668 -1705). Baron Haussmann (Prefect of Seine) (1853 -1870) was chosen to carry out architectural modifications in Paris to rid the city of old, closely built homesteads thought to be the cause of disease. (1860). He adopted ideas taken from Italy to improve the city and to modernise the earlier boulevards
    Napoleon III, the nephew of (Emperor) Napoleon, had been exiled to England, due to an unsuccessful attempt to gain the throne after his Uncles reign terminated in 1815. He returned to France, and after another unsuccessful coup, in 1836 and was again exiled to England. It is said that Napoleon III resided in lodgings just off Lord Street in 1846 for a very brief period. Photographs published in the Visitor newspaper show Lord Street in 1850 as being comprised of single, plain shops - not as a tree lined boulevard.

    Although many people argue that Southport should be modernised in sympathy with modern trends, which is a good idea, only a part of Southport town should be modernised while the majority of the town should maintain its Victorian style. This is because it is far more cost effective to retain good quality historical buildings and infrastructure, than it is to constantly spend out on the ever increasing costs of maintaining ever changing modern trends.

    I suspect that neither of the above is of interest to the local council - for the focus now is on preventing exhaust fumes in town.

  14. Likes roving-eye, lambsey liked this post
  15. sandGroundZero says:20/11/2020 03:50 PM
    Government named the Lead Authority as Sefton Council for Southport’s Town Deal and set out the role of the Lead Authority, which is to:
    • Convene the Town Deal Board
    • Make clear the governance structure and decision-making structures and ways of working of the Town Deal Board which should be made public
    • Define the area the Town Deal Board will represent on a map (using boundaries defined by ONS)
    • Ensure that the Town Deal Board aligns with the governance standards and policies of the Lead Council including whistle blowing, conflicts of interest and complaints
    • Be open by default about Town Deal Boards whilst recognising commercial sensitivity
    • Ensure that all evidence and supporting documents will be made publicly available

    Among the 20+ members of the Town Deal Board
    • Cllr. Atkinson, Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Skills
    • the Chief Executive of Sefton Council Dwayne Johnson represent the Council.
    • Mark Basnett is the Managing Director at Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership;
    • Sophie Bevan is the Investment Manager at Liverpool City Region Combined Authority.

    In short, Sefton Council plays only a small, largely administrative part in the Town Deal proposals.
    Damien Moore, MP is a Board member. His role is to remind us that this is a Conservative central government conceived the process and take credit for a few million GBP (if Southport's proposal gains favour)!

    That this is central government's idea of local accountability is THE big shortcoming of the scheme. Westminster pares local authority funding to the bone and then doles-out parcels of cash in a crooked lottery; such is the way of our current government.

    In the end, central government funds will only ever stretch as far as covering a few modest cosmetic changes to the town. The competition to attract private investment among all the towns and cities up and down the United Kingdom will be fierce. At the end of it, any unmet expectations raised will be laid at the Council's doorstep.
    Last edited by sandGroundZero; 20/11/2020 at 04:35 PM.

  16. muddyboots says:20/11/2020 05:59 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by susanb View Post
    Any plans for car parking areas? For all thee extra people.
    they just dont get it...99.9% of people wont or cant get on a bike...this project is doomed..look at queens rd and houghton street....the only person i have seen on a bike didnt even use the new bike lane but prefered to us the car lane?

  17. Likes Anon, lambsey liked this post
  18. muddyboots says:20/11/2020 06:11 PM
    [QUOTE=The PNP;6751132]Re-opening the northern Park and Ride would be a wise move......What we don't need, is a town centre being turned into a glorified version of a Tesco car-park![/QU ....... tesco is booming as is aldi home bargains argos etc etc,, unlike the town centre....our town worked wonderfully well until they closed the roads and pay and display...the town was booming....in the real world people use cars not bikes to shop...you live in some fantasy world that will destroy our once great town...fantasies dont pay rates and rents...you will be a very lonely person in the town sat on your sad bike

  19. Likes Anon, lambsey liked this post
  20. Anon says:20/11/2020 06:19 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by The PNP View Post
    Which all makes for great reading......Let's hope this progressive scheme doesn't end up being shot down/sabotaged by angry motorists and the local anti-cycling brigade!
    As the "cycling brigade", as opposed to the "anti-cycling brigade" takes up about 0.1% of the population, please let us know why the "cycling brigade" should get priority over the rest of us.

    As previous cycling initiatives in the town have made naff-all difference to the number of cyclists on the road, what makes you think this one would be any different?

    As someone else said, the town was busy until Pay and Display and pedestrianisation came along. As I've told you before, a friend of mine had a shop in the pedestrianised area. His taking went down 25% on the day pedestrianisation started AND NEVER RECOVERED.

    Further pedestrianisation will just make matters worse with regard to retail.

  21. Likes lambsey liked this post
  22. salus.populi says:20/11/2020 06:31 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by Anon View Post
    As I've told you before, a friend of mine had a shop in the pedestrianised area. His taking went down 25% on the day pedestrianisation started AND NEVER RECOVERED.
    What did he sell?
    Did the global recession around the same time or the rise in online shopping not contribute partially to his demise?

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  24. hja says:20/11/2020 07:19 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by clive764 View Post
    I would feel slightly more confident and reassured if the self promoting Cllr Atkinson, and Sefton Council were not involved.
    Yep, agreed. Trust this council come on. Would trust Jack the Ripper before them

  25. Dislikes onehorsetown2 disliked this post

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