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The M58 Junction 1 slip roads are now open

Sefton Council and Highways England are pleased to confirm that the new slip roads opened to traffic on Friday 21 August at 11.00am

The construction of the ‘missing’ slip roads at junction 1 on the M58 will provide a northbound off slip and a southbound on-slip.

The new junction will also reduce traffic on the A59 and some residential roads, as well as improving journey times between Maghull and North Liverpool.

As part of the works, we’ve also completed a section of cycle track which will extend into Kirkby helping to improve Active Travel throughout the Borough.

Funded jointly by Sefton Council and the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, the delivery of the M58 Junction 1 slip roads was one of the Council’s key commitments set out in the Sefton Local Plan.

Sefton Council has led on the development and delivery of the scheme in conjunction with Highways England and contractor John Sisk and Sons.

Contractors John Sisk and Sons, having scored so highly on the Considerate Constructors assessment, have completed the work with as little disruption as possible to the local community whilst ensuring that the project leaves a positive legacy.

Cllr John Fairclough, Cabinet Member for Locality Services saidI would like to thank motorists for their continued patience and cooperation while these works have been undertaken.

“we understand the delivering of an infrastructure project of this size and complexity inevitably creates disruption.

“The benefits of the new Junction will reduce travel time, making it much easier for people in the local area to access the motorway network, while reducing traffic and air pollution on congested roads.

“The new junctions will also help facilitate potential future development in the Maghull area.”

 

Rob Heywood, Route Manager for Highways England said: “We’ve worked closely with Sefton Council to develop the new slip roads and are pleased to hear they have opened today. Adding two new slip roads to this junction will help ease traffic congestion in the local area and allow for new homes and jobs to be created.”

Free junior golf membership worth £80 now available to under 16s

We are now offering under-16s free junior golf memberships which gives them a year’s no-cost play at its Bootle and Southport courses.

To qualify for the memberships, which are worth £80, under-16s need to register at the Bootle Golf Club or Southport Golf Links shops. They need to be accompanied by a parent or guardian and must provide proof of age.

Their free membership means that for the next 12 months they can then book a tee time and play as normal and it will cost them nothing.

Cllr Ian Moncur, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, said: “Worth £80 each, these memberships providing under-16s with free golf at our Bootle and Southport courses, are excellent value.

“Golf is a sport that requires regular practise and training and the ability to play for free at any time might help one of our local young people emerge as the next Tommy Fleetwood.”

Sefton Council has also been reminding golfers about their money-saving Twilight tickets for Bootle and Southport, which start from 4pm and cost as little as £8.50.

Find out more about Sefton Council’s golf courses.

Sefton’s mobile coronavirus test site dates confirmed for rest of August

Mobile coronavirus testing units are scheduled to be at locations across Sefton nearly very day in August.

If you have the COVID-19 symptoms of a high temperature, persistent cough or loss of taste or smell  – however mild – you should get a test.

Tests at mobile centres are available for anyone but they need to have made an appointment first at www.nhs.uk/coronavirus  or by calling 119.

Dates for the rest of August are:

Fri 21    Litherland
Sat 22   Litherland
Sun 23  Litherland
Mon 24 Southport TBC*
Tue 25   Southport TBC*
Wed 26 Crosby  TBC*
Thur 27 Crosby
Fri 28    Crosby
Sat 29    Southport
Sun 30  Southport
Mon 31 Southport

*One of the Mobile Testing Unit teams is a reserve team,  and may deployed to other Merseyside locations on these days.

Walk-through test centres, opposite Bootle Town Hall and at Southport Town Hall, are open from 8am to 8pm. You need an appointment from www.nhs.uk/coronavirus   or by calling 119 or the Council’s Contact Centre on 0345 140 0845.

Confirmation of August dates for the sites, which are supported by Sefton Council, NHS Southport and Formby CCG and NHS South Sefton CCG, follows on from a timetable that saw units deployed across Sefton Borough every day in July.

 

 

Exciting future ahead for Bootle’s landmark shopping centre

Sefton Council’s vision for the long-term future of Bootle New Strand Shopping centre continues to progress with the acquisition of adjacent sites and progression of soft market testing regarding options and opportunities for the future of the centre.

This is the first step in realising the Council’s long-term aspirations to redevelop and repurpose The Strand.

In 2017, Sefton Council bought The Strand and earlier this year it secured some of the neighbouring sites. This means the Council can now steer the regeneration of a wider area of The Strand and Bootle town centre.

With Bootle proving to be one of the towns in the UK hardest-hit by COVID-19, the council is reviewing a range of short-term, cost effective “meanwhile” uses for the site while the long-term plans are being considered.

Following the adjacent site acquisitions, demolition works will commence this year, as part of work towards making better use of the canal-side location.  There will be an emphasis on a distinct food and beverage offer next to the canal, and images have been released to show how the area could look like in the future. These interim, “meanwhile” uses will transform the area in the short term while longer term planning and public consultation and engagement with residents, businesses and customers takes place.

Introducing these “meanwhile” measures will mean decommissioning certain areas of the centre. This may contribute to a reduction in rental income, but the Council will work through the financial impact, alongside these exciting new developments.

Pleasingly, in the most recent financial year (2019/20), The Strand made an operating surplus despite the COVID-19 pandemic affecting all sectors of society, including retail.  This surplus has been added to previous balances generated and has made possible the investment of £1 million to help fund other Sefton Council services since the Centre came back into council ownership.

This proves that the decision to take the centre back into council control and away from the private sector was the right one for the regeneration of Bootle and the Borough.  If this hadn’t taken place, The Strand would be unsupported and would be in decline with a wide-ranging impact on the local community and wider borough.

There is no retail unit or shopping centre in the UK that has not been affected by the pandemic, as the economy has seen a significant decline leading to the country now being in recession, and The Strand, together with all shopping centres in the Borough, will be no different in experiencing financial challenges over the coming months and years.  Now more than ever, exciting plans such as these to transform a much loved and valued local asset have never been more important.

As part of the long-term vision for The Strand and Bootle Town Centre, Sefton Council plans to carry out widespread consultation with local residents and partners, including a “Festival of Ideas” in September 2020. The input and perspectives of the public will be key to the success of the centre in the future.

Cllr Ian Maher, Leader of Sefton Council, said: “Sefton Council has big ambitions for the future of The Strand and Bootle Town Centre. They remain central to the area’s regeneration and this is an opportunity to explore other uses for them.

“We want to transform the space so that it is be more open and integrated with the surrounding community. It will be a beautiful public space hosting a wide range of uses and facilities, including retail but also food and drink and leisure opportunities.  We will also evaluate a number of other potential uses to ensure long-term economic, social and environmental sustainability of the centre.

“In particular, we have an ambition to link The Strand to the canal, which can provide not only an attractive environment and space for leisure, but also ‘a green transport corridor’, for walking, cycling and travel by water. This would link The Strand with other parts of the borough and beyond, including the proposed new Everton football stadium at Bramley Moore Dock.”

The illustrations released today are artist’s impressions of how the area could look.

Day trippers asked to plan ahead during the Summer Holidays

For many, summer usually means family holidays but COVID-19 has complicated things this year.

With staycation becoming the norm, more and more people are heading out on day trips or mini UK breaks.

But we all must still remember to follow the guidelines, we know that outdoors is generally safer than indoors, social distancing is key, cleaning and sanitising hands can mitigate risk and we must be wearing masks when we’re on public transport or in shops and visitor attractions.

It’s also key to think ahead and plan your journey, as we know the good weather sees more people heading to the beauty spots around the borough, but this can also lead to increased traffic, parking nightmares and long delays for everyone.

So, if you’re intending to visit the areas, then please check your local radio stations for traffic updates and follow Sefton Council’s social media channels for status of local car parks and traffic alerts.

So why not think about alternative ways to get here? 

We have an excellent rail service along the Sefton Coast. The Merseyrail northern line runs every 15 minutes in both directions between Liverpool and Southport and with many of our visitor attractions within a short walk away, it couldn’t be easier.

But remember when travelling on public transport too:

  • keep a safe distance from your fellow passengers on train services – your personal space has never been more important.
  • don’t leave home without your face masks – as they are now mandatory at stations and on public transport – and dispose of it correctly in a bin.
  • don’t carry open bottles of alcohol on trains or at stations – remember the Merseyrail network is an alcohol-free zone.
  • respect rail staff and other passengers. We won’t tolerate anti-social behaviour of any kind. Just text 61016 or call 0800 40 50 40 if you need help or you see something that needs reporting.

Sefton is also served by several bus service providers, from Merseytravel, Arriva and Stagecoach, so why not give the bus a try! But don’t forget your face mask.

If you prefer hopping on your bike, there are plenty of different cycle routes with varying difficulty ratings and distances, where you can expect to see different things such as the Natterjack Toad to the famous Red Squirrel at Formby.

If you don’t want to travel with your bikes, you can hire them at both the Eco Visitor Centre and Southport Train Station.

Don’t forget that on the Merseyrail network you can take your bike along for free, without pre-booking, making your journey choice even easier. As lots of these cycling routes can be accessed from railway stations too.

Peter Moore, Head of Highways & Public Protection said: “With the easing of lockdown restrictions, we have seen more vehicles returning to our roads.

“We want to remind everyone to plan their journey or to think about whether you even need to make your journey by car, as there are many different ways to get to our visitor attractions.

“But, if you do need to drive, drive safely and consider other road users and local residents.

“There are more walkers and cyclists around and we’re trying to improve road space to support people who are choosing active travel on their return to work as well as for daily exercise.”

For walking and cycling routes and guide visit, activetravelsefton.co.uk/ or for public transport information visit, www.merseytravel.gov.uk/

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