Monday, 13 July 2009

Question at Council

I asked a couple of questions at Full Council last week. (As an executive member I am not allowed to ask questions of other exec members but I can ask questions of the councillors representing the police authority, the transport authority and so on)

I asked about the facilities for cyclists at Liverpool South Parkway station. We are losing more than 60 spaces which will, when work has been completed, be replaced by about half that number.

Now I know that many of the bike stands were actually not used. But my argument is that to encourage people to use bikes more they have to repeatedly see that there will be enough space for them. I am not at all sure that the eventual replacements will serve that psychological function. (Annoyingly between submitting the question and the date of the council meeting my own bike was stolen from the temporary stands outside the station !)

Anyway, in my supplementary question I asked the rep to go back to the transport authority - MITA - and see if the planned number of places could be expanded. I think the comparison with Southport is flawed here.

The written answer is below (pasted on). You can only see the written answer as my follow up supplementary was verbal - but it's watch this space as far as cycles and the station go.

Question

Prior to alteration work starting at Liverpool South Parkway Station, the station had inside parking spaces for 63 bicycles. There was a level of security because the bike area was constantly in sight of station staff.

How many spaces will there be as a result of the alterations?

How much shelters will there be for bikes as a result of the alterations?

What will be the level of security?


Answer

LSP was designed with space for 63 cycles. However, patronage has been low since the station opened with the maximum number of cycles using the facility only 9.

One of reasons for this is that Merseyrail permit cycles onto trains free of charge.

Cycle storage will consist of 2 shelters as per Southport station, with capacity for 20 cycles under cover, and 12 cycle lockers.

The new location is covered by existing CCTV. Merseyrail are installing lighting within the shelter, 2 no lighting bollards either side of the shelter and a secondary lighting pole to illuminate the lockers.

The new location is freely visible from within the station concourse; this was in contrast to the old location that was dark and slightly obscured.

3 comments:

mcknut said...

Thanks for looking into the interests of cyclist.

I'm a businessman, own my own business in fact. I regularly travel into the centre of Liverpool and Manchester from just up the road from South Parkway. I have to say though that I was very disappointed to find out that the nice sheltered cycle storage area has been closed and a few racks put outside (generally screwed in with just one or two bolts on either end) all in the name of a new "Business Lounge". I, like everyone in Liverpool, want businesses to do well in Liverpool but I doubt that building this lounge is really going to make that much difference. So it'll be a place where people can sit, use some extortionately priced WiFi (I'm assuming) and drink coffee they bought in the café next door, but surely they could've done that in the café's own seating??

I was sorry to hear that you have had a bike stolen from that area already. I actually know someone who had their bike stolen from inside the station. The thief was caught and is currently paying for his crime, I can put you in touch with the victim if you want.

Oh well, I was glad to read on your blog that they're intending to offer sheltered storage in the future. The cynic in me says that might get delayed, and then perhaps cancelled, let's hope they at least get around to fixing the existing frames down with a few more bolts!

PM Swimmer said...

I do hope my comment hasn't been left off because it contains reference to possible Environmental conditions attached the ERDF grant for the station?

The allocation of an ERDF grant is not only public record but needs to be advertised by the recipient by the prominent placement of a plaque.

Likewise the existence of the environmental cross cutting theme and the regular contracting of outcomes related to this is public knowledge. The specific outputs/outcomes of a project whilst not publicised are matters of public record and with the occasional exception of commercial sensitivity, which would not apply to MerseyTravel, should be released on request. Therefore there is no legal reason for you to refuse to publish my comment referring to them. I you are not happy with the way in which it was phrased then you could paraphrase my comment your self rather than not publish that would at least demonstrate to your other readers that you do get comments.

But more importantly Mersey Travel continually tout LSP as a great Green achievement because of the rainwater harvesting and photovoltaics, if they then start chipping away at facilities that might actually encourage behavioural change with to green travel choices then they need to be called on it.

Particularly as the interchange is not green in itself, regardless of those technologies, as it replaces existing facilities which could have been updated with much smaller CO2 emissions. Its only ‘green’ impact is in the idea of encouraging more sustainable behaviours through the linking of modes of transport and facilities in one hub. As such the cycle facilities need to be second to none (which they weren’t even with the larger shelter) with at least 5 year grace given to allow for use to build up, therefore I don’t support this decision, in fact I take as evidence that neither Mersey Travel, the Council or the Police have done any where near enough to tackle the woeful treatment of cyclists in this city by motorists and planner and to properly encourage cycling.

Paula Keaveney said...

Since posting, some container type things have arrived at the station for storage. It's clearly not all finished yet though so watch this space. I am still going to press for more facilities for cyclists as this reduction sits quite badly with me at a time when 60 extra parking spaces are being created for drivers round the back.