Conservative candidates criticise Council over cycle lane schemes

Two local Conservative candidates have criticised Sefton Council over the town cycle lane schemes.

A press release distributed by the Southport Conservatives said: “At an already difficult time for businesses in Southport, the cycle lanes that have been installed are just another example of how out of touch certain members of Sefton Council are in terms of trading conditions for businesses of all types in Southport. Cycle lanes were installed on Talbot Street, Hoghton Street and Queens Road earlier in the year with no consultation with residents or local business owners.

Sefton Council has recently published further information on the topic on their website and have previously indicated they would keep the cycle lanes under review.

Michael Prendergast, the prospective council candidate for the Conservatives in Dukes Ward said: ‘It is clear from the information published that Sefton Council currently has little intention of removing the cycle lanes, despite the negative impact that most business owners and residents seem to be reporting.

There is no information from Sefton Council regarding what they consider to be the minimum usage of the cycle lanes to justify them and every indication so far is that they are not being used in any significant amount. The detrimental impact on businesses and with talk of making parts of the cycle lanes ‘more permanent in the coming months’ it seems that before a review has been given chance to take place, Sefton MBC are already determined to ignore it’s outcome. The voices of those in Southport are being ignored.’

Sinclair d’Albuquerque, who is the prospective council candidate for the Conservatives in Cambridge Ward and also owns Reuters on Hoghton Street said: ‘The detrimental impact that these cycle lanes have had on Hoghton Street restaurants, cafes, shops, church and school due to a lack of any parking cannot be underestimated.

The new cycle lanes are barely used but will lead to the irretrievable loss of a number of businesses and therefore job losses will be inevitable.

Post the national lockdown and not including the “Eat Out to Help Out” scheme our business had seen incredible growth against last year, right up until these lanes were installed. Overnight, we slipped into declining sales against last year, a situation that is
unsustainable.

I hope the council will see sense and remove the lanes.’

The two candidates will shortly be delivering surveys on the issue to affected local residents and business owners in Dukes Ward and Cambridge Ward to give those who were not consulted by Sefton Council the opportunity to voice their opinions