Plans to make large parts of central Southport into what is called “a liveable neighbourhood” are being forwarded by Sefton Council with government funding and backing. This could result in many streets being blocked off to through traffic over a huge area from Lord St to Eastbourne and Cemetery Road, altering the way people approach and leave the town centre.
The scheme hopes to be up and running by May 2021.
Opposition leader on Sefton, Cllr John Pugh ,though is urging that nothing should be imposed on people without consent and proper consultation.
“Although this major scheme will not be imposed under an Emergency Traffic Order as was done with the recent controversial cycle lanes, there are big questions here that need thought-through answers.
It is unclear why this area was chosen or by whom but its a complex area with many businesses and community facilities. Big changes like this need to be designed not just FOR local people but WITH local people.
You can’t simply import blueprints from elsewhere and expect people to just deal with the consequences.”
The proposed scheme which has government finance behind it is being developed by the transport agency, Sustrans who intend to consult widely on the proposals.
“My concern”, states Cllr Pugh ,” is not about the good intentions behind the scheme but about some of its obvious practical difficulties. I have no idea how much local research was conducted prior to formulating the scheme, but I can’t help thinking that local people should have been actively involved before now”.
Cllr Pugh has produced his own consultation video explaining the scheme and its potential problems
“People need to engage now. Nothing is final yet and local people have a right to determine how their environment looks and works.”