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Clubs say up yours to one-way street

Seel Street traffic ruling stalled after Blue Angel and La'Go fight back

Written by . Published on June 13th 2012.

Clubs say up yours to one-way street

THE Blue Angel is famed in Merseybeat history as one of the first venues that gave the Beatles a stage. Now co-owner Mike Kearon fears the city council has turned its back on the nightclub. 

Kearon says a controversial one-way traffic system means people heading to his Seel Street club have to take a long and winding road – all the way down to Liverpol One. 

La’Go claimed the road system was introduced to benefit the Tesco store in Hanover Street, to enable their juggernauts access

Since the experimental, temporary measure was introduced 18 months ago business at the once-busy club has nosedived, he told councillors. 

Mike Kearon Of The Blue AngelMike Kearon Of The Blue AngelUntil 2011, Seel Street was a two way street, but things changed when the street was made one-way from Hanover Street to Berry Street. 

Motorists heading along clogged up Berry Street to Base2Stay, the Blue Angel, Heebie Jeebies and Alma De Cuba are confronted with a No Entry sign at the Seel Street junction. 

During evenings, when the city’s night time economy is at its peak, bollards prevent motorists heading down alternative Wood Street or Bold Street. 

Instead this is the diversion for motorists in Berry Street wanting to reach the Blue Angel.

Head along Berry Street towards the Duke Street junction.

Turn right at Duke Street

Turn right at Colquitt Street

Turn left at Parr Street,

Cross over to Wolstenholme Square,

Drive down Gradwell Street

Turn right at David Lewis Street

Turn right into Seel Street….

Drive up Seel Street and find the Blue Angel on the right. 

Seel_Street_LiverpoolOne way or another...

It’s a similar plight for La’Go bar at the junction of Colquitt Street and Seel Street. 

Over the past few years Mike Kearon says he has spent around £400,000 successfully challenging the city council after residents of nearby flats complained an outdoor area, used by smokers, was causing a noise nuisance. The club is open to 5am at weekends.

It prompted a debate about what city centre dwellers should be expected to accept as a price for living in the heart of a 24-hour “music” city. 

Lill Parle Of La'goLill Parle Of La'GoThat battle and this new fight over the one-way system has convinced Mike Kearon the council is driving business away.

Mr Kearon said: "I’ve been working in the city centre for 40 years and the congestion now is worse than it has ever been." 

More than 200 local residents and Merseyside Police support the one-way system being made permanent and the city council’s Traffic and Highways Representation Committee met on Tuesday to rule on making the order permanent. 

But council cabinet member Cllr Wendy Simon refused to make a decision after Mr Kearon and the owners of La’Go protested they had not been properly consulted. 

Instead a site visit is taking place and a decision delayed until later this month.

Lill Parle, manager of La’Go also complained she’d been left in the dark. 

The proposed system would prevent beer deliveries to La’Go, she said, putting the future of the bar in jeopardy. 

Officials warned if the matter was not resolved this month, the temporary one-way order would lapse and the street would have to revert to two way. 

A final decision will now be made on June 21, just 24 hours before a critical legal deadline. 

The committee was told action had been needed because of problems caused by traffic congestion and night-time anti social disorder in Seel Street. But La’Go claimed the road system was introduced to benefit the Tesco store in Hanover Street, to enable their juggernauts access. 

Tony Mullane, representing 1,500 hackney cab drivers revealed a number of cab drivers had been attacked as a result of frictions caused by congestion in the street. He wanted the one-way system to stay – but didn’t care which way the one-way system flowed. 

Cllr Simon said: "I am not prepared to make a decision tonight." 


The Laz Word...

The Seel Street issue once again highlights the all-important question of reconciling the night-time economy of a city centre with city living, last flagged up when Static Gallery, on Roscoe Lane, had to bow to a noise abatement order when a resident complained.

Blue Angel
The Blue Angel has been operational since the 1950s, so people moving to live in the area after that date should be aware lively night-time activity exists. The old maxim used to be ….live and let live…. If you don’t like noise live in a rural hamlet. 

Changing the traffic flow in a city street can transform a once-bustling highway into a backwater. As the owners of La’Go warned if they are forced to close over 30 jobs will go.

Seel Street at night will be a hidden thoroughfare, except for those with the knowledge of a complicated back-street route.

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19 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

AnonymousJune 13th 2012.

Which patrons of these bars rally drive their? If the do drive they don't drink and therefore don't spend much. Very few really take taxis from bar to bar in Liverpool as is so compact and if your on berry street and want to drink at the raz get out and walk its 10m from the corner. As to beer deliveries at Lagos how have they continued for the last 18months but are now under threat?? All the bars in te area continue to be busy, new ones open there and are sucsess full. Perhaps it's just that the raz isnt very popular anymore because the non student clientele have given up on the place.

Darth FormbyJune 13th 2012.

I think you are just about right anonymous. I think the changes were made to benefit Tesco, but the chaos of traffic cause by parked hacks along Seel street at night would be twice as bad with two way traffic. I don't understand what these complaints are about. Pogues doesn't seem to have suffered, nor does the brand new and instantly popular place next door. Have The Raz and the La'go applied to become drive through bars or something?

Paul WardJune 13th 2012.

Perhaps the council could take a step back from whichever special interest has its ear this week and actually do some proper planning. Or is that too much to ask?

Cherry BJune 13th 2012.

so you can't go down Wood Street, Seel Street or Fleet Street any time and nor Bold St at the weekend.

Joseph BaxeyJune 14th 2012.

These insane one-way mazes are presumably designed by someone in the pay of black-cab drivers. They can run the meter up to astronomical fares without actually taking you anywhere. It's a licence to print money!

Duke StreetJune 14th 2012.

This "night-time economy" is a lot of tripe. The money spent in bars and clubs mostly goes to the Chancellor or to their distant owners. How much of it brings local benefits?

Planners ought to think about people who actually WORK in what is supposed to be our city centre, as well as all those people who have moved into the fashionably-overpriced bedsitland that has displaced a lot of our city's manufacturing and commercial heart.

HandelJune 15th 2012.

Why did the Largo become the La'go?

Bold Street BoulevardierJune 15th 2012.

Lots of people take taxis from one place to the next, particularly groups that include women wearing decent shoes that get destroyed walking on the cobbles because the (broken) pavements are full of parked cars.

We don't all wear toetector boots and drink in Woodies you know.

AnonymousJune 15th 2012.


Darth FormbyJune 16th 2012.

Very good point Irene Handel. I thought I'd imagined the 'Largo'

Irene HandlJune 19th 2012.

Your have spelt my name wrong, Mr. Formby.

Cherry BJune 19th 2012.

He is a very naughty man

Irene HandlJune 22nd 2012.

He obviously had his little ukulele in his hand.

Darth FormbyJune 23rd 2012.

I did that on purpose Irene, and you're a fine one to talk when you mispronounce your first name! A Largo is a piece of music..like Handel's Largo.

Turned out nice again, Skywalker!

Irene HandlJune 23rd 2012.

With respect, I am an Austro-Hungarian aristocrat who came to your country after the dissolution of the Empire hence my name.

Now, what is a 'La'go', la?

Darth FormbyJune 23rd 2012.

Maybe it's what a largo becomes when a letter falls off?

Or maybe it's like when Plummers became the Bumper so they could use most of the letters they already had?

I can forgive you for not knowing, being an Austro-Hungarian, but the only 'la' is a member of the La's..a musical troupe from Liverpool. Lar was always spelt with an r at the end, as in: 'TWEG RULES OK LAR' and similar to be found on many walls in the '70's. 'The La's', as a name was meant to express the idea of the musical lar. La being a note to follow so. The popularity of the group has led to the incorrect or new spelling of lar becomming commonplace since the mid nineties on. Many people originally thought the the La's were called the LA 5, which irritated them quite a bit.

Irene HandlJune 23rd 2012.

OK queen.

Darth FormbyJune 23rd 2012.

That's what I call me judy.

Irene HandlJune 25th 2012.

I always thought it would have been spelt 'lar' but was an expression I never saw written down, wack.

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