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Pay and Display for Sefton Park?

Larry Neild exclusive: £160m needed for city road repairs; £2m in pot

Published on March 10th 2011.

Pay and Display for Sefton Park?

WOULD you pay to park your car around Sefton Park?

It’s a possibility being examined by cash-strapped Liverpool City Council to raise funds to repair the pot-hole riddled perimeter road.

Liverpool Confidential has learned that the current backlog of road repairs across the city would cost a staggering £160m to remedy – but in the coming year all that has been allocated for road maintenance is £2m. div class="article_quote_box">

‘If, for instance, there was a modest parking charge it would enable us to ring-fence the income generated to spend on the park roadway’

This is what Cllr Malcolm Kennedy, cabinet member for Regeneration told Liverpool Confidential this afternoon: “I've just had a meeting where it has become clear that we only have £2 million to spend on network improvements.

“Compared to a backlog of something like £160 million this is a drop in the ocean. Nothing of this is able to be spent on unadopted roads. So either we get additional resources from government, an unlikely prospect, we suffer the continuous degeneration of our roads or we look at alternative solutions. The choices are limited.”

And the dilemma for Sefton Park is that the perimeter road, described by many as the worst on Merseyside, is one of those unadopted highways. This means there is no hope of finding funding to carry out repairs, apart from the occasional patchwork remedy on individual potholes.

Residents living around the park would, of course, be entitled to parking permits, if the scheme is introduced.

The scheme could well spark the biggest outcry since the council splashed out £250,000 in the first place to buy 375 acres from the Earl of Sefton in 1867.

The aim was to create a green lung as an escape for the multitudes living in tiny back-to-back terraces in the heart of Liverpool. The purchase was described as extravagant and wasteful.

So it was in 1872 Prince Albert officially opened Sefton Park, dedicating it for the

health and enjoyment of the townspeople.

Today the Grade II* listed historic park is a civic treasure, a focal point for walkers, runners and cyclists.

But the road around the park is worn out, and a solution has to be found.

City Council Cabinet member for Regeneration, Cllr Malcolm Kennedy is currently awaiting a report from officials examining a number of solutions – including parking charges.

Cllr Kennedy told Liverpool Confidential: “I use the park road regularly and it is in a poor condition, with a number of deep potholes. We need to find a way of getting the funding to repair the highway. The problem is the park is so popular these days and it all adds to the wear and tear.

“Nothing has been decided, but if, for instance, there was a modest parking charge it would enable us to ring-fence the income generated to spend on the park roadway.”

Under current laws, the council could impose an order for the making up of the road with owners of properties fronting the park having to pay. But that would impose a heavy financial burden on property owners and is not considered as a realistic option.

Would visitors be prepared to dip into their pockets to pay a couple of pounds to park – in order to pound the park? Many would be happy to pay, particularly if the money was used not only to keep the highway in good shape, but also improve the street lighting around the park. Many others will be put off.

The risk, of course, would be people parking in side streets off Sefton Park causing problems for existing residents.

Cllr Kennedy adds: “This is at the very least something we should debate and there will be public consultation on any ideas to raise funding for Sefton Park.”

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

Sefton ParkerMarch 7th 2011.

Other unadopted roads are the responsibility of the people owning the houses on them.

As local folk can no longer afford to live by Sefton Park, why can't the affluent incomers who now own all the houses cough up? The roads are theirs.

Why should people with less money who don't even live there pay up?

Hadassah GroveMarch 7th 2011.

And who is going to enforce the parking permits? No-one's ever bothered to enforce the speed limit on Croxteth and Aigburth Drives so who will be paying for that? Or is it part of the Etonian dunce's so-called 'big society'?

Legal SparrowMarch 7th 2011.

Here's a conundrum for Sefton Parker. If the council billed the frontagers to cough up, it would have to bill itself for 50% of the work, as the road encircles the park (that's is 50% of the road space). The council obviously couldn't pay, so the council would have to sue itself for the money it doesn't have. Judgement would be made by the court against the council and court bailiffs would be sent by the council into its own offices to collect the money from itself, even though it doesn't have the dosh. So the bailiffs would be legally entitled to sieze goods and chattels, including the silverware at the town hall to be auctioned to raise the money. Once all the bailiff fees are paid there wouldn't be enough left to sort out more than a couple of potholes. Are you with this......

AnonymousMarch 7th 2011.

Look, we all need to muck in and help out here. If chucking a quid into a meter will help take good care of the park road it will be good for the park. It'll be cheap at the price.

HighwaymanMarch 7th 2011.

Sefton Park road is used as a rat run by thousands of drivers wanting to avoid busy Smithdown Road and Aigburth Road. They won't pay a penny. Here's the answer - turn the perimeter road into a US style turnpike road and have exit gates were you have to pay 50p. That way the people wrecking the road surface are paying. Parking would still be free, though you'd still have to pay the turnpike fee. It's an unadopted road so there shoould be no problem.

Vauxhall VictorMarch 8th 2011.

"US style turnpike road"

You mean a 'toll road'? We've had them in this country longer than the U.S. has existed!

My current favourite is the M6 Toll motorway. It's brilliant to experience what motorway driving must have been like in the fifties and sixties while all the white van men, mimsey-hens, tightwads, lorry drivers and Molehusbands stop-and-start, nose-to-tail on the cheapskate road next door.

Sefton parkerMarch 8th 2011.

Legal sparrow,
it would work the same way that Princes Avenue was funded and maintained when it was a private road between the houses and Princes Boulevard.

LL-Cool-AndudnoMarch 8th 2011.

The toll road around the Great Orme is excellent too and again mostly clear because of the tight-fisted personalities of most motorists.

The Burrow SurveyorMarch 8th 2011.

The Mersey Tunnels are toll roads too. As they can barely cope with the rush-hour traffic as it is, it is just as well that there is a toll. It deters all those miserly drivers who would rather lose an eye than pay a toll.
Imagine how awful it would be if the tolls were abolished and all these small-minded, Clarksonite idiots started joy-riding through the tunnels!

IanMarch 8th 2011.

If it is unadopted or not council owned could somebody living in the area not request a lottery grant. It would be to the benefit of the wider community and not one individual would prosper.

AnonymousMarch 8th 2011.

An old bye-law imposes a 15mph speed limit on the perimeter road, with a penalty of forty shillings - two pounds - for speeders. That could raise a few bob for nthe council as many people think it is Oulton Park, not Sefton Park. If they put a few speed cameras there they would make a killing.

oliver twistMarch 8th 2011.

Just fill the holes in and stop messing about.In the past this city has had loads of money off wasting it on SPPED BUMPS (remember them), community projects and other such bollocks so come on Joe get your friggin' money out.

AnonymousMarch 8th 2011.

One idea being put forward by Green Councillor John Coyne at the City Council on Wednesday, March 9, would mean the perimeter road around the park being close altogether to through traffic. He is also asking for a speed limit and warning signs.

ChuckyMarch 8th 2011.

Well that's clever. As Oliver Twist says, just fix the bloody potholes and don't think of criminalising people for parking next to this amenity which is for everyone.

Old Nick's CaveMarch 8th 2011.

What kind of people take their cars to the park anyway with all those children running about?

Are they THAT lazy? Make the buggers walk!

ADMarch 8th 2011.

I just love the way the council try to use the unadopted technicality to excuse them from doing their job. I bet the homeowners around the park dont get a lower council tax bill because they live on an unadopted road.

Tarmac AdamMarch 8th 2011.

Why not do what they do in Germany and offer sponsorships of potholes? Citizens who sponsor the repair of a pothole have their name on a silver metal plaque which is embedded in the tarmac so all can see the civic-minded benefactor´s name.

I´m sure that all those well-off "Noyges", "Soymons", "Jezzes" and "Aleeshahs" that now occupy the houses off Sefton Park would like nothing better than to see their stupid middle-class names set permanently in the road surface.

saladdazeMarch 8th 2011.

Stop messing about. Just tip Bob Diamond upside down and use the loose bonus change from his pockets. Or perhaps the Andrew formerly known as Ponce could divert some of his teenage massage fees our way.

The Creeping TerrorMarch 9th 2011.

If the Park is Grade II listed its internal road should NOT be Tarmacadamed anyway. It should be a coarse sand surface which is more authentic as well as kinder to horses' hooves.

AnonymousMarch 9th 2011.

Shouldn't our 90 councillors set an example in these cash-strapped times and opt to take no allowances. After all local councillors used to the the job for free. Now it's become a nice little earner, particularly with so man Mr and Mrs groupings on the council. If they all threw their money into the pot, it would generate at least a million. That would pay for Sefton Park to be tarmaced and there could even be a nice plaque to say it was paid for by the 90 benefactors of the council. Will it happen. Dream on

Doc_DaneekaMarch 9th 2011.

Given that we seriously need to increase the amount of exercise people do doing anything that will discourage people from getting out and enjoying THEIR parks seems short sighted to say the least.

A few options spring to mind;

As the bulk of the roads users and therefore those causing wear and tear is likely to be
through traffic a toll could be imposed, as your collecting from more people it could be lower than parking charges however this would be too complex so a non-starter

Money could be found from elsewhere, e.g.some of the councils glossy publications, but given the pressure on budgets thats not likely to be happen.

Or there could be parking charges on Sefton Park to repair the road, this seems to be what Councillor Kennedy is suggesting but he is not, if the charges were to repair the road they could either be for a short time until the money is raised and then dropped or be ongoing but for a very very small amount. Niether of these will happen the Cllr Kennedy and his cronies will implement parking charges at whatever the going rate is and yes they may at some point repair the road in part with this money but then it will be used for other projects, becoming a perpertual and perpetually increasing charge on park users to pay for other council priorities.

Or maybe I'm being cynical and Cllr Kennedy will post on here again and confirm that sefton park parking charges will only ever be used for the park road and he'll resign if thats not the case.

Whose holding their breath?

AnonymousMarch 9th 2011.

Why should residents of Sefton Park pay, for a ratrun which carries thousands of speeding vehicles daily and helps to create lots of potholes in the road? All they really need is an access road to their homes, and then the peace and quiet to sleep at night...since the road is run by the Highways Agency, but not properly maintained by the Council, then any idea of persuading residents to stump is seems doomed to fail. Better to have parking charges, I'd say.

RealistMarch 9th 2011.

What about speed humps? Seems like the perfect solution to me

Peeping TomMarch 9th 2011.

You get a lot of those in the bushes during the summer months.

Cameron's Crater CounterMarch 9th 2011.

Anonymous has the answer! The road is apparently currently run by the Highways Agency. There!

Why can't the Highways Agency sort it out?

After all it is unadopted so it's none of the Council's business

All in this TogetherMarch 9th 2011.

The landlords should pay. If they don't cough up the Council should compulsorily purchase their houses for the flat rate £60,000 that the hapless owners of large houses on Edge Lane received. That'll make the owners pay attention.

After all, we are 'all in this together' as that nice Mr. Cameron says.

AnonymousMarch 9th 2011.

Sefton Park's perimeter road is NOT run by the Highways Agency. It is an unadapted highway. If the road became adopted it would then form part of the city's road network and be treated like all other roads.

RoadracerMarch 9th 2011.

How about re-opening the iron bridge and then raising money by having road races around the park. We could even have a mini Liverpool TT for motor cycles. Would generate millions of pounds and loads of money for the Solna Hotel.

AnonymousMarch 10th 2011.

Liverpool Council should send a team to St Helens to see how they treat drivers. It's again been named as the UK's most car-friendly town. St. Helens scored well across the board on Virgin Money's criteria, which included petrol prices, the cost of parking for two hours and the level of vehicle crime.

Other factors taken into consideration included the number of speed cameras and the number of car parks in a town. Grant Bather of Virgin said: Clearly cars shouldn't rule the road, but motorists' views certainly need
to be taken into consideration and St. Helens has successfully done this.
Councillor Barrie Grunewald, Cabinet Member for Culture, Communications and Town Centre said: We have a highly efficient public transport network in place, but this has not been implemented at the expense of the motorist who will always be
welcome in St Helens. Initiatives such as free parking after 3pm and a reduction in the number of traffic wardens have helped to make St Helens an attractive destination.

DayTripperMarch 10th 2011.

Yea but St Helens isn't a tourist place. More yer Johnny Vegas than Las Vegas. It's all glass and cloggs.

PR personMarch 10th 2011.

If "anonymous" in St Helens or at Virgin Money would like to add Liverpool Confidential to their media mailing list, they might, just might, publish this stuff.

Up the SaintsMarch 10th 2011.

Show some respect Daytripper. If Liverpool endorsed half of what St Helens is doing to be car friendly the above column wouldn't have even been written. I think St Helens is setting a very responsible attitude and the council should be commended. Compare that to money-grabbing Liverpool who see parking charges-cum-penalty charges as a rich seam of pure gold. And by the way Mr Vegas is a credit to St Helens as a fine actor and comedian. Good luck to him.

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