Local Campaigners have been ‘disappointed but unsurprised’ by the announcement this week that
the cycle lane project introduced down Hoghton Street and Queens Road last summer will now be
expanded to include areas of Churchtown, Crossens and Birkdale Village.
As part of this expansion, lanes will also be installed connecting the town centre to Crossens and
Churchtown going North and Birkdale Village going South.
The lanes have come under severe criticism from many residents, but perhaps most of all from the
local Conservative group who see this scheme as yet another nail in the coffin of Southport’s highstreet and small businesses.
Thomas de Freitas, a Conservative Campaigner in Meols Ward had this to say;
‘Many of us in the Conservative group warned as soon as these lanes were introduced that they
would be damaging to local businesses and we have been proven right ever since.
‘In areas where parking was already limited and footfall already severely reduced by the pandemic,
Labour Councillors have once again voted to reduce this parking availability even further and in the
case of Queens Road block traffic from using the road entirely.
‘I will continue to campaign, with my colleagues, to see that members of the Council and our
representatives in Meols are held to account for this decision.’
Lee Durkin, who campaigns for the Conservative Party in Birkdale added;
‘I’ve spoken with many residents on this issue and the response is unanimous, they don’t want cycle
lanes introduced into the Village.
‘I warned last year that the Liberal Democrats would not stop the introduction of these lanes and
our Liberal Democrat Councillors condemned me, but this latest announcement I feel tells residents
all they need to know about their ability to stand up for local interests.
‘My colleague Thomas, now faces exactly the same situation in Meols, where there is no support
for this decision, the lanes are being introduced and there are three Liberal Councillors who appear
happy to stand idly by while these decisions are made for them.’
Sinclair D’Albuquerque, a Conservative Campaigner who has been vocal campaigning to remove
these lanes since the Summer;
‘It’s disappointing to see the scrutiny and subsequent review we, and residents in Southport, have
campaigned for undermined by further investment into making these lanes more permanent.
‘Sefton Council are sending a clear message that they are determined to ignore the wishes of people
in Southport and disregard their best interest. Instead opting to force through this project.
‘Southport residents absolutely see through this and I believe they will express their dissatisfaction
at a lack of strong representatives at the local elections when they are held later this year.’
Finally, the Conservative Campaigner for Dukes Ward, Mike Prendergast supported this saying;
‘There is little to no demand for this scheme from residents and businesses in Dukes Ward, I
personally delivered 200 surveys on the issue specifically and received exactly 1 back indicating
support for these cycle lanes!
'The existing cycle lanes were hastily installed and have adversely affected those living and working
nearby and were supposed to be subject to review but now it sounds as if the existing lanes will
remain and that any proposed review was in name only.
'The proposed new lanes in Dukes will simply exacerbate parking issues in Dukes around Smedley
Hydro, which I have previously, successfully, campaigned to help alleviate.’
Residents will be able to have their say in the summer over how they feel their local councillors
have handled the situation when they go to the Polls currently set to be held in May.