As Ainsdale Ward councillor I have to question the whole Bellway consultation process concerning the St Thomas More site. I was the only Ainsdale councillor to attend all the available meetings and site visits. It was very apparent residents were tolerant of the 96 dwellings Bellway proposed but we had repeatedly a vociferous reaction about the proposed entrance/exit onto Liverpool Road. However, despite requests from residents to review the plans and put in a two entry/exit site, the original plans remained.
Consultation in my view was a sop on this site as the original plans were not adjusted. So I question the whole consultation process as it exists. I was horrified to be informed that Bellway had conducted a traffic survey which reached the legal statutory requirement but was very short, bafflingly conducted over just one day.
Residents repeatedly flagged up the dangers of the bend and the fact that 96 new houses would result in potentially 140 plus domestic and service vehicles trying to get onto Liverpool Road at peak hours, especially in the morning on the school routes. Therefore at the original planning meeting a provision was put in to install traffic lights that would only be triggered by vehicles exiting the new residential site. This will slow down traffic, enabling residents on Liverpool Road to get out of their drives as they do now when the lights are on green and with courteous drivers more safely than at present when the lights are on red. It will also prevent the prospect of cars being side swiped after being forced to gamble getting out of a junction which has a bend on it and, even with a traffic camera, tends to have vehicles driving at 30mph plus. If we have prevented one serious accident in the future then we have contributed to better road safety in Southport and certainly a safer entry/exit for existing and new residents in the Liverpool Road vicinity.