WORST ROADS: Liverpool motorists aren’t keen on these roads
We’re lucky enough to live in a part of the world where we can get to great shops, restaurants, beautiful green spaces, and even the beach fairly easily.
There are plenty of destinations worth driving to on Merseyside, but some journeys can be more irksome than others.
Whether it’s the time it takes to travel down them, a questionable speed limit, or the fear of driving right into a hole, there are a number of roads that can wind drivers up across the region.
Here are some of the roads across Merseyside that drivers aren’t too keen on driving down.
One of the busiest roads in Liverpool, proposals to make changes to the Strand have proved controversial – however major roadworks there are now underway.
Most of those who drive into the city centre are reliant on the Strand, which stretches down the waterfront, in some way or another.
As a result, plans to reduce the number of lanes of the road in the past number of years have proved difficult to sell to car users, who worry about the effect of a reduction in lanes on journey times.
Nevertheless, work is now underway to cut the number of lanes available to traffic on the Strand down to four lanes.
The council have released modelling which suggests the changes, which also include alterations to the traffic flow systems and junctions on the road, will actually reduce journey times by more than a minute.
In addition, the council say the work is vital to improve the Strand’s appalling safety record, with a number of pedestrians being hit by cars in recent years.
Switch Island Junction
Tens of thousands of people rely on this unusual junction every day.
A huge roundabout with a giant supermarket, many, many lanes, and even a hill on the approach.
You have to hustle early to make the right lane choice as you approach from Liverpool.
A wrong choice can lead to a good few minutes lost trying to edge your way from the A59 lines across to getting on the M57.
And there are always queues – even at 7am.
Highways England has recently invested millions of pounds to improve the junction.
Their spokesman said: “Switch Island is a busy junction where a number of roads meet. We have invested millions of pounds to improve both traffic flow and safety.
“Most recently we installed interactive road studs which turn green when the traffic lights change from red to green, as well as gantries informing drivers which lanes to enter.
“We also introduced a new road layout and lane markings, barriers between carriageways and coloured high friction surfaces.”
Just as plans to reduce the amount of space for traffic on the Strand has proved controversial, plans to remove cars from Bold Street have also been difficult to sell.
While there has been a level of pedestrianisation on the street for years, moves by the council to block vehicles completely have been opposed by many businesses.
They said the plan would lead to difficulties with deliveries and make it hard for them to operate effectively.
Pedestrianisation plans came forward in 2018 but were not completed.
However, it remains to be seen whether this could change.
During last year, Bold Street was one area the council blocked off to traffic for months to allow restaurants and bars to operate outdoors and allow people to dine in a more socially distanced way.
The council has said it is bringing that plan back again this year, though it has not been confirmed if Bold Street is once again going to be involved.
Aigburth Road was the only road in the North of England to feature in the top ten of Britain’s most dangerous roads for speeding.
A Freedom of Information request from car rental service Wessex Fleet found that 167,448 speeding crimes were committed on the top 10 most dangerous roads in the UK in 2020.
Aigburth Road came in at number eight on the list – with 14,476 incidents.
Park Lane, Maghull
This twenty-mile-an-hour residential road is often used by huge vehicles, and is covered in potholes.
Sefton Central MP Bill Esterson told the LDRS: “Park Lane is one of the most problematic in Sefton. Potholes, speeding traffic, HGVs. It’s a narrow residential road.”
Maghull resident Graham Maddocks echoed this, saying: “Park Lane is shocking. More holes than tarmac.”
Hawkshead Street, Southport
Elsewhere in Sefton, another 20mph road is the subject of a host of complaints.
Hawkshead Street stretches from Cypress Road to Manchester Road. One section in particular, across a bridge, is covered in potholes.
Mik Lawson said: “Hawkshead st bridge is like an off road track at the moment.”
Tom Wearing said: “Hawkshead Street bridge is shocking.”
Hargave Lane, Raby
Many people in Wirral have been complaining about fly tipping in their area, particularly since the pandemic started.
Jo Wilkinson, 43, said Hargrave Lane in Raby is a “prime spot” for fly tipping despite signs warning people against it.
The Bromborough resident said: “It’s a quiet lane with fields either side, but there’s always something being dumped there.
“[Dumping] has been going on for a number of years and this is a common site for it, hence the signs saying ‘fly tippers will be prosecuted’ and saying there is CCTV.”
But this has not deterred people from fly tipping. Jo said lots of different items were regularly dumped near the road.
Jo added: “Last weekend it was piles of grass cuttings and bricks, but other times it’s general rubbish, old toys etc.
“Last year we reported it as there was an envelope with an address on.
“It’s pretty constant, stuff being dumped at the side of the lane or in the ditch running alongside it.”
Rest Hill Road, Storeton
Fly tipping was mentioned as a problem on several other roads in Wirral, including the lanes around Brackenwood Golf Course and Eleanor Road near Bidston Hill.
But several people brought up the Rest Hill Road area in Storeton as a site of particularly bad dumping incidents.
One such person, who responded to a Facebook post on the issue, said: “There have been tipper wagons just dumping stuff whilst driving, as well as leaving bags all over the place.
“It seems to be a few lanes next to each other, Rest Hill Road, Red Hill Road, Marsh Lane, Brimstage Lane and Levers Causeway.”
Primrose Court, Huyton
The road surface itself may not be a problem, but Primrose Court has earned some notoriety for other reasons.
Until the end of last year, it was a major target for fly-tipping in the area while several houses have been left empty for years and one has been badly damaged in a fire.
CCTV and police action have improved things in the street, but many houses still stand empty and in need of significant repairs.
Roads are routinely inspected by councils, and where defects are round they are issued for repair – in order of severity.
If you have any concerns over a highways issue, you should report it to your local council.
Words: Kate Lally, Local Democracy Reporter
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