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MAJOR HURDLE: Scarisbrick Avenue transformation

MAJOR HURDLE: Scarisbrick Avenue transformation

Scarisbrick Avenue, Southport, Council Image

A million pound scheme to transform one of Southport’s “key” thoroughfares cleared a major hurdle on Monday night.

Plans for this scheme include repaving a 200m stretch of the Scarisbrick Avenue in Southport, which is a mostly pedestrianised area popular with visitors to the town but which has been described as “neglected in recent years.”

The project, which is being funded by the Highways Challenge Fund, will also see new lighting and pedestrian crossings installed.

At a meeting of Sefton Council’s licensing and regulatory committee at Bootle Town Hall on Monday night councillors unanimously agreed to approve the scheme to transform the “neglected” walkway and junctions of Scarisbrick Avenue.

New paving, street lighting improvements, revamped pedestrian crossings and “rejuvenated” signage and CCTV equipment as well as environmental additions were approved by councillors for the scheme, which has been described as a “key part of the investment programme” for Southport.

Southport is in line for substantial changes over the coming years after securing £37.5million Town Deal investment from the government, one of the largest Town Deals agreed nationally.

Conservative Cllr. Mike Morris questioned whether the new paving would be able to withstand trades and refuse vehicles mounting to service the businesses along the stretch, but Cllr. Steve McGinnty said he understood the paving would be able to withstand vehicles, although the council were keen to find other ways which would reduce the need for vehicles to go down the avenue.

He added that here had been extensive consultation, which is ongoing with stakeholder groups.

In a report produced ahead of the meeting, the scheme was described by officers as a “key part of the investment programme” for Southport, with the funding allocation previously approved in October 2020, with money for the scheme coming from the Highways Challenge and Sefton Growth funds.

The licensing committee also heard a petition from residents of Marine Terrace and surrounding streets for a resident’s parking scheme to offset the additional vehicle pressure brought about by an increase in visitors since the pandemic, which has been deferred.

Councillors also considered a hike in hackney cab tariffs effective from December 1, which will see up to 24% increase in one mile rates, a standardised 30p for minute waiting time charge and whether to change the times of weekend rates from 11pm Saturday to 7pm.

Speaking about the proposals Cllr. Toohey said that all trade representatives were in agreement of the proposals and that they were necessary because of the difficulties in retaining hackney drivers due to increased costs and the increase in private hire rates, which has led to a sharp decrease in hackney drivers in the borough.

Cllr. Kelly raised an objection to the change in weekend tariff, and after a vote, this was rejected, although the proposals to increase the tariffs were agreed, as was the increase in waiting time charge.

If no objections are received the changes to hackney fares could come into effect from December 1.

 

Words: Lisa Rand, Local Democracy Reporter


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