Formby Labour Councillors Nina Killen, Catie Page and Peter Magu

Nina Killen, Catie Page and Peter Maguire

 

Formby's three Labour Councillors are working to tackle the persistent problem of gridlock on the town's roads during warmer weather. 

Cllrs Nina Killen, Catie Page and Peter Maguire say action needs to be taken to avert the problem we have seen again recently in Formby when the town's roads were congested as people flocked to the beach.

The problem got so bad during the most recent heatwave, the police were forced to turn drivers and public transport away from the area as the car parks rapidly filled and the roads became gridlocked.

Residents reported fraying tempers as motorists found themselves stuck in hot cars.

The Formby Labour Councillors are now preparing to meet with council officers to discuss the issue. 

Cllr Killen said: "The traffic problem during hot weather as people flock to the beach has been an annual problem in the town for some years. That problem has increased and culminated in what we saw recently with the roads clogged and Formby householders trapped in their own homes as they couldn't get their cars out of their driveways. 

"A friend who lives in Gores Lane popped into the Village one Saturday lunch time, but then couldn't get back to her own house due to cars queueing for the National Trust. That can't go on.

"As well as clearly being frustrating for Formby residents and visitors, I have grave concerns about the danger of having our roads gridlocked in this way. Emergency vehicles, be that ambulances or fire engines, would struggle to get down many roads. And that is something that clearly needs addressing as a matter of urgency.

"We are drawing together some ideas on how we can deal with the problem, which we will be discussing with traffic services officers at the council. Unfortunately there are no easy, or quick, solutions. We can bring in parking restrictions due to roads being obstructed but we need to consult with residents first and get reports from the emergency services and bus companies to see what problems they have had. This process takes months unfortunately. 

"But we are committed to having restrictions in place by the start of next summer. Dealing with just a few roads displaces the problem onto other roads so we need to take a whole-area approach. 

"I do not think that widespread parking restrictions are the solution because with nowhere on the streets to park, traffic will just clog up the roads. The problem is exacerbated by the fact that the National Trust and Council car park at Lifeboat Road cannot provide all the spaces to meet demand. Once those car parks become full the real problems start. Some on-street parking and better information and signs for drivers is going to be key."
Cllr Catie Page said she has spoken to motorists when the roads have become gridlocked, as she lives on one of the main roads through the town on the way to the beach.

Cllr Page said: "We have a lovely beach here in Formby and it is only to be expected that people will want to take advantage of the beach during bouts of warm weather.

"In fact we want people coming to the town and using our local businesses.

"But we need to tackle the issue of our roads becoming congested.

"Ideas suggested so far are to improve road signage throughout the town to guide people to available parking spaces and also to of course find overspill car parking areas to cope during the busiest periods."

Cllr Peter Maguire said the Formby Labour Action Team had already received a number of calls from residents about the issue, but he is appealing for other residents to give their views.

Cllr Maguire said: "We have obviously spoken to a lot of people about this issue in the last few weeks alone. We have raised the concerns with the emergency services already and we have regular multi agency Beachsafe meetings to discuss major issues around the beach.

"But if people have any other suggestions on how we can resolve the issue, we would welcome all your ideas."

You can contact the Formby Labour Councillor by emailing: Nina.Killen@councillors.sefton.gov.uk / Catie.Page@councillors.sefton.gov.uk / Peter.Maguire@councillors.sefton.gov.uk