Local people are warmly invited to come along to a series of drop-in events to be held throughout September. They will be able to review the feedback received during previous consultation events and contribute to the resulting proposals that are being developed.
Consultation events in 2017 focused on collecting views and suggestions for how the Trust can best care for this unique and rapidly changing stretch of coast, for the benefit of the people who love it and the wildlife that makes its home here.
Topics discussed included
Andrew Brockbank, Countryside Manager for the National Trust at Formby, commented:
“We want to work with our local community to find the best ways to adapt to changing demands on this stretch of coast. The sand dune shoreline is constantly shifting here at Formby and the popularity of the coast brings pressures to both the fragile habitats and facilities.
We want to make better provision for our visitors to have a wonderful time here while showing sensitivity to local needs and demonstrating good conservation. We received a fantastic response to our consultation events held throughout 2017 with many ideas being shared about how to care for this special coastline.
We now need to work more closely together to balance these multiple demands on the coast.”
Fiona Matthews, the Trust’s Community Involvement Officer at Formby, added:
“These September drop-in events are aimed at ‘sense-checking’ the feedback we have received so far and sharing our emerging ideas. The next step after these events will be to develop these basic principles and ideas into detailed proposals, working alongside the community.”
Local people can drop into any of the events to talk to staff, pick up a copy of our proposal booklet and contribute their views.
||Saturday 1st September 10-00-14.00|
|Saturday 8th September 10.00-14.00|
|Formby Pool Café
||Tuesday 11th September 9.00-13.00|
|Saturday 15th September 9.00-13.00|
|Formby Market, Chapel Street
||Friday 7th September 9.00-16.00|
Additional events will also be added over the coming weeks and will be publicised locally and through the National Trust social media feeds. More information about the consultation events to date and the emerging ideas for Formby Point can be found at:
Comments can also be shared by contacting the National Trust at Formby by email email@example.com
The #Instacycleroutes guide will celebrate the bike rides with the best photo opportunities in England and Scotland – the two countries in which Bike & Go operates – to help social media stars find new selfie locations while also showcasing nearby cycle routes.
The bike rides could take place anywhere across the region, as long as they feature at least one Insta-worthy hotspot.
The suggestions will then be compiled into an online guide which will be made available on the Bike & Go website.
To suggest a bike ride, users need to tweet @UKBikeandGo or upload to Bike & Go’s Facebook page using the hashtag #Instacycleroutes, or email suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org. All suitable entries will be compiled into the online guide.
The latest Bike & Go project follows hot on the heels of the Quirky Bike Ride Guide, which was published earlier this year to mark the wide range of unusual bike rides on offer across the UK.
Suzanne Grant, Bike & Go Commercial Director, said:
“We know from the interaction we’ve had with our users that many love to photograph their bike rides and share them on social media.
“We also know that social media users are always looking for ways to create new content, and believe that showing people some of the amazing sights you can see while out cycling could encourage even more people to take to two wheels.
“We’re appealing to everyone who knows of bike rides with some great photo opportunities to share them with us so that even more people can enjoy the best cycle routes the region has to offer and post their experiences online.”
Bike & Go offers bike hire facilities from 22 participating train stations across the Merseyrail network, including Liverpool Central, Moorfields, Aigburth, Ormskirk, New Brighton and West Kirby, in addition to a further 49 participating train stations across much of the North West, North East and Yorkshire, East and South East of England, and Scotland. There are also a bike hire facilities at Seacombe Ferry Terminal and Leasowe Castle.
To hire a Bike & Go bike, users simply need to register their card details online, which they can do via smartphones, tablets, or at home, and pay the annual £10 subscription fee. They will then receive a user number via email which will allow immediate bike hire at just £3.80 per 24 hours whilst they wait for their Bike & Go membership card. Bikes can then be returned to any participating train station.
At these times of the year, we’re incredibly busy and we know how frustrating the queuing traffic and long waiting time can be for our visitors. Below you’ll find some advice on ways to avoid the queues and ensure your visit is as stress-free as possible.
During the holidays and nice weather, our car parks at Victoria Road and Lifeboat Road are often full by mid-morning. We have limited car parking available with just 270 spaces at Lifeboat Road and 300 at Victoria Road.
Once the car parks are full it’s a one out, one in system. This means that queues and delays to get on to the property can be very long. Because of this we strongly advise visitors travel by public transport or visit outside of busy holiday periods. Although wider parking is available in and around Formby, the area very soon becomes congested causing a lot of issues for our local residents of Formby.
Formby has great public transport links, especially by train:
Freshfield station is located 1 mile from Victoria Road. Plan your journey here
Formby station is located 1.2 miles from Lifeboat Road. Plan your journey here
Local parking and Formby residents
We advise parking at the National Trust car parks or planning in advance so you can make use of public transport to take the stress out of your journey. You’ll also be helping our local residents too.
Please be mindful of local residents and their own parking requirements on private streets. Please don’t block driveways or create obstructions which will make it difficult for the emergency services to pass.
Other places to visit nearby
We understand that our visitors want to enjoy Formby, but we on busy days it isn’t always possible to welcome all our visitors to our car parks. Here are some suggestions for other places to visit nearby:
Ainsdale - 11 min (4.1 mi) via A565
Southport - 17 min (8.2 mi) via Coastal Rd
Blackpool - 1 h 7 min (55.4 mi) via M6
Morecambe - 1 h 13 min (64.1 mi) via M6
These coastal areas can also become busy during the holidays and warmer weather, so we’d advise checking the local website and travel updates before visiting.
What we’re doing to help
We know only too well how frustrating busy days at Formby can be. Our staff, who should be carrying out essential conservation work to care for Formby and protect it for generations to come, so very often spend their days controlling traffic, parking cars or picking up litter.
We’re working closely with our partners to come up with some solutions, as Formby continues to get even more popular.
We’re improving awareness of how busy our car parks get so visitors arriving know what the problem is and that we’re full. That means you can make the decision to either wait or visit somewhere else for the day.
We are supported by dedicated volunteers who will be helping us with traffic, marshalling the car park, walking the queues to give people information and generally assisting with running the site. They give up their free time to help us and our visitors – we couldn’t do it without them.
We are looking at longer-term plans at Formby to improve people’s enjoyment of this special place and reduce the stress of visiting when it’s busy. Working with such a delicate and changing coastline like Formby is a challenge and takes time to plan to ensure anything we do helps protects it for future generations.
Here's my letter to my local Sefton Councillors written and published on 31 May 2016. I've repeated these comments over and over again face to face to local Councillors and the National Trust and I'm still waiting for signs of action.
Local Councillors driving around 'tweeting' isn't enough now. Time for residents to call them to account - that's what the ballot box is for, use your vote.
In the meantime, if you feel like I do, I suggest you write your own letter?
As residents of Formby we are all aware of the chaotic traffic problems caused by the weight of visitor traffic during high seasons and holidays.
Most if not all observers will be horrified by some of the dangerous, potentially life threatening results. Jammed roads making it impossible for emergency vehicles to pass, vehicles stranded in the middle of the level crossing at Freshfield station, trapping residents on their properties because of inconsiderate and illegal parking.
Despite the growth in this issue I can find little or no evidence that Sefton Council, Formby Parish Council together with The National Trust finding effective solutions yet. (Emphasis added 2018)
I know that parking restrictions have been put in place, but so far the solutions seems to be reactive rather than proactive.
It's clear that most if not all visitors come by car and with very little or no notice find themselves caught in the jams, they queue waiting in vain not knowing how long that wait may take or how far they have to travel. We all know that there is insufficient parking spaces on the really busy days and this in turn leads to cars parking close to the access points. It's fortunate that the dramatic scenes of last weekend are limited to a relatively small number of days in the year. Small comfort for the residents most badly affected.
As a resident I'd like to see the evidence of concern over this issue. Links on the Council web sites to documents, meetings and actions taken are required - occasional 'tweets' are not sufficient.
Can I suggest all of the Bodies involved need to address how best to be proactive. Visitors need more advice sooner. (Emphais added 2018)
- Solar powered Mobile Variable Systems, Highway Agency approved are worth worth trying out. They can be hired for trials
- Secondly it might be worth considering a plan based on Zoning. An outer zone with signs on the by-pass with the latest up-to-date advice. The next zone within Formby using similar signs. Finally as a last resort but a necessary remedial response, some means of directing vehicles to places on roads to park and helping visitors to access the beach from different points. There are a range of different paths that need signposting with advice on the time it would take or access advice (Wheelchairs, pushchairs etc).
- The solution also needs to incorporate the use of Social Media - these days most visitors will have access to mobile phones. It would help to use commonly agreed #hashtags such as #formbyparking.
- Another aspect of an overall plan would be to accept that visitors arrive at different times of the day. Early arrivals do not cause the problem but on 'high days and holidays' from 11.30am or at times of high tides visitors need active relevant and live updates. There has to be an organisational infrastructure in place, both physical and human.
- A solution will cost money, we all have to accept it, but perhaps on a longer term, means can be found to generate an income from visitors to offset some of these casts.
I hope you will seriously consider these suggestions and help reassure the besieged residents of Formby something is being done to resolve an ever-worsening problem.
For the full post visit: http://www.formbyfirst.org.uk/2016/05/time-to-solve-the-holiday-traffic-crisis.html