The chaos continues, the moment the sun comes out or it's a weekend/bank holiday Formby descends into traffic chaos. The social media are full of reports today about the traffic congestion BUT in-action still rules it seems.
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