Birkdale Village in Southport. Photo by Andrew Brown Stand Up For Southport

Plans are being made to make Birkdale Village in Southport more accessible for people. 

It would see changes made to the ‘Weld Road Corridor’, which Sefton Council describes as being “in poor condition, with inadequate dropped crossings”. 

Concerns have also been raised about the lack of pedestrian crossing facilities at the junction of Weld Road and Lulworth Road. 

The news will be welcomed by the families of close friends Marie Cunningham, 79 and Grace Foulds, 85, who were killed after being struck by a vehicle on Lulworth Road on 30th November 2021. 

Family members and supporters have been campaigning since then for urgent safety measures to be introduced along Lulworth Road to prevent any future accidents from happening, saying they will “never stop” until they have secured changes needed. 

Marie Cunningham, 79 and Grace Foulds, 85, died after being struck by a vehicle on Lulworth Road in Birkdale on Tuesday, 30th November 2021

Marie Cunningham, 79 and Grace Foulds, 85, died after being struck by a vehicle on Lulworth Road in Birkdale on Tuesday, 30th November 2021

Sefton Council is now seeking to carry out a public consultation which is aimed at helping people to walk or to wheel into Birkdale Village, particularly via Weld Road. 

In a report, A Sefton Council  Transport Planning Officer said: “Over a number of years the council has had a programme of improving accessibility within local centres. 

“The Weld Road area of Birkdale Village has been identified as having poor levels of pedestrian accessibility, with poorly located and constructed dropped crossings, many without tactile paving, which are unsuitable for a local centre, along with an existing signal-controlled junction which does not include pedestrian crossing facilities. 

“In addition to the village centre, the Weld Road corridor is a key desire line for pedestrians to access Birkdale Village. 

“Much of this route is in poor condition, with inadequate dropped crossings and crosses the A565 Lulworth Road at another junction which does not possess adequate pedestrian crossing facilities. 

“There have been numerous requests over the years from members of the public, local ward members and Southport Access for Everyone, for pedestrian crossing facilities to be introduced at both signal controlled junctions along.  

“The consultation has a clear aim as follows. To understand the views of the community and businesses in the local area of Birkdale, in relation to the scheme and to consider any small changes to the plans that may be needed to make the changes better for people and to take on board local knowledge and circumstances. 

“We will be clear about what the consultation is and is not as follows; We are not asking people if they think the project to make it easier for people to walk to Birkdale Village should go ahead. This project will be going ahead. We are asking people about their local knowledge and how we can make the area work better for them. 

“We will make best use of other data and information.  

“The consultation will be for a period of four weeks.   

“The results of the consultation will be used to inform a report to Sefton Council’s Licensing & Regulatory Committee on 8 January 2024, seeking approval for amendments to the highway.” 

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