Lifting the gloom
Why is it so hard to finish public realm properly? It took ten years and millions of pounds, compulsory purchase orders and eye-watering Queen's Counsel fees to complete the new stepped entrance to Lime Street station in Liverpool.
The response to the publicly funded project backed by the North West Development Agency and the Homes & Communities Agency has been overwhelmingly positive. Apart from one important factor: the disabled access lift in the corner still does not work, months after the entrance was finished.
It is rightly a planning requirement that new developments must be legally compliant, providing access for all, under the Disability Discrimination Act. But it should also be a requirement that DDA installations actually work.
So unbothered seem the powers that be that the entrance was officially opened last week (pictured below) with council leader Cllr Joe Anderson purring that the city has a station 'to be proud of again' and other public sector great and good queuing up to call it 'magnificent' and 'world class'.
The day I strolled past the lift was cordoned off with a plastic barrier next to a dollop of sick leftover from the weekend's shenanigans.
When contacted, a spokesman for Liverpool Vision, the regeneration agency, said "procedural checks and works to the subway and lift have been delayed by other works to upgrade the station CCTV system to provide a safer and more welcoming environment."