Park and ride derailed

Barry Turnbull

A new Merseytravel park and ride scheme has failed to win over commuters, who continue to cram cars into side roads.

Around 270 parking spaces, with security, have been created at the back of Birkenhead North station but travellers are preferring to leave vehicles in neighbouring roads.

Another park and ride scheme at nearby Bidston is also being largely shunned by car users.

Both schemes, creating 370 spaces, were recently constructed at a cost of £2.6m with ERDF funding.

Cllr Harry Smith, the Wirral councillor for transport, is seeking urgent talks with Merseytravel. He says Birkenhead North should have parking restrictions at the front and a bridge at the back so commuters don't have to walk all the way around.

He said: "I agree that the present situation is far from ideal. First the extended bridge has yet to be built and also there are no yellow lines. People will be reluctant to use it if they continue having to walk around to gain access to the station.

"I'm also asking for direction signs to be erected to encourage commuters to use the facility."

Cllr Smith said use of Bidston would flourish once the Peel Holdings development Wirral Waters takes place, although that is a long-term development.

He also confirmed laying down yellow lines on the side roads will be done shortly.

A Merseytravel spokesman said plans for a bridge to connect the park and ride facility were in phase two of the programme due to be completed later this year.Bhead North

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