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MP calls for action on Formby traffic chaos

Formby MP Bill Esterson has called on Sefton Council, the National Trust and Highways England to take immediate action to address the traffic and parking issues affecting the town. The Sefton Central MP said that he was receiving dozens of calls and emails each week about the issue. He also spoke to residents on their doorsteps last weekend during a campaigning session around the Larkhill Lane area. Mr Esterson wrote to Sefton Council chief executive Margaret Carney, saying: "Over the past weekend I spoke to dozens of residents who live near to the National Trust properties in Formby. "They told me repeatedly how traffic and parking issues on summer weekends and bank holidays were affecting their lives." The MP said several suggestions had been made that would help, including:- · Matrix signs on the A565 Formby bypass with real time updates and information regarding car parking availability at the two Formby National Trust sites · An increase in car parking capacity on the National Trust sites · Better signage to alternative beaches at Ainsdale and Southport · Signs warning visitors that they risk having their car towed away if it is causing an obstruction · Signs requesting that visitors take their litter home · Encouraging visitors to use public transport · Encouraging/incentivising schools to allow use of their land for car parking Bill Esterson MP said: "I understand that a working group was set up by the National Trust and the council to look at the issue of traffic and car parking and I look forward to seeing its conclusions. I hope the residents' suggestions will be taken on board as the current situation cannot be allowed to continue. "Residents describe to me being prisoners in their own homes from early morning on hot days as the traffic queues for hours to get to the coast. Better and more up to date information for visitors is vitally needed as I am sure everyone would prefer not to be sat in queues. "I have also written to Highways England to ask that they allow use of their matrix signs on the motorway network approaching Switch Island to provide up to date information." Ravenmeols Councillor Nina Killen added: "With the long spell of hot weather we have had we have seen unprecedented numbers of people coming to the coast. It is great that people want to visit and we want to see that turned into an economic benefit for our shops and restaurants, but this must be balanced against the needs of residents." "I understand that Highways England have so far been reluctant to display traffic information on their matrix signs on the motorway network, so I hope that Bill Esterson's request to them will lead to them reconsidering this." Labour's candidate in this year's local elections, Carol Richards, lives by the Pinewoods and experiences the effect of the traffic congestion each week. Carol said, "I live here and am extremely concerned about the situation which we face every week at the moment. I have been attending the meetings with the National Trust and there have been lots of suggestions about how to deal with the volume of traffic. But it is time that action was taken and I really would ask the National Trust and the Council to take the action which is needed. The involvement of Highways England would help and I hope they will now listen to Formby residents and to our MP, Bill Esterson."

TOP PIC: Bill Esterson with Carol Richards (second from right), a Sefton traffic warden and Labour party activists near the Pinewoods

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