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Dumping the flyovers. #1072120
25th Oct 2019 5:43pm
25th Oct 2019 5:43pm
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wirral
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Excoriator Offline OP
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Liverpool is tearing down its ugly flyovers. Is it not time Birkenhead did the same?

I could never see the point of them in either city, and suspect it was simply driven by fashion. When they were built it seemed that civic pride demanded you had a flyover, which indicated burgeoning growth or something. Birkenhead's ugly monsters are even less necessary than Liverpools. They are not improved by having a mid-air dead-end in the middle where they seeingly lost interest or ran out of cash and I suspect are probably reaching the end of their working lives by now anyway.

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Re: Dumping the flyovers. [Re: Excoriator] #1072140
26th Oct 2019 12:27pm
26th Oct 2019 12:27pm
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Birkenhead
diggingdeeper Offline

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Birkenhead
We had daily one and a half mile tailbacks from the tunnels in Birkenhead and that was when traffic was a lot lighter than it is now. The flyovers made an incredible difference.

You don't seem to be aware of the History of the "mid-air dead-end". It wasn't always a dead end but filled a purpose until the Kingsway tunnel was complete after the dock entrance had to be closed.

Liverpool is demolishing its flyovers because they are unsafe mostly through design/construction flaws and partly due to poor maintenance.

There has also been a poor design of the city's major routes and recent public events have exposed these problems when through-traffic was virtually completely blocked off.

Now if you were talking about the ridiculous trend of having bus lanes then I would agree, yes they can have a purpose but the Wirral ones are mostly very poorly planned and unnecessary. Liverpool has done away with the majority of its bus lanes


We don't do charity in Germany, We pay taxes. Charity is a failure of governments' responsibilities - Henning Wehn
Re: Dumping the flyovers. [Re: Excoriator] #1072141
26th Oct 2019 4:27pm
26th Oct 2019 4:27pm
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Hamiltonish
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Grade separation of traffic reduces congestion and idling near residential areas, hence the reason some non-motorway interchanges such as A554 / Leasowe road and A59 / Gorsey Lane might appear to be over-engineered. The flyovers' removal will exacerbate the air and noise pollution in Central Birkenhead's busy narrow streets, as it did when the Conway Street flyovers were removed - the origin of your "mid-air dead-end".

Re: Dumping the flyovers. [Re: Excoriator] #1072238
29th Oct 2019 4:06pm
29th Oct 2019 4:06pm
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Excoriator Offline OP
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I think the opening of the new tunnel, and the introduction of 'fast tags' and automated pay booths has reduced the problem. Far fewer people use the old tunnel these days anyway. More people use the train to get to work or shop, avoiding the difficulty and expense of parking. Times have changed dramatically since they were built.

The flyovers are now defunct as well as being an appalling eyesore. I would not be in the least surprised to find they are now as unsafe as the Liverpool ones, being as they were built at about the same time when they were a mark of civic pride in towns across the UK. I don't suppose they have been more lovingly maintained over the years than the Liverpool ones.

Fashion had a great deal to do with the construction of flyovers at the time they were built. Liverpool is by no means the first or only city to find an excuse to demolish them now, and - amazingly - the result has NOT been gridlock, despite the fact that there are far more cars on the road now than then!

It is also worth remembering that the reduction in footfall in highstreet and town centre shopping centres that has led to so many retailers failing, also means fewer people going into town. All indications are that this trend will continue for some time. Surely it makes sense to reassess whether these ugly constructions are an asset any more?

Last edited by Excoriator; 29th Oct 2019 4:07pm.
Re: Dumping the flyovers. [Re: Excoriator] #1072243
29th Oct 2019 5:33pm
29th Oct 2019 5:33pm
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Hamiltonish
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You can think all of those things, but aesthetics are not a good reason to pull a piece of important infrastructure with no plan in place to address the problems I outlined in my post. It's not just tunnel traffic that relies on the flyovers, but vehicles travelling between Borough Road / Argyle Street and the A41 south. How will the removal of the flyovers affect Bus routes? A few weeks back a train broke down in the rail tunnel and Queensway suddenly got much more busy. I live right behind the Queensway Tunnel's Birkenhead portal, and I experience firsthand the effects of the traffic that uses it. Your post contains a lot of assertions, but I'm not the sort to just accept them without facts to corroborate them, especially when they contradict my own experience.

Maybe just stop looking at the flyovers, then you won't have to be disgusted by them.

Re: Dumping the flyovers. [Re: Excoriator] #1072265
30th Oct 2019 5:41pm
30th Oct 2019 5:41pm
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Excoriator Offline OP
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First of all, it's not an 'important' piece of infrastructure' It's a defunct flyover. And nobody is suggesting demolishing them without planning how to handle the traffic - except you of course.

For a start, the link from Borough Road to the A41 you mention doesn't have to be elevated. It could easily be a road at ground level from the roundabout as could traffic to the tunnel. There is simply no need to have a flyover across the roundabout whatsoever. Traffic from the tunnel to borough road could also be at ground level for the most part although it would have to cross traffic from borough road to the A41. The lie of the land lends itself to a simple bridge but probably traffic lights would be adequate.

And as to ugliness not being a good reason to remove eyesores like this, there has been far too much of that sort of thinking in the planning of Birkenhead which is why it is such a thoroughly depressing place to visit.

Re: Dumping the flyovers. [Re: Excoriator] #1072296
31st Oct 2019 6:47am
31st Oct 2019 6:47am
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The original case for building the flyovers was highly suspect. And 50 years on, it is clear they were simply a gigantic vanity project rather than a genuine attempt at sensible town planning.

Their stated aim was to relieve congestion caused by increasing use of the Birkenhead tunnel. But, even as the flyovers were being planned, so was the Wallasey tunnel, which would dramatically decrease Birkenhead's congestion in any case. Despite this, the depressingly ugly ‘roads in the sky’ were built, destroying communities and businesses in one of the oldest and most historically interesting parts of the town.

This was where the first of Birkenhead’s working class had lived, in notorious slums. Even though the most squalid dwellings were cleared at the turn of the 19th century and replaced with council houses, many original buildings remained. The History of this area is not comprehensively chronicled and research would surely have been repaid if the bulldozers had not arrived.

I suspect the real reasons for building the flyovers were twofold: Local politicians wanted to be seen to be doing something dramatic, dynamic and apparently forward-thinking and the borough planners wanted to leave their own landmark legacy. There was indeed an element of civic fashion about having flyovers in those days. They were seen as futuristic, a statement of a town’s enterprise and ambition.

Excoriator is correct in that the flyovers could now be demolished and replaced with a ground-level traffic system. The decline of Birkenhead means traffic in the area is often sparse. But, as I have said, they need never have been built in the first place. A traffic relief scheme without flyovers, saving many houses and businesses, was easily achievable in the late Sixties.

But the brutalist monstrosities rose and for half a century they have blighted Birkenhead.

On Sir Christopher Wren’s tomb in St Paul’s Cathedral is the inscription si monumentum requiris circumspice – ‘if you seek his monument, look around you’.

If you seek Birkenhead’s monument, go and have a look at the flyovers.

Re: Dumping the flyovers. [Re: Excoriator] #1072298
31st Oct 2019 9:55am
31st Oct 2019 9:55am
Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 2,239
Oxton
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Oxton
I'm with DD on this one. Although you can't see it, the flyovers serve a very useful purpose.

Knock them down and no doubt you'll have massive congestion backing into the tunnels and you'll soon wish they were back.

Re: Dumping the flyovers. [Re: Excoriator] #1072308
31st Oct 2019 6:41pm
31st Oct 2019 6:41pm
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Upton, Wirral
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locomotive Offline
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The flyover from the A41 to Borough Road is worth it's weight in gold, without it there would be havoc.

Re: Dumping the flyovers. [Re: locomotive] #1072315
1st Nov 2019 2:42am
1st Nov 2019 2:42am
Joined: Jul 2008
Posts: 14,059
Birkenhead
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Birkenhead
Originally Posted by locomotive
The flyover from the A41 to Borough Road is worth it's weight in gold, without it there would be havoc.



I thought that is the least important one, the traffic could go up Waterloo Place, Blackpool Street and Hind Street ending up at the same place without crossing any roads. The other direction, Borough Road to A41, is a critical one as it crosses the tunnel inbound traffic.

Interestingly both of those flyovers are called Borough Road.


We don't do charity in Germany, We pay taxes. Charity is a failure of governments' responsibilities - Henning Wehn
Re: Dumping the flyovers. [Re: diggingdeeper] #1072324
1st Nov 2019 6:53pm
1st Nov 2019 6:53pm
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Upton, Wirral
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locomotive Offline
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Do you realise how much traffic uses that flyover, Blackpool St wouldn't cope.

Re: Dumping the flyovers. [Re: locomotive] #1072331
2nd Nov 2019 2:16am
2nd Nov 2019 2:16am
Joined: Jul 2008
Posts: 14,059
Birkenhead
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Birkenhead
Originally Posted by locomotive
Do you realise how much traffic uses that flyover, Blackpool St wouldn't cope.


It is only a single lane flyover from A41 to Borough Road I can't see any difference in capacity apart from the height restriction of 12'9" under the Waterloo Place bridge.


We don't do charity in Germany, We pay taxes. Charity is a failure of governments' responsibilities - Henning Wehn

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