Mr T M Crookall
Mr Crookall: Thank you, Mr President.
I would have risen to second Mr Cretney’s amendment, but
that has already been done and I think it has just been
superseded by Miss Bettison’s, so I am happy to second
Miss Bettison’s amendment. I do not know, on the back of
that later on, if Mr Cretney might like to take his back
because it has just clarified his.
The President: That will not be necessary: Mr Cretney has
clarified. What Miss Bettison has done is regularise the
position as far as the wording goes.
Mr Crookall: Thank you for clarifying that, Mr President.
I, like other Members in here, do not see an awful lot
has changed since July, since we made that vote. I have
some questions on what the Minister has brought forward
today, but, as I said, I am more than happy to see a
single line track from one end to the other that is
capable of taking the horse trams, the electric trams and
maybe, at a later date, the light railway. I would like
it to go right the way to the far end and possibly up to
the Sea Terminal, where you would have a waiting area for
people inside and you can use the facilities there – but
that would be down to planning and to the Department,
obviously, whether they want to bring that forward.
If I can just go back to the health and safety that my
colleague, Mr Henderson, was asking about, and about the
state of the Promenade as far as up to the War Memorial.
The road there, as we all know, is up and down like a
fiddler’s elbow. Is it only that bad up to there or does
the whole reconstruction need to go right the way to the
far end to that degree? If the Minister can answer that –
I do not know whether he will have that. We all know how
bad it is at that section, but whether it is that bad
right the way to the far end – if he could answer that.
For me, I would rather the Minister and the Department
get this right – do it once, do it right: when the tracks
go in and when the road is done, do it all at the same
time, do not do a part-job and then come back later and
say, ‘Right, we are going to go up the Gaiety Theatre and
then we will come back in years to come and do the rest.’
That might never happen.
What I would say with the single track is, if you put
that on the seaward side of the road and then you have
your pavement on the outside of that, then you can have
your parallel parking on the outside of that. I am sure,
like Mr Turner when he was talking, we have seen the
schemes that said, actually, you only lose about 70 or 80
parking spaces doing it parallel rather than herringbone.
If we are so concerned about losing the parking spaces,
yes there are spaces now; I guarantee, if you walk around
Chester Street Car Park now, you would find 70 or 80 car
parking spaces. Go and put two-hour disc parking on the
top floor. You can replace it like that. It can be done,
as I think my colleague, Mrs Caine, has said just now.
There are parking spaces around and it can be done.
As has been said, this is our shop window, the gateway to
the Island. The Minister called it, ‘One of the most
important spaces in the Island’, so, as I say, we need to
get this right. We should not be doing a great job on
here and then making it a car park. Yes, you can use it
for parking, but do not cram them all in and make it look
even worse than it should be. It could be a great place;
it was a great place. So let’s take this one opportunity
and do it right.
If we were to have double tracks in the middle of the
road, and then you have your electric trams – or even
single track in the middle of the road – or your light
railway, you would then need your stanchions and your
overhead cables, I presume, unless there are other ways
of doing it. That then presents a traffic issue to me,
health and safety wise, with vehicles running into them
in the middle of the night or whatever the case may
They will say there are ways round that, but if you have
it on the seaward side of the Promenade, of course, you
can have those stanchions on the pavements or on the side
of the road and, hey presto, they are out of your way.
Also, the overhead cables are not going to be hit by high
vehicles or whatever. It just takes it out of the
By putting it on the side of the Promenade, as well ...
We have heard recently that we want to grow the Island’s
population to maybe 100,000. We know there are more
vehicles here now ￼than ever before. The Promenade is
busier than ever before, and yet we want to put the trams
back in the middle of the road. Why would we do that? It
is going to get busier and busier with more vehicles and
we are not doing anything to stop that. By putting them
on the side of the road, you have got a clear way, so you
could either have three or four lanes of traffic. If you
have got three, you can have two going one way in the
morning when it is busy and one going the other way, and
you could reverse it in the night. Clever little things
like that make all the difference. (Mr Cretney: Hear,
I quite agree with the idea of the cultural quarter
outside the Sefton. I think it is a good idea.
Again, I believe by putting the tramway on the seaward
side, it gives you more space. It takes the horse trams
and the vehicles away from that space, and I think it
gives you an enhanced area. Yes, of course, you have got
to have crossing places, but you are going to have that
all the way along the Prom anyway, for people to cross
I think much has been said already, Mr President. I think
Mr Turner, before, said about this scheme that we had
seen. I do remember seeing it and he will probably
remember that in one of the pitches, there was an island
down the middle of the Promenade with palm trees sticking
out of it –
Mr Turner: I do, yes.
Mr Crookall: – and a single track lane was on the other
side. That did exist, that scheme. I know it did; we all
know it did.
Mr President, I will leave it there for now. I think the
rest has been said.