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United front

By Brian Donnelly :  11/12/2007 :  Comments (26) :
For now, we need to:
  • Forget about the loop
  • Forget about redeveloping Goodison
  • Forget about any other sites
I listened to Wyness on Talkshite on Sunday. He comes across as if he?s looked at all the options available and Kirkby is the only logical choice. By comparison a lot of the Evertonians objecting to Kirkby sound like a bunch of Luddites holding back the progress of a rejuvenated Everton. The No vote is disunited and fragmented in its opposition.

Looking at the costs of building a new stadium, you are up against:
- Tesco have donated £50m (exactly what it will be used for, I don?t know)
- The club have never issued any figures which make any sense ? so you can?t do a comparison with anything. < By trying to argue on the figures, the no vote are accused of plucking figures out of the air and are easily dismissed by the general public/ media. You will not win this argument. The only response you will get is ?Where is the money coming from??

Then there is the KEIOC brigade. Now I think they are doing a good job, but their name turns me off. If Kirkby was to become part of Liverpool tomorrow, it would still be unacceptable ? IT IS STILL TOO FAR OUT.

So what is the one thing that would unite Evertonians about the Kirkby project ? TRANSPORT. Specifically, how is a crowd of 50,000 going to disperse after a night game? Now the transport side should interest and unite all Evertonians ? whether you voted Yes, No or did not bother ? you need to know the proposed solutions.

I remember the old soccer busses that used to run from the ground to Lime St and the Old Swan. The elbows and the struggle to get on those busses ? sometimes I just couldn?t be bothered and would just walk back to Lime St.

The other week, there was an excellent article from Tom Hughes on the number of busses needed (about 230 I think) ? this to remove people within 1 hour. Currently, it takes me 55 mins to get from outside the Park end to my car and back to the family home (near Warrington). It also costs me nothing to park my car.

Now you don?t need to be a mathematician, or a transport expert, to see that the bus scenario is just not feasible ? there are not that number of busses and an hour wait for one is, to my mind, completely unacceptable. Also, no doubt there would be car-parking charges to add to the experience.

Somehow I can?t see all these new match going supporters who surprisingly didn?t turn up at the Fulham match, deciding it makes perfect sense to queue for a bus in the rain because we play at the Tesco Valueless Dome.

Incidentally, whether we would get 50,000 of course is debatable ? we are not a supermarket ? our catchment area is the centre of Liverpool radiating outwards, not on the periphery looking in.

The bottom line is that Kirkby has no chance of working, if the main solution to crowd dispersal is purely park & ride. Before anyone says I follow Everton everywhere ? well so do I, but that doesn?t mean I will renew my season ticket if we move to Kirkby (although I will still go to some home games).

The stadium will fail if the crowds do not turn up and convenience/ location is the main key to this ? obviously EFC being successful is very important, but to assume that we will be successful is going down the Leeds route.

So I suggest that any arguments should concentrate on the transport side first ? that is crucial to the whole project and I can?t see any acceptable solution ? of course, I could be wrong!

Reader Comments

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Chris Roberts
1   Posted 11/12/2007 at 12:58:08

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Oh no not this again.

Transport is one of Kirkby?s strongest points. A railway station nearby. Easy access to motorway and lest we forget a couple of miles walk from Goodison. Get a grip please.
Tom Hughes
2   Posted 11/12/2007 at 12:04:41

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Brian,
I agree this is a fundamental issue, if we can’t get there easily it doesn’t matter if its completely free, or if its the greatest stadium ever built. (The fact that neither of these is true just adds to its unacceptability)

I’m afraid I can’t lay claim to the original article. I copied and pasted from an article on the people’s forum that was originally by a poster called Bluesnapper I believe. He attended the last Kirkby consultation and asked one of the transport consultants all about the transport issues. The outcome reveals the reasons why the study has never been released. I then only reacted to various people’s responses to it, since I had posted similar months ago speculatively. Incidentally, this study was conducted well in advance of the vote since it sparked the club into enquiring about Merseytram etc, such was their concern. This was painted in the media as being proactive and progressive when in fact it was merely a desperate reaction to a damning report on the transport and traffic issues, that basically threatened everything. In terms of the solution found by the consultants, people have to ask why is "park and ride" required to such a extent in the first place? Why don’t we need it at present if it’s so beneficial? Then the practicalities..... can it really work? Are there that number of surplus buses/drivers available? What about those who haven’t got access to a car, what is their alternative? I believe that the reason for this choice is simply that it has been found that the numbers required cannot access Kirkby itself from Liverpool via the few (already busy) routes available in the time window, and more importantly they will not be able to disperse readily post match, not to mention the effects on the other occupants of the site who also require easy access to function. Therefore, they suggest bussing in the fans from sites just inside the M57 to replicate decent public transport capacity through the obvious bottlenecks into Kirkby. This is the only way the people movement equation can work, and is of course what already happens quite naturally at Goodison where there is far greater public transport capacity and access routes. I also don’t believe there is anything like the required number of buses available given that the old MPTE only had 1300 buses in total and their fleet was much bigger than the current deregulated system’s. I’ve heard some state that private companies will take up the short fall. I suppose they will if they are guaranteed a profit, which for smaller matches may mean the club subsidising them, and that’s only if they exist in the numbers required in the first place. Meanwhile those dependant on Public transport will have to chance their luck on a system that only accommodates 4-5,000 people per hour at maximum. A system that only has direct services for a handful of Merseyside districts, meaning that the vast majority will have to wait for at least 2 different buses/trains. Compared to Goodison this is pitiful, so if people are sometimes deterred by the prospect of getting to Goodison on a cold rainy day (Fulham) they’ll soon lose patience with the Kirkby trek.
Joe McParland
3   Posted 11/12/2007 at 12:51:08

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Great article Brian. I and my wife went to a game at Ibrox last year wher nearly 50,000 were at the game. When we came out there was a choice, either stand in a queue for more than an hour on the underground or wait half an hour for a bus which then, because of the congestion took an hour to go the 3 miles into the city centre. This looks like what we would be facing every home game.
Tom Hughes
4   Posted 11/12/2007 at 13:17:23

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Chris,
Don’t be blinded by the motorway, its only 3 lanes at the end of the day, and no buses use it. The railway station is an end of line station on a single track and is further from the proposed ground than Kirkdale is to GP, it also only accommodates a fraction of the number of trains as Kirkdale or Sandhills. The number of buses is also only a fraction of that serving Walton. There are also many more A-roads serving GP from all directions meaning their capacity is also generally doubled. At Kirkby the vast majority will all be arriving and leaving from the same direction, this isn’t the case at GP. Out of town can never be better logistically than central..... that’s why city centres are where they are...... so we can all get there easily.
Jay Campbell
5   Posted 11/12/2007 at 13:22:40

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Joe mcparland ask yourself this mate and truthfully: Would Rangers fan’s ever consider leaving Ibrox(Glasgow) for Hamilton or Paisley?? My answer is no f*ckin chance!!! Same goes for Spurs, Newcastle, Arsenal, Celtic etc etc.

It’s a matter of sheer principle.
Tim Keen
6   Posted 11/12/2007 at 13:54:36

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By the way the full transport report is available here http://www.knowsley.gov.uk/resources/222480/ips_transportoct07.pdf

If you read it you will see that it is deemed acceptable for football fans to walk for 30 minutes from a "park and walk" site.

There will be no cars allowed within 2 miles of the stadium on match days.

Fans will be encouraged to stay in the ground after the game has finished with discounted food and drink offers.

The best available sites for comparison of setting are Reading and Bolton. For those of you who have been imagine twice as many fans trying to get out at the same time.

I am not making any of the above up it - read it yourselves.

But I wouldn’t worry too much, it simply is not going to happen. In simple terms 18 months ago Knowlsley agreed a plan of development for the next 10 years in which Kirkby was not included in any plans for major development. In order to give planning permission for this scheme to happen they need to make an amendment to this development plan. They have tried to do so but Liverpool CC and Sefton have blown it out the water.
Greg Murphy
7   Posted 11/12/2007 at 13:49:25

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Enjoy that walk from Goodison to Cherryfield, Chris. You’re one brave man.

To do it you’ll probably have do the County Road/Rice Lane/Fazak route (unless you fancy a game of chicken on the hard shoulder of the 57). Departing from St Luke’s Church, a brisk pace would only see you reaching the Black Bull after 35 mins. I do it most home games. It’s at least another hour’s walk after that. And then you’ve the return journey. Blimey, so that’s at least three hours’ walking every home game!

Tell you what, if we all took it up there’d be no national obesity crisis amongst Evertonians.

Let’s just hope we don’t see any more of the weather we witnessed last Saturday.
Ed Casey
8   Posted 11/12/2007 at 15:01:17

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Hi Tim Keen,
Just a quick query on one of your comments above:
"But I wouldn?t worry too much, it simply is not going to happen."
Just to clarify, are you saying that the transport issues surrounding the Kirkby move are unworkable, that Knowsley are aware of the situation and that planning permission for the ground will not be granted because the proposed management of getting people two and from ther ground is a non-starter?
In effect are you saying that Kirkby is not going to happen?
Mark Griffiths
9   Posted 11/12/2007 at 15:31:01

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This transport issue is a fucking joke!!!!

I live in Chester and at the moment it takes me on average 55 mins to get home from the match.

It seems that the evidence that we have been given about transport to and from the proposed new stadium would suggest there will be fucking thousands of fans hanging around the ground for over an hour.

Is this what tesco really want?? and before you say it is a genius marketing idea, who the fuck will want prance up and down the isles of tesco to kill time.

There are a lot of fans including myself who have a young family and want to get home to be with them before they go to bed.

I cannot stand taking the train as it is (it takes for ever) so i use my car.

There is no way i am walking for an hour after the match to get to my car and then spend another hour after that getting home.

The bus thing will never work, so what does that leave us, this whole shitty affair is a joke!!!



John Lloyd
10   Posted 11/12/2007 at 15:44:31

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Thats the first time I’ve read that report posted by Tim Keen and I it is yet another reason why I have & will be less involved in Kirkby debates beacause I genuinly believe it is not going to happen, ever changing goalpasts financially, planning & development wise coupled with the ever growing unease at the whole situation and now this!

I am of the opinion that if you throw money at certain things they can go away, but the whole selling point of the kirkby move was the financial aspect of it so we cant go throwing money at problems because we havent got it!!

If we did, we wouldnt be even deabting this as we would of moved to Kings dock or be redeveloping Goodison as we speak!!

By the way did anyone read how the board squealed & fidgeted through the questions about the redevelopment of goodison at the AGM the other night, then looked like liars when questioned about the HOK report.....tut tut. I was a Kenwright supporter but if he has been taken in so easily by Wyness & his ’advisors’ then we’re fucked
Tim Keen
11   Posted 11/12/2007 at 16:47:01

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Hi Ed,

A basic summary would be that ,as it stands, Knowlsey would have no option but to reject plannig permission for the whole Tesco project. The reason for this is it goes directly against local and national policies generated abot 18 months ago and put into the "Local Development Framework" plan.

To get around that issue they have released a document that attempts to change the agreed usage of the land that the Tesco/Everton plan would occupy.

Given that the local plan (which take years and cost millions to compile) was only finished 18 months ago and runs until 2016 this is a controversial move.

If none of the other authorities and none of the residents object then there is a possiblilty that this could go through.

However Liverpool City Council have strongly objected (along with Sefton and local people) so it is unlikely they will be able to get it through.

Even if they do a public enquiry would be certain which would delay the project for years.

These may be famous last words but as of today there is not a cat in hells chance of us playing in Kirkby.

Ed Casey
12   Posted 11/12/2007 at 17:37:21

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Thanks Tim - I hope your right!

Ed
Tony Gee
13   Posted 11/12/2007 at 18:01:58

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Brain...

Nobody on the board gives a hoot if its gonna take 2 hours to get home after the match, and if its total gridlock after a night match...

They will be in the Bar drinking ale till late into the night till the roads eventually do quieten down...

Kirkby is gonna be rubish...

Goodison for ever...
Dave ush
14   Posted 11/12/2007 at 18:39:05

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Another anti kirkby debate how interesting....

I wonder if Merseytravel or arriva will just ignore the fact that they could make a absolute killing on all of us going to and from kirbky and let us stand there or walk home. There will be transport for gods sake, the trains will come and the busses will be there to take us home. There will probably even be the odd parking space and lets face it there will be more than there is now. Contrary to what some of you seem to believe they will probably also serve ale in places called pubs that we can stand in before or after the game. (or both) The team will go on the club will survive we will still have good and bad games to talk about and everyone will find a new routine. I personally live in bootle outside the boundary and I would travel to the moon every saturday to watch the blues. lets not let this rip the supporters apart and lets just accept that one day we may have to evolve and adapt if we are going to prosper.
Glen Strachan
15   Posted 11/12/2007 at 19:03:08

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1-2-3-4-5-6-7 !

GROUNDSHARE !

We will be playing over in the park !

The details will take a bit of tweaking but.......
COUNT ON IT !

GROUNDSHARE !

This Kirkby ?debate? is just like ?Newtown?, Charlie Barlow and that TV show with the brilliant theme tune - fiction.

Just wait and see !
Tom Hughes
16   Posted 11/12/2007 at 20:36:09

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Dave Ush,
Nice one, it will all be there...... as if by magic! Pubs, buses the lot. People can list the endless problems, the massive shortfalls, even the official report to the same effect..... yet, to you it all means nothing because we have infinite resources to fill all the gaps, and you will go anywhere to watch our team..... it’s all ok then!!! Unfortunately there aren’t 50,000 Evertonians who will go anywhere and who will endure anything to do so. Otherwise there would be 50,000 applications for tickets to every game home and away. There were only 32,000 the other day after our best run in years, at a place most of us can to much easier than Kirkby and without any need to park and ride nor to find over 200 surplus buses, from a network that struggles to supply half a dozen extra soccer buses every week.
Harry Keogh
17   Posted 11/12/2007 at 23:44:19

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Tom Hughes



The railway station is an end of line station on a single track and is further from the proposed ground than Kirkdale is to GP
Sorry Tom your wrong.
I live in Kirkby and its just down the hill from the station its closer than GP to Kirkdale.
Dave Wilson
18   Posted 12/12/2007 at 06:35:01

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Tims right
We wont be going anyway guys, a few people in grey suits will see to that
Brian Donnelly
19   Posted 12/12/2007 at 11:32:22

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The irony of the situation is that most of the people who are still complaining are probably the ones that do put themselves out to watch EFC anywhere. There is a huge difference between putting yourself out for a particular away game, once a season, and being disadvantaged every home game. I live in the SE (Hertfordshire) and every home game is a pain anyway ? this move will be the final straw.

My thanks to every one who responded and especially Tom Hughes and Tim Keen for the web reference to the Kirkby document. I find it hard to believe that the answer is a 2 mile walk or staying in the stadium ? next they?ll be locking various bits of the stadium so you can?t all get out together. That?s progress - well that armchair is looking more and more appealing!

Tom Hughes
20   Posted 12/12/2007 at 12:08:02

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Harry Keogh,
According to route planner its 1 mile from Kirkdale to Goodison, and 1.5 miles Kirkby station to Bewley drive/Bracknell avenue. Not much in it really, except Kirkdale has 2 platforms and 4 times as many trains, and GP is also only 2 miles from a major mainline station and the Wirral line network.
Dave Griffin
21   Posted 12/12/2007 at 13:51:10

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All this is academic anyway because Kirkby simply isn’t going to happen. For slightly different reasons that King’s Dock didn’t happen, but both schemes have/had one thing in common: gross incompetence by the Everton Board. Fear not, we’ll still be at Goodison long after Kenwright, Wyness et al have disappeared from the scene.
Keith Glazzard
22   Posted 12/12/2007 at 16:47:56

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Way up at the top of this response someone said that Arsenal was a good example of why somone would never move out of their city. When they relocated about ten miles from Woolwich to Highbury in 1913 there was hardly anything else there.

Was it London? - they’ve never called themselves anything at all to do with it (certainly not the city of London, where nobody lived anyway). A bit like the shite - Liverpool City FC, doesn’t exist. Forget about it.
Dave Usher
23   Posted 12/12/2007 at 18:18:48

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Tom, if you?re won?t be bothered to inconvenience yourself to watch the blues then don?t. Perhaps you could do what the Man Utd fans who objected to the Glazers taking over did and form your own team in some poxy no mark division and watch them in the shadow of Liverpool's shiny new stadium on Stanley Park. You could call them the ?real? Everton or Everton City.

Ever thought maybe some potential fans are put off by the wooden seats, obstructed views, poor facilities etc etc which is why they are looking at a move in the first place. We don?t have infinite resourses to fill the gaps which is exactly why Kirkby is the only option on the table.
And I reiterate, pubs will be there and the transport will be provided because it is in someones interest to make money out of the 30 to 50,000 people who will turn up.

incidently i won?t object if we don?t move either and would be made up to spend the rest of my life taking my lads to Goodison, but if the decision is made I believe it will be done with the club's best interests at heart and it won?t stop me going the match. Tom, I hope you and the rest of the objectors are all there too because I don?t want to see us fall apart over a building when the important thing is the long-term success of the club.

Mark Pendleton
24   Posted 13/12/2007 at 08:49:11

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Bolton fans accepted a ground move from Bolton to Horwich to play in the Reebok stadium. No one attends games now and no one attended them before, so there’s proof that the crowds haven’t dipped.
Gavin Ramejkis
25   Posted 13/12/2007 at 10:55:38

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Chris can you come and visit my two disabled passengers I drive to the match and explain how they can walk the "only four miles" from Goodison to Kirkby or even given the transport report how they would walk for 30 minutes when parking near Dyson Street near the ground is about as far as they can manage now?
Tom Hughes
26   Posted 13/12/2007 at 13:30:57

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Dave,
I have never said I wont bother to inconvenience myself. I just stated the fact that less convenience generally leads to less footfall. Personally, I have only missed a handful of home games since Alan Ball was playing, so I can’t see much changing there. Any criticism of Goodison is also irrelevant since for the same cost to the club (latest estimate is £80m), most if not all the problems you mention can be remedied. And, of course here they would not have the glaring transport defficiencies, nor potential damage to our heritage and identity and fanbase..... what price would you put on that benefit? It’s priceless to me!

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