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Access to new stadiums

By Brian Donnelly :  23/04/2008 :  Comments (47) :
I was thinking about the new stadiums in the Premier League and how easy it is park (for nothing) or to get to by public transport. So here?s my list from personal experience:

Arsenal ? Near the old ground, so not much different from the access point of view. Tubes & main line stations within easy walking distance.

Bolton - Seems like the middle of nowhere ? I always drive there, can park free just over a mile away. Also has a train station next to it.

Derby ? Again not sure exactly where it is but you can park about a mile from the stadium.

Man City ? I guess the stadium is about 1.5 miles from the Manchester centre. I always drive there ? can park within a mile of the stadium.

Middlesboro ? Originally I thought this was in the middle of nowhere, but this year I found out it was just over a mile from Middlesboro station.

Reading ? I guess about 2 miles from Reading centre. I have been there twice, once by coach and once by train to Reading central and then taxi. A bit of a pain to get back to the centre. We couldn?t find the right bus and it was pissing down - eventually we got another taxi.

Sunderland ? You can park about a mile from the ground.

Wigan ? You can park about a mile from the ground.

So, you might of guessed, the point of this article is the Kirkby Dome. Over 7 miles from the centre of Liverpool with proposed plans for a 2-mile no parking zone on match days. A small official car park and a train station, about a mile away, that can handle up to 5,000 people an hour ? there are no plans to improve this station. This probably means that 30?40,000 supporters will be walking or relying on public transport (ie buses or trams?) to travel at least 2 miles.

It just seems to me, that no other club have risked moving so far out without any apparent regard for how the supporters will actually get there ? or more importantly how they will get away from the stadium. Wishy-washy statements such as ?4 million households within 45 minutes? are meaningless. They don?t mention the extra hour plus that will be needed to get back to the car park. Also we are not a supermarket and will not attract other supporters ? nowadays the expense has stopped people watching teams other than their own.

For completeness, I just want to mention 2 other grounds from the access point of view:

Goodison ? You can park about a mile away.

Nuremberg ? I am including this because last year it annoyed me when some people used this as an example of why a move to Kirkby would be good. It has a mainline station just over 5 minutes walk from the ground with special match day trains laid on and it takes about 10 mins to get to the centre. I was back in the centre about half-an-hour after the match ended.

Summing up, it really is all about the location and the ?lies? that have so easily taken in a large part of the fan base. A final quote from the brochure ?large areas of car parking will be available? ? only trouble is it doesn?t say where!

Oh and incidentally my season ticket will not be renewed if the Kirkby dream ever materialises. EFC should really do a survey of current season ticket holders on the likelihood of renewing, if the move to Kirkby takes place. Instead, too many assumptions are being made!

Reader Comments

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Rupert Sullivan
1   Posted 26/04/2008 at 21:59:51

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This struck me too when I read the Everton FC ’Transport ’Plan’. I find it hard to believe that Everton FC actually believe that the several thousand fans who wish to go to games will be prepared to put up with an additional 2-3 hours journey time to the match. Everton FC expect fans to cram into a clearly insufficient train service, thus enduring long waits in the weather at the time, just to return to Liverpool town centre. ...and throughout all of this, they expect the matchday attendances to rise.

However, the short-sightedness of the current Everton Board has ceased to amaze me. My only hope rests in the government and believing that they will see these problems for what they are and deny planning permission to the whole thing.
Gavin Ramejkis
2   Posted 26/04/2008 at 22:35:15

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We also have disabled fans - I take two to the game, pensioners and young kids that go, the club have maintained an unacceptable silence on how these people that pay bloody good money to watch the game like everyone else are expected to walk for miles to and from the shed or wait in all weathers. Imagine a midweek evening match in autumn or winter and how many people won’t bother turning out. Attending an away match will offer an easier day, that’s a disgrace.
Kevin Mitchell
3   Posted 26/04/2008 at 22:38:02

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A great post Brian, I also will not renew my season tickets if we go to Kirkby.
On your last point, would you trust this board to conduct a true survey on who would or wouldn?t renew?
Darren Cowzer
4   Posted 26/04/2008 at 23:32:36

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If the Exact Parking / Park and Ride / Other Transport Infrastructure was displayed and shown to be Top Quality, Would You reccommend Kirkby then ?
Just Another Anti Kirkby Story with No Impartiallity and a not so hidden Agenda.
My first choice is a shared stadium with the RS but that’s not going to happen as too many fans are just too stubborn !

Danny Naylor
5   Posted 26/04/2008 at 23:40:55

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For example - it takes 15-20minutes from Kirkby town centre to get to Goodison Park by bus.

If it takes that long to get there by bus, I?m pretty sure they?ll take every measure to improve what the initial idea on the travel aspects are if this is the case.

Nothing is finalised, things will change. They are not going to forget how fans get to the stadium. There?s far too much money at stake for professional business men, contractors and planning people to forget about travelling fans being thats where they?ll get their profit from.

What about parking and travel to the Kings Dock etc and all the other alternatives thrown about? I?m guessing they?re fine and people have no arguments about them because they are in the city, which is always the underlaying factor to the opposition to the Kirkby move - its not in the city so its shite.

No offense to Brian Donnelly but who knows more about the move than the people actually making the move? There?s a few facts here and some new facts popping up all over the place - but does anybody know the exact specifics of the move? Right down to the penny?

The people who are getting paid quite a lot, who run the club, will go through every possible measure to make it work and right because of the risk involved.

I find it amusing that season ticket holders are threatening not to renew their tickets. Does it means you wouldn't support the club? Would you do the same if we went bankcrupt? Got relagated?
Tommy Gibbons
6   Posted 27/04/2008 at 00:06:57

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It absolutely astounds me that these ?fans? won?t go and watch the club they love just because it moves its ground?! and it?s only moving 4/5 miles away within its usual catchment area where the locals support the club and actually moves closer to at least half of the match going public and brings it closer to those who actually travel already from outside the city to support us and of course closer to a larger catchment area... All I can say is if you actually say you won?t go even before you?ve seen the stadium and tested the transport system then how can you claim to be a supporter..
I?ll say it again..its absolutely astounding that we have ?fans? stating they?re not going to watch the club they love.
One of the best sayings with regard to Evertonians is "YOUR IN MY HEART, YOUR IN MY SOUL",.... WELL IF YOU DON?T GO YOU AIN?T GOT NO HEART AND YOU?VE LOST YOUR SOUL!
Karl Masters
7   Posted 27/04/2008 at 06:47:29

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Good points Brian.

They even think about 1000 people will arrive on pushbikes.

If the team aren?t doing so well, the aggro of getting to and from Kirkby will be the straw that breaks the camel's back for some fans and they won?t bother going.

Our Board are too complacent and make too many assumptions over this most basic of issues.
Bilbo Baggins
8   Posted 27/04/2008 at 07:31:14

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The best served stadium in the Premier League!!!

Firstly Knowsley planners expect 16,500 to park-and-ride to the cowshed, the only park-and-ride sites being Switch Island and the showcase cinema. They also told me EFC will have to fund buses and car parking atendants ect.., so say it is £5 to park and then £2 each way on the bus all paid for up front as part of your season ticket. Don't forget, EFC havn't got any money for this.

Secondly, forget about the tram, Merseytravel have the power to build the tram until 2010 and they still have to do the consultation all over again and find the money. So, once the scheme is pulled in because of its size, that will add another year to the planning process and scupper the chance of Merseytram being built until 2012; by that time, EFC will have had to swollow thier pride and talk to LCC about plan B and C, which they have arrogantly ignored until now. Shame on you.

Bilbo Baggins
9   Posted 27/04/2008 at 07:47:04

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Sorry forgot about the buses. 160 buses are needed to service the cowshed, and the only way they can do this without affecting the buses on Merseyside is to bring them in from different parts of the Northwest and Yorkshire. In the Steers Davies Gleave transport report, they also stated that this could not be done for Saturday matches and could only be done for Sunday games or night matches with a kick-off at 8:00pm.
Gavin Ramejkis
10   Posted 27/04/2008 at 07:49:22

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Danny, your example of a 15-minute bus ride from Kirkby to Goodison doesn?t add that?s just one bus and when it runs. It also doesn?t add that unless it?s a tardis then it needs to be hundreds of buses travelling the other direction or from many directions into an urban area with a total population of just 40,000. What and how would such an area be able to cope with an expect influx of 50,000 travelling fans the majority using transport as the walk up contingent would have been virtually wiped out even if you include Kirkby residents walking to the game?

No mention of the town?s train station to which, as has been adamantly stated, won't be upgraded to deal with more passengers. The money men you claim to be heavily concerned about this move are Billy 'business plan on a fag packet' Kenwright, Keith 'due a tasty payout and no doubts where his loyalties lie' Wyness, Sir Terry 'responsible solely to Tesco Shareholders' Leahy, and the top boys at Knowsley Borough Council who are looking after getting Kirkby redeveloped, other than the supposed BK not one have the interests of EFC in mind... and his so-called interests have been debatable too.

Bilbo Baggins
11   Posted 27/04/2008 at 08:55:34

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Danny, sorry to disappoint you but Merseytravel and the British Transport police have both objected to the whole development. Train station to small, and can't be redeveloped unless EFC find a sugar daddy, and the availability of buses and the quality of buses arnt out there.

Tommy, as regard to supporters not going to Kirkby and giving up their season tickets, I know people already who have stopped going because EFC have even thought of relocating out of the City. I too will give up my ticket and just go to the away games as it will be much easier to get to and from.

Neil Adderley
12   Posted 27/04/2008 at 08:36:34

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Tommy Gibbons - It absolutely astounds me that you can post misguided opinion as fact when the detailed information you are obviously lacking is available for all to read and digest;

Seriously, your claims that "the locals support the club and actually moves closer to at least half of the match going public and brings it closer to those who actually travel already from outside the city to support us and of course closer to a larger catchment area..." are simply nonsense.

I would ask all Evertonians and in particular anyone who voted for this on the back of the "best served stadium" promise made by Keith Wyness, to take an hour of their lives and read the amended Stadium Transport Assessment (dated April 2008). The document is broken into the following sections;

1. INTRODUCTION
2. EVERTON TRAVEL SURVEY
3. COACH PARK OPERATION AND MANAGEMENT
4. COACH PARK
5. WESTVALE BUS PARK OPERATION AND MANAGEMENT
6. STADIUM TRAFFIC IMPACT - REVISED MODE SHARE
7. KIRKBY RAIL STATION MANAGEMENT STRATEGY
8. PARK & RIDE SITES 42
9. PARK AND WALK SITES
10. MATCHDAY BUS SERVICES
11. OTHER ISSUES

All the detail is in there as clear as day. The vision of your possible future "matchday experience."

http://www.knowsley.gov.uk/resources/228726/TAAddendumStadiumVolume3.pdf
Dave Usher
13   Posted 27/04/2008 at 09:31:47

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Said it before and I?ll say it again. I would travel anywhere to watch the blues and I pity the idiots that say they will give up going for the sake of a bus trip. Do you honestly think that the directors of the club and Knowsley Council will allow the travel problems affect the attendence? It is in their interest to get it sorted and it will be.

Incidently every time I go to Goodison I have a 40 minute walk from parking spaces. The busses are crap and the train station is overcrowded, packed and miles away. Sounds very much like Kirby described above so we?ll all probably feel at home when we get there.

Mark Wilson
14   Posted 27/04/2008 at 09:45:16

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Gavin:

Please do not make posts about disabled access/travel issues which by error or design mislead as some may think this is groups like EDSA talking.

EFC and the local authority will not be allowed to build the stadium without reasonable disabled car parking and access. It will not be the case that disabled supporters are faced with a two mile journey to the gate. This is wrong and not an accurate reflection of the way DDA and the new Disability Equality Duty works.

I cannot say for sure how good, or otherwise, the disabled facilities inside the new ground will be, I can say they will be indescribably better than Goodison, which despite genuine efforts by Robert Elstone & his ops team are, quite frankly, unacceptable.

And... whilst we are talking about travel. I visited the much heralded ACC Liverpool last wekend for a sell out (10,000 capacity) concert. I arrived within half a mile of Kings Dock at 18:00, a full 90 mins before curtain up. I queued for car parking in the multi-storey for 65 mins and entered the Arena 10 mins before the start. It took 70 mins for us to clear the car park at the end of the show - and this is the place EFC wanted to put a 60,000 capacity stadium ?

Reasonable debate is valuable and should be respected. I find it impossible to accept this picture of 45,000 people hiking to the game from 2 miles away. If it is right then we have a serious issue. Incidentally, I am able to park in the Bullens Rd disabled facility, next to the ground, and it takes me 60 mins to drop our daughter off at her house just 3 miles away...... we are "held" for absurd amounts of time at the car park by the yellow bib brigade. Anyone who demands some instant Star Trek type of arrival and departure time is just not being realistic.....

Oh and by the way most of the grounds quoted in the main posting above are a bloody nightmare to get away from.... Boro? Sunderland? its car park hell.

Tom Hughes
15   Posted 27/04/2008 at 10:58:42

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Dave,
It’s not about whether or not you or I will travel anywhere to watch the blues, we have a whole stadium to fill. If we don’t fill it regularly we will not be able to pay for it, and will be in a worse position than we are at present. Only a few percent of our support will go "anywhere", the rest will be put off by the ludicrous travel arrangements that are being cooked up to try to make this stadium location work. As stated in the article, far from being the most accessible stadium in the NW this will probably be the least accessible large stadium in the country. The out of town stadium model has long since been sacked in the US in favour of new downtown stadia.... so why are we doing the opposite? Because Tesco want to put a shop in Kirkby, end of!
Ed Fitzgerald
16   Posted 27/04/2008 at 11:11:08

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Tommy

Your post sounds desperate. I won?t be going when we go to Kirkby because the club has sold its soul, misled its supporters and treated 129 years of history with contempt. Do you think Liverpool would move out of the City?

As you are keen on quoting lyrics etc maybe the board should remind themselves of the club motto and the song if you know your history. Trying to label people who will not go any longer as not true supporters is a cheap shot. Many of the people who are of this opinion have been season ticket holders for decades so I don?t think their loyalty is up for question.

Resorting to abusing No voters who refuse to go to Kirkby is a weak argument, do you slag off people who don't have season tickets now? No thought not. I think season ticket holders who are sickened by the prospect of this move (and the manner it has been conducted in) are entitled to say enough is enough.

Maybe the Board's confidence or arrogance that we will simply follow Everton no matter what is based upon our loyal support over the past twenty years. Twenty years of failed promises, generally poor football, culminating in this farce.
Tom Hughes
17   Posted 27/04/2008 at 11:35:07

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Mark,
Your access analogy with your recent visit to the echo arena is probably a better comparison with the Kirkby option at present. i.e. 1 dual carriageway in, and one out. Most of the roads feeding this site are currently being dug up and grid lock prevails in any case. That said the city centre currently accommodates over 100k commuters every rush hr, with capacity for double that. The river festival down at that site also boasts a turnout of more than 10 times the arena’s capacity, and seems to pass off ok. Judge the arena when the roadworks and parking is complete, and/or more people realise public transport is the ideal transport mode for any city centre venue. Only a quick scan of the transport plan (even the ammended version, which gives you an idea of the negative reaction to the previous revision) shows some horrendously flawed support for this site from a logistical point of view.
Bilbo Baggins
18   Posted 27/04/2008 at 12:02:10

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Ed, it's not 'when' ? it is 'if' this thing ever gets of the ground. By the way, if anyone is interested, there is a meeting at the Kirkby Suite tomorrow at 6:30 for residents and anyone who is against the Kirkby project, where you can ask the local councilors questions and give support to KRAG and the newly formed political party, 1st 4 Kirkby.
Robert Carney
19   Posted 27/04/2008 at 12:06:52

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re. The Arena, whatever route into the city you take there are options to dis-embark and take the train or bus to within 5 mins walk. There also in the town centre many many options for food and drink.
Kirkby offers none of the above.
Sorry the Tesco counters will cater for the above.

Go and spend the matchday experience at Bolton, this is what you are looking at in the future.
Robbie Muldoon
20   Posted 27/04/2008 at 12:35:50

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Tommy Gibbons,

You must love everything Everton and that is why you will defend this doomed project .

There is other fans however, who love this club and see the very bad idea that Kirkby is, and will form groups, rally support, and challenge this project until the end.

I fear moving to Kirkby will mark the begining of the end of this club as we know it. Nothing lasts forever but it takes stupid actions to bring things to an end sooner.
Les Anderson
21   Posted 27/04/2008 at 12:52:17

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Just to point a couple of errors above, on that the consultation for the tram is done, as long as Merseytravel build before the order runs out in 2010, then its ok, only after that runs out would the process start again.

The Merseyside LTP has a proposal to extend electrification to headbolt lane in kirkby, which "could" mean an increase in services from Kirkby. Going by the fact that there has been no Merseyrail electrification extensions since rail privatisation in 1997, there is a slim to none chance.

As I?ve said before, the tram and Kirkby development are interlinked now if not officially, one can?t happen without the other. The fact SDG are transport consultants for both is a strong indication.

When ever 000?s of people leave the same place at the same time there?s gonna be issues. There's still so much that needs to be done for Kirkby, the current Travel Plan is such an early draft that a final apporved draft would be a condition on the application even if all the other aspects is approved.

Don?t forget that Goodison is going to have stricter parking enforcement from next season. Transport to and from stadiums is going to be come more important in the coming years.
Andy Willox
22   Posted 27/04/2008 at 13:05:27

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I have yet to have shown to me how Everton FC moving to Kirkby would be the same Everton FC I was brought up on and have watched home and abroad for 44 years.

The adoption of the club as a utilising tool for a supermarket chain betrays it?s independence for a start. Location isn?t even near the top of my list, the hoodwinking of supporters, the spin, propaganda and even proven lies told to the supporters , therefore the lifeblood of the club, by it?s current incumbents is.

How are we as Evertonians expected to pass on our support to the next generation of blues when we are losing confidence in the club (team aside) as an identity? When the fanbase has been split by a non-entity with a track record displaying the same contempt to fans at Aberdeen and sports fans in Australia? When the mishandling seems to be causing cracks in the coaching staff and subsequently playing staff.

What is Everton FC now? What has it become? We have little in the way of assets, we have hawked off the family silver, we have borrowed money on the strength of ?our? unconditional support in the future in the form of season ticket sales mortgaged, we don?t even own the pies we sell FFS. All done in the interests of the club.

Once it?s identity has fully been shattered by the option of this move then the last century plus of history will be just that, history.

A Nu-Everton would have to be created, one I wouldn?t recognise or have any emotional attachement to, and I too would not go to watch whoever that may be in that stadium in that town.

But, I AM AN EVERTONIAN !!

Ajamu Mutumwa
23   Posted 27/04/2008 at 14:36:00

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There is only one issue that would change me to an anti-Kirkby,and that would be transport as I see it as vital to a good match day experience.

At present the plans don’t fully hold up, but there are promising signs.

The boundary issue, and chants of the RS are bogus arguments as each time we have moved, we’ve moved outside of the city boundary.

In future, you never know, Kirkby might become a part of Liverpool. It is not beyond the realms of possibility.
Nicholas Hampson
24   Posted 27/04/2008 at 20:57:28

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This is another biased view of moving from Goodison (one of the most gridlocked grounds in the Premier League) to a ground that has access via 2 different motorways to the M6, the biggest motorway in England. Kirkby station not only has access to Liverpool it has access to the Wigan train & trains from Southport & Ormskirk.

The indication is that we will also have a tram link to the city centre which will I no doubt will have numerous trams going into Kirkby. It takes approx 10 mins to walk from the train station. I have travelled to Goodison since I was 8 years old & it is a nightmare to get home from there due to the lack of connections to the Motorways etc for away fans.

I fully back the Kirkby project & would wish that narrow-minded people who still think we live in the past would get a life & look to the future. Without this investment I cannot see the club going anywhere.

Johnny Lee
25   Posted 27/04/2008 at 21:46:12

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New Bullens, top tier on the Park End... get some foreign investors... Decent enough stadium with decent players... Aston Villa have done the same to theirs, and it's plenty big enough.
Tom Hughes
26   Posted 28/04/2008 at 09:24:24

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Nicholas,
"Out of town stadia" is living in the past. Easily the biggest proportion of blues travels to the game from inside the city boundaries, with the second largest contingent coming from the Wirral. Kirkby can never be more accessible than GP, it’s simply a logistical impossibility. Regardless of motorways that come from other places. GP is surrounded by several A roads arriving from all directions and the inner ring road, all can be utilised in both directions. There are only 2 dual carriageways serving Kirkby from the main population (one is already running at or near capacity), and these will be only used predominently in one direction. The transport plan has been revised at least 3 times, and it still doesn’t cut the mustard with Merseytravel, regardless of speculation about trams. Kirkby station handles a fraction of the number of trains that serve Sandhills/Kirkdale, and these have direct routes to ALL Northern line stations and again can be utilised in both directions, which Kirkby NEVER will. There is simply no comparison, no matter how much you want to spin it. That’s why the biggest stadium building boom in over a century is taking place in the US...... and most new ones are being built downtown.

Johnny Lee,
Precisely!
Tom Hughes
27   Posted 28/04/2008 at 09:38:56

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Ajamu,
"The boundary issue, and chants of the RS are bogus arguments as each time we have moved, we?ve moved outside of the city boundary. "

You make it sound like we move every fortnight. We have been at GP for over 115 yrs. It was the first purpose built footy stadium in the world. When we moved just outside the boundary then, the city’s population was growing by 100,000 per decade, the conurbation had already spreading far beyond the boundary with little doubt that the city would soon envelop all these areas. None of this applies now, there is nothing significant beyond Kirkby in Evertonian terms..... it’s countryside and rugby towns, eventually followed by towns and cities with clubs of their own. When we moved in 1892 we didn’t even have any real competition in the city. There’s an old adage stay close to your friends and even closer to your enemies, we will be doing neither in Kirkby!
Ralph Basnett
28   Posted 28/04/2008 at 12:53:51

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I walk from GP to Kirkby for every game and visit 11 pubs on the way home. The longest stretch without a pub being the Chaser to the Copplehouse. It takes me a very pleasurable 3 hours in which I have had a few sociable drinks, solved all of EFC problems, boosted the economy and not used public transport once.

Tried to get the train to GP but couldn?t find one (will try Google later).

Looking forward to the new stadium when I can spend less time walking and more time drinking.

Keep on bleating, but its going to happen......
Steve William
29   Posted 28/04/2008 at 13:03:02

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Kevin Mitchell,
You say you won't renew if you go to Kirkby!!! it will be too late then; it will be done an dusted. Think about it if we don't renew from next season and tell the club why, as I have, plus many more of us ? then they will have to take notice. Otherwise the kKirkby move will go ahead and the team will play in front of a half-empty stadium every other week. I know it sounds harsh and it's killed me this season just going to away games but I can't part-fund the death of our club. Stand up and be counted, and they will have to take notice.
Paul Johnson
30   Posted 28/04/2008 at 13:29:00

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I’ve been going to Goodison for over 30 years now - since my grandad took me when I was 9 or 10.

It used to rank as a truly great stadium. Throughout the 80’s, and especially the 90’s, it became clear that we we’re being overtaken by all and sundry.

I stopped renewing my season ticket a couple of years ago because, after 30 years, I now find the match day ’experience’ a chore - crap seats, crap catering, crap bogs, crap parking - especially after visiting other stadiums.

I’ve also wound down the number of matches I attended this year and last mainly due to the way in which the move to Tesco Town is being forced on the fans.

No-one disputes that things have to change, but I, like many, do not believe Kirkby to be the answer.

I’m not asking anyone to agree or disagree with this point of view, but what I will point out is that I suspect there are a good many for who destination Krkby is a move too far, for whatever reason, and that they will vote with their wallets accordingly.
Andrew Hill
31   Posted 28/04/2008 at 14:56:33

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An excellent article. I really do fear that matchdays in Kirkby will descend into chaos and that the local transprt infrastructure will not be able to cope with the influx of fans.

Imagine a few thousand away fans coverging on one motorway junction about 45 minutes before kick off and thousands of Evertonians trying to park their cars in the surrounding area. Kirkby railway station will not be able to cope in it?s present form and I cannot imagine local bus services wil be able to either.

Does all this sound like a recipe for success to you? I really cannot see this working for Everton FC or it?s supporters and I am worried for the future of our club.

Gavin Ramejkis
32   Posted 28/04/2008 at 14:59:25

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Mark in response to your disabled parking for Kirkby I have now asked the club half a dozen times about parking for Kirkby and got no response. I drive to the match with two blue badge holders and we don’t get to park in a car park but on street as do the majority of blue badge holders I see going to the match, access isn’t brilliant but it certainly isn’t two miles away. If the club has an answer on the requirements for disbaled parking then why not reply? Is it because they haven’t yet or is it another pie in the sky to go with their thousand or two thousand cyclists attending the game? I take this matter very seriously as without parking within close proximty to the match my passengers won’t be able to go and likewise a long trip back to the car is out of the question. As I said before we would more likely only attend away games as other clubs haven’t marginalised the paying customers and banished the majority miles away from the stadium.
Brian Donnelly
33   Posted 28/04/2008 at 18:21:11

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Some of the contributors are missing the point. Whether you agree or disagree with Kirkby, you should still be questioning the logistics regarding the move. It is not good enough to assume the BK & Wyness have realistically thought it all through. Of course they know more than we do, so why have EFC never issued any information regarding the transport side ? despite Wyness saying that this information would be released BEFORE the vote.

Does it not make you suspicious? Oh no, it doesn?t because some of you voted yes based on a glossy pamphlet that contained few facts, but loads of sound bites. It also included players? opinions on the move ? who cares ? what does Arteta or any of them know about fans travelling to football grounds.

Luckily enough the whole thing will probably collapse due to the financial side ? who would loan EFC £78M+ (except maybe Tesco!). Somehow I think the banks would demand more of a business plan than the Wyness assumption that inaccessibility does not matter and that there are thousands of customers out there, just looking for a football club to support.

Incidentally, I am getting pissed off with this ?only another 4.5 miles? argument. This ignores the following:
1) You cannot reasonably walk from Kirkby to Liverpool centre ? you can from Goodison.
2) The further out you go, the less public transport & on average the fans have to travel further. NB Goodison is not in the best location in the world ? the nearer the centre the better it is location-wise. So another 4.5 miles will have a serious impact on attendances.
3) You will not attract visitors to the city to a stadium, which is so far out ? the sheer cost & effort will discourage most. Similarly on the corporate side, they will have great difficulty attracting companies ? let?s face it they won?t want to spend a night in a hotel in Kirkby and the expense & effort of getting taxis from Liverpool centre to a Tesco car-park will discourage most.

Finally, moving to Kirkby would be actually nearer for me, so this won?t travel 4.5 miles crap doesn?t wash. My concern is, like I believe the majority of people who raise objections against the move, will moving to Kirkby be beneficial to EFC in the long term? My answer is NO!
Mark Billing
34   Posted 28/04/2008 at 20:41:40

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Dave Usher - a 40-minute walk from your parking space to Goodison!!! There are several plausible explanations, like you park in Lime Street Station, or you are just an incredibly slow walker, or you live just south of the City Centre and the car remains parked at home.

If ’the busses are crap and the train station is overcrowded, packed and miles away. Sounds very much like Kirby described above so we?ll all probably feel at home when we get there’ then you’ll be looking forward to your extra 1 hour 20 minute walk there? Put your time to good use - get sponsored and buy a player for the club!
Gary Williams
35   Posted 29/04/2008 at 09:18:48

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Forget access to the ground - it is access to every game on TV that is changing the landscape. 40 odd games this season - everyone of them on TV and a host of pubs in the city centre showing them. I have to be honest, whilst having a pre match snifter in town the temptation is there to stay in the pub especially when it is pissing down and we have Reading or Fulham. It is only the fact that I have a season ticket nestling in my pocket that has tipped the balance.

I have been Season ticket holder for 25 years and going match for over 30. Kirkby will not stop me loving Everton but it will likely make be think twice about my £550 season ticket. That my friends is a lot of stella in a nice warm boozer to watch the match for free.

This season has been great but think of some of recent times gone by when frankly we were lucky to see an Everton goal in 3 or 4 matches. Hardly likely to attract another 15 - 20,000 who are expected to magically appear in Kirkby stadium. And with £78 million plus to pay back I can?t see the prices suddenly dropping or the team adding real class entertaining players that you would travel anywhere to watch. All in all it is just a bad idea.

When the support is split this badly it can only lead to trouble in the future. Serie A anyone - every game over exposed on TV, same old teams winning every year and increasingly empty stadiums ?

Unfortunately at present we are there to make up the numbers. A mid-level stadium move for £78m does not seem to me likely to change our fortunes in the Premier League. Without either a billionnaire backer or a change in the rules (Sepp Blatter today proposing all Prem teams must field 5 national players) we will still be excelling at finishing 5th.

Nil Satis Nissi Optimum anyone? ..... Well Kirkby clearly is not!
Mick Gallagher
36   Posted 29/04/2008 at 20:37:45

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Has anyone tried getting off the motorway at the Kirkby or Fazakerley at rush hour. The times I?ve done it there?s always tailbacks. Should be fun at the first night match.

I'm getting fed up with are so-called board and Deal of the Century. When are they going to start giving us more information. I have e.mailed the club plenty of times with very little information received back and nothing that would have changed my mind, if I was allowed to vote.

Jay Harris
37   Posted 30/04/2008 at 02:49:49

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Just read extracts from the CABE report.

This is the group that advises the government on large scale development.

"We are concerned that the stadium design is being delivered by a Design and Build contractor. It is our view that Design and Build contracts can produce successful outcomes only when high quality design is embedded in the process; we do not feel that this has been achieved in this case.

"We are not convinced by this masterplan that there is a clear understanding of the space required for managing large crowds converging on the stadium. Also, we do not feel that an inspiring sense of arrival, as one would expect to have upon approaching a stadium of this size and significance, has been achieved. This stadium will be a prominent figure in the landscape in all directions, however, the pedestrian approaches to the stadium lack coherence, meandering from the railway station or drifting across car parks. On match days, the continued to operation of all uses appears likely to be controlled by crude boundary treatments."

.... and the closing paragraph:

"Whilst we welcome the development of the proposed uses on this site we feel that this scheme is, at best, a lost opportunity. The scheme proposed will have a detrimental impact on the town and is not of a standard that Kirkby deserves. This scheme does not meet the criteria in terms of design quality set out in PPS1 and we do not think that it should receive planning permission."

"World class stadium"

"Virtually free"

"The deal of the century"

Would you buy a used car from this man?

Guy McEvoy
38   Posted 30/04/2008 at 22:38:29

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Danny Naylor: "The people who are getting paid quite a lot, who run the club, will go through every possible measure to make it work and right because of the risk involved"

Still chuckling at that. My whole career has been spent sweeping up after ’people who get paid a lot’ mess up huge one-shot projects. Glad you have faith that we have more brains than, for instance, the sharp minds who put up Terminal 5. I don’t.
James McGlone
39   Posted 30/04/2008 at 22:45:03

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Tommy Gibbons - I agree, we should be able to go to watch Everton whereever they are, so, I?m sure you wouldn?t mind going to watch them in Belfast?

Thought not.

What an argument.
Steve Woodward
40   Posted 02/05/2008 at 12:07:32

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As an Evertonian that travels 4 hours to every home game I am extremely disappointed by the people who are complaining about travel arrangements.
I would travel another 4 hours if it meant I could watch Everton play.

To me, If the club thinks it is the only way to take the club forward, I am 100% behind them...

I will be as sad as the next Evertonian to see Goodison go but if, and I say if, it is the only way to go then I will back then club. To say you will not turn up to watch and SUPPORT the team you love, to me, as an outsider to the city, is very, very disappointing.
George Carpenter
41   Posted 02/05/2008 at 13:21:21

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The people who think that moving to a new stadium will somehow move the club forward are deluding them selfs,every club I know that has moved to a new ground have not moved forward one inch. Bolton, Sunderland, Middlesbrough, Wigan.... the list goes on.

To move forward you have to have succsess on the field; once you have that on a consistent basis, everything else will fall into place. My fear is that we will end up with a 50,000-seater ground that on matchdays will resemble the grounds above: half empty, and the Everton fans out numbered by the away fans.

If we move (and I hope we don't), it has to be done right ? there is no going back. It should not be done on a wing and a prayer, which I fear this is.

Steve Woodward
42   Posted 02/05/2008 at 14:53:32

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The only reason we would have half empty stadiums is if we stayed away... Why would we do that to the club we support?
If the away supporters out number us what does that say about us? Surely they have travelled further?

People keep on going on about how the board are ripping the soul out of the club... Well surely we’ll just be aiding that by staying away and not supporting the team?
Tom Hughes
43   Posted 02/05/2008 at 14:51:30

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Steve,
Your dedication is commendable, as is that of the few thousand who travel to all our games home and away. However, the diehards wont fill a 55,000-seater on their own, and the increased inconvenience and loss of history/identity at Kirkby may see to a good number of the current home match regulars. What progress will there be then?
George Carpenter
44   Posted 02/05/2008 at 14:57:45

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There is no doubt that many fans are not going to renew there season tickets if the move to Kirkby goes ahead (how many... no-one knows) and the 10-15000 fans that Wyness says will be attracted to the new stadium is pie in the sky. We average about 37,000 per home game, in a 50-55000 seater stadium it will only be about half full and that's without anyone giving up their season ticket.

But the real point I was putting across is that success on the park is the major priority, and any money we have will be wasted on a stadium that we can only half fill. Arsenal built their ground on the back of great success; Man Utd the same; likewise Liverpool. So what I am saying is get succsess and they will come.

Steve Woodward
45   Posted 02/05/2008 at 15:55:53

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Tom and George, I see your points and think you have valid arguements...

Maybe I just find it hard to believe that our board would make this move it they truely didn?t think it would benefit the club... But then maybe I am naieve!

To be honest, I just wish that one way or another, some kind of decision would be made so we knew what was going on... Why do we, as a club, always have to do things the hard way!?!?
Brian Donnelly
46   Posted 02/05/2008 at 17:45:44

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Steve, like you it takes me getting on for 4 hrs to get to Goodison. Obviously, you need to desperately want to go to make such a journey. If the half-baked idea of moving to Kirkby ever comes off, then my visits to watch EFC will become limited.

Most things about Kirkby are wrong, particularly location, transport & parking. It won?t attract new fans and a fair number of existing supporters will cease to be regulars. IMO it will be a financial disaster and I won?t waste my money trying to keep EFC afloat. I?ll always support EFC but, particularly for home games, I?ll become an armchair fan. It?s not as if we have that many games on a Sat at 3pm anyway, which to my mind is when football should be played.

I know I may not measure up to your idea of a true supporter, but I know many true supporters who don?t go to home games any more and they are just as much Evertonians as anyone else! Incidentally, I don?t think you appreciate how pissed off a lot of the fans are as regards the Kirkby fiasco.
Mick Gallagher
47   Posted 02/05/2008 at 18:21:36

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If the move to Kirkby came off and we won a cup or the league, where would the open top bus tour go? As were not in the boundary anymore.... just a thought.

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