WHAT a privilege. What a joy. Standing on the sea wall at Bramley-Moore Dock, imagining what it was like in the past and how it might be in the future.
Since it emerged that we were looking at building a stadium there, I have generally taken a wait-and-see approach. In fact, since the Commonwealth Games was awarded to Birmingham rather than Liverpool, I have been a bit of a sceptic.
However, having been on a site visit on Wednesday, I have warmed to the idea and become more enthusiastic but still see, excuse the pun, a number of issues portside.
The site visit was for members of the Merseyside Civic Society. We started in L4 at the Everton in the Community offices where a club spokesman gave some background to the proposed move and told how the club plans to make the most of the heritage of Bramley-Moore Dock. For instance, the hydraulic tower will be retained. The presentation was well received.
Then there was an Everton in the Community presentation. I thought it would be stuff I had heard before. I was wrong. Instead, I was further impressed. We were told, for instance, that on Wednesday EitC had people working in 39 primary schools and 12 secondaries in Merseyside. One of the aims is to try and prevent youngsters getting sucked into gang and knife culture. Excellent work.
Then it was off to see the promised land behind that big dock wall. I had feared the site might not be big enough, that we might be trying to squeeze a stadium in. But it is larger than I expected.
From the dock wall to the dock itself is about, say, 35 yards. The actual dock seemed much the same size as a football pitch. To the right is a wastewater treatment plant. To the left of the dock is what I would call a very large shed, which is part of the stadium site. And to the left of the "shed" is another 20-yard strip of land, which is also part of the site.
Beyond the dock is a piece of land stretching around 20 yards up until the sea wall. I understand that this is also part of the site.
The pitch would lie side on to the riverfront, with a goal end backing on to the wastewater treatment plant and the other goal end backing on to Nelson Dock. The pitch would be nearer the river than the dock wall, so that on stepping onto the site you would be entering a large fanzone, or at least be close to it.
With the enthusiasm of a 10-year-old, I was the first one up on the dock wall. I wanted to be there on my own for a few moments. I looked out towards Liverpool Bay, thinking of the many who had sailed by over the last few centuries. There's the migrants – in and out – with their hopes and dreams; the sailors wondering what awaited them in Liverpool or out on the high seas around the world; and the Second World War convoys when Liverpool housed the Allied headquarters for the Battle of the Atlantic.
The dock was opened in 1848. Breathe in the air and it reeks of history. I thought of Moby Dick author Herman Melville whose 1849 book Redburn draws on a decade earlier when he sailed as a teenager from New York to Liverpool where he spent six weeks, wandering along the docks and through the streets of the town. Yes, Melville was there before Bramley-Moore Dock opened... but the book is evocative of that era.
Then, with the sun beating down, I turned and looked at the dock which could become the third football stadium – after Anfield and Goodison – that is a base for Everton to become champions of England. A certain set of lyrics came to mind: "The men who go from Merseyside to sail the seven seas, will hear the call of Everton come riding on the breeze."
It could be brilliant, but will it happen? What's more likely? The stadium being built, or us winning the League Cup? Fortunately, both are distinctly possible.
First, one point to address: some people may be annoyed that Merseyside Civic Society, which "campaigns to preserve the best of our existing buildings and spaces and to insist on good quality design for our new ones", was offered a site visit before an Evertonian association. I suggest the answer lies in the politics that seem to be swirling around at the moment regards Liverpool's World Heritage Site status, although I have read little more than the headlines.
From what I could make out, the 25 people who went on the trip were well impressed although one fella politely made the point he believed that docklands owner, Peel Holdings, had some years ago designated Bramley-Moore Dock to be a marina and the stadium would be better on Collingwood Dock. However, as someone else said, a marina would not sit too well next to the bland-looking, but vitally important, United Utilities wastewater treatment plant and it would be better if a stadium was there to shield that view. The latter person was one of at least four match-going Blues on the visit.
Now I shall confess that until I checked on the internet a few days before the visit, I wasn't sure if Bramley-Moore was a dry dock, or had been filled in. It is in fact a wet dock. In fact, it was so wet that four vessels were in it. Tugs or pilot boats, I think.
I also heard it suggested that filling in Bramley-Moore Dock would mean the loss of a dock accessible to sea-going vessels. But the cut for vessels to get in the dock is a narrow one, 60ft I believe. Boats in the 1840s weren't as big as today. Another person said that dock designs has always lagged behind the design of ships because the technology involved in vessels has always progressed at a faster pace.
Moving on, it is all well and good going to games at these great new stadiums, but getting away from them can be such a pain. For instance, when Tottenham opened their new stadium last season, I was taken aback by their leap in capacity from around 38,000 to 62,000 and wondered what their plans were to disperse so many people in such a built-up area. They are fortunate to have, within walking distance, three train stations on three different lines and, I assume, well-organised queuing systems.
It might be worth picking their brains, even if just to learn of their teething problems, although I assume great thought has already been given to how 50,000 people might leave Bramley-Moore Dock. Because at some point in their journey home, everyone will have to get on to Regent Road, which runs parallel to the river. It may be that special matchday exits can be provided via the neighbouring docks.
Once on Regent Road, I believe it is turn left if you want Sandhills station for trains to Bootle, Crosby, Kirkby and Ormskirk. Turn right if you want the city centre. It is about a 30-minute walk to Old Hall Street and its entrance to Moorfields station.
Those Victorians had the right idea. They built a "high-level railway", 1,000ft in length, to connect Bramley-Moore Dock to the nearby railway line. This was for the export of coal from the Wigan area. It cost £50,000.
It was a pleasant walk in the summer sun from Bramley-Moore Dock into town. But December? Errr, or should that be Brrr?
And I found that Regent Road is down to two lanes. There is a third lane for something else, seemingly not yet opened. Cycling? I do not know. But the pavements have been widened. I suspect that on a matchday this road might be closed to traffic, open only for the use of vehicles of the emergency services and disabled people.
Cars, buses and taxis might have to use Great Howard Street, which runs parallel to Regent Road. Car parking? I suspect it will be more difficult than it is at Goodison Park.
We are yet to learn how much the stadium will cost and how it will be funded. I am sure the club will face paying each year what might be called "a mortgage". Our loan repayments will be an amount that we cannot spend on players. It worries me that we are one of the few clubs in the Premier League with an unresolved stadium issue, neither relocated nor refurbished.
But I do believe that the club will soon be releasing stadium design images, on July 26. Then submitting a planning application by the end of this year. How long might it take to get planning permission? This is yet another area where I am no expert. But it's not a conservatory in the garden that we're building; it's big plans. One might assume there will at least be a few queries, a few amendments, a few letters flying back and forth. If you said 6 to 12 months, that would be a result. And then one would hope the finances are in place.
Apparently, once work starts, it would be scheduled to take 3 years. Well, given the shambolic situation up the road at the Royal (where a nearly completed, new major hospital remains empty since its builders went bust 18 months ago), given the delays to the hugely expensive Crossrail project in the nation state that is London, and given the colossal expense of HS2 which doesn't appear to be going anywhere for a long time yet, I would factor in a year's delay.
So, I would hazard a guess that 2020 will be consumed by planning permission issues; work could start in 2021 and the stadium be ready in 2025. Of course, I may be unduly pessimistic. We may yet be running out there in 2023.
It will be a fascinating drama to follow. Who needs TV soap operas when you're an Evertonian?
Reader Comments (84)
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1 Posted 11/07/2019 at 19:23:05
I guess the next 4 years will seem like the longest Christmas Eve ever.
2 Posted 11/07/2019 at 19:29:50
You also make some good points as regards a Stadium versus a Marina, next to a Wastewater Treatment Plant, as the Stadium would mostly obscure the view of it.
As some have mentioned in previous articles on this similar subject, it is almost laughable when 'suits' are talking of World Heritage Site status and preservation. Preservation of what exactly? Okay, the place has history, but if it meant that much to the ones making all the noise, why have they let it fall basically into such disrepair, and an eyesore?
Let's hope that all these obstacles are overcome soon and both our long-awaited desire for a new home and a League Title are not too far away.
3 Posted 11/07/2019 at 21:28:05
A running track around the pitch? No thanks!
I would not have been happy with another West Ham style Olympic effort.
4 Posted 11/07/2019 at 21:42:07
5 Posted 11/07/2019 at 22:02:07
Spurs, have got 3 separate railway lines, and is probably accessible from every direction, but with this stadium going next to the waterfront, then its going to be a nightmare for traffic.
I think we need a new landing stage, and I think that once this stadium is built, then a lot of people might find it easier getting to the stadium by boat? Sounds silly, but a short trip across the Mersey, with park and ride might come into operation, but Im not sure how this would work for night games in the winter though!
6 Posted 11/07/2019 at 23:37:53
Are there any guarantees that we would end up with a ground like Manc if it was being converted from a running track?
By the noises that are coming out of EFC they're about to spend a fortune on tarting up the exterior for Unesco and something has to give to pay for this, why not the interior?
As I said I'm much more comfortable building a stadium for football from the ground up rather than starting with a running track!
7 Posted 12/07/2019 at 00:34:21
Your idea of boat transport isn't silly, it's excellent.
I lived in Pittsburgh, PA when the baseball stadium PNC Park was built for the Pittsburgh Pirates. It was constructed right on the bank of the Allegheny River in downtown Pittsburgh.
Traffic is a nightmare in Pittsburgh, as there are tunnels from the south side suburbs and the eastern suburbs you have to go through to enter the city center. Anyone coming from the "South Hills" area or from the east, would need to cross one of 3-4 bridges to have gotten to the north side of town where PNC Park is.
One of their solutions to traffic issues was to boat people across from Station Square on the south side of the city, on the Monongahela River, over to the stadium on the Allegheny River.
Same thing where you're at. Boat 'em across the river from Birkenhead / whatever other suburb folks come from west - southwest of Liverpool.
The fans in Pittsburgh loved the boats. It was cool. And it alleviated traffic issues.
It sounds like the traffic situation at BMD will be a nightmare. They need to look at any and all alternatives to help that situation.
50,000 plus people descending to one location with two lane, city roads, to a place that also butts up against a bay / river is a serious log jam waiting to happen. Your boat idea is a damn good one. Anything will help.
It worked well in Pittsburgh from my experience, and it was a "novelty" type of thing people loved. I see similarities with Liverpool and BMD.
8 Posted 12/07/2019 at 01:11:21
9 Posted 12/07/2019 at 07:51:49
10 Posted 12/07/2019 at 09:35:21
Thank you for the great article Mike.
11 Posted 12/07/2019 at 10:28:56
You've certainly set the scene.
Apart from the cost (the actual cost to the club), my biggest concern is the transport. The narrowed Dock Rd, Great Howard St (North-South) and Sandhills/Boundary St (East-West) limits the accessibility of the site itself.
At present it's a bit difficult to see: (a) How the predicted 60:40 public to private transport will be achieved. (b) Where cars can be accommodated in sufficient numbers within reasonable walking distance. (c) Their efficient dispersal post-match given the limited number of traffic lanes available.
From first appearances, the stadium itself will essentially be in a cul de sac. The on site car park (on the river side of the site) will have very limited access too. Several major junctions will have to be remodeled to increase traffic flows.
At the recent presentation the club seemed quite confident, and said that they don't see any great problems transport-wise. Hopefully, that is the result of extensive transport modelling and consultation with Merseytravel, rather than fanciful speculation.
12 Posted 12/07/2019 at 11:04:42
As for the smell, Thats been exaggerated. Its there, especially at certain times on certain days. But do you really expect a billion pound retail development not to have plans to deal with a sewage works? I expect us to solve any issue very easily.
It must be pre-season if youre worrying over nothing.
13 Posted 12/07/2019 at 13:09:26
You're absolutely right that the city centre copes with far bigger numbers than any stadium every rush hour. That is the whole reason for relocating stadia to city-centre sites. However, the city centre does this by having 4 railway stations, and being the focal point for bus services from every district of the city region.
The problem is that Bramley-Moore Dock is over a mile from the closest city centre station at Moorfields (access to Northern and Wirral lines), almost 1 mile from Sandhills, and 1.7 miles from Liverpool One bus station, and the site itself has no dedicated public transport as yet.
Therefore, while Liverpool Waters is intended to be nominally a city centre-extension, Bramley-Moore Dock will always be peripheral and will need additional infrastructure before we can group it with the existing centre in transport terms.
Also, compared to Goodison Park, Bramley-Moore Dock has nowhere near the number of traffic lanes or existing bus services, and that only manages 40:60 public to private transport. Extending/redirecting a number bus services on match/event days should be possible so near to the city centre. Also, a new Northern line station and future extension of the network would also help, but we need to know how it will all work with or without these measures before we can properly judge.
14 Posted 12/07/2019 at 13:42:04
No doubt the filling-in of much of Bramley-Moore Dock's water space will be a sticking point with some 'preservationists' who still don't see the need to come to a creative compromise. However, I think we should recognise the Liverpool tradition of re-purposing older docks in this way. Liverpool One is built over the site of the former Customs House, which was in turn built within the site of the first dock (now preserved below ground). The Liver Building was built over an old dock. Everton seem to have agreed to maintain an open water channel across their site, between the conserved Central Docks and the working North Docks, as well as to carry out a considerable amount of conservation work – this suggests that there have been detailed discussions with Historic England and others.
Although, like Tom Hughes, I'm a great admirer of Goodison Park (including the potential for expansion combined with conservation), I have also been impressed by Everton's approach to Bramley-Moore Dock and am looking forward to the full consultations in a couple of weeks.
15 Posted 12/07/2019 at 13:53:52
I remember when they put the big-top tent down towards Bramley Moore, for the summer pops, and it was a disaster for anyone in a car.
I agree with Tom, that first impressions are that the stadium looks like its getting built in a cul-de-sac, and is possibly why Everton are looking at a lower end capacity?
Its early days, Lauries link on Melbourne was so interesting, because its obvious they can make better road-links, looking at those pictures (they even built bridges Wyeness!) and if people are going to start becoming residents of this area (25,000 in Melbourne?) then its obvious that the train has got to help take the strain?
16 Posted 12/07/2019 at 15:50:29
Very informative article and of particular interest to me as a retired Planning and Development Consultant.
The timescale you postulate for the planning application, going forward to consent, is a fair judgement. The only possible disruptive factor could be the Secretary of State who might get it into his head that the scheme is of national Importance given the controversy surrounding the World Heritage Site nearby. If it is called in for his determination on those grounds then guess what?; a Public Inquiry takes place before a Secretary of State appointed Inspector. The cost of that in terms of delay and funding expert witnesses is something the club could do without.
As to traffic and dispersal after the game, I think this one needs a bit more careful examination. Hopefully the upcoming public consultation will outline some measures that the club and its advisors have in mind. The proposed car park will barely scratch the surface of this problem.
I hope others will not see this note as overly pessimistic since I am excited by the scheme as a Blues supporter and given my interest in urban redevelopment. However better to be aware of the various scenarios that might arise. Schemes like this, at this scale, rarely get from a to z without some hiccups on the way.
17 Posted 12/07/2019 at 16:03:43
The devil is in the detail on the proposed BMD move.
There are seemingly an increasing number of extraneous, yet vital aspects to the stadium build (like transport), which we really have no idea how or when (or who pays!) they will be resolved.
18 Posted 12/07/2019 at 16:39:05
Indeed, if I remember correctly, when it was mentioned that we Liverpool might host the Games I'm sure there was talk of the stadium running along rather than across the Dock so as to facilitate the extra space required. What will be the side of our new home next to the river would have been the end of the Games stadium. The proposed stadium was clearly going to be planned to be a football ground with interim measures for use by the Games, so the stadium we would have ended up with would be somewhat different to the one used for the Games.
I don't see the relevance of your UNESCO comment to the matter being discussed, nobody would suggest an athletics track as a way of saving money, & as the Games are going elsewhere the idea seems no longer pertinent.
The only reason I would be glad that the Games element has been removed is that the loss of any associated funding to subsidise the new stadium may, at some point, cause the Board to review the huge outlay involved compared to the cost of redeveloping Goodison Park & reconsider their proposed course of action.
19 Posted 12/07/2019 at 18:21:21
I lived 2 mins walk from Moorfields for 15 years. I know exactly how far the new stadium is, how long it takes to walk or cycle there. Done it so many times. Been sat in traffic going both ways so many times. I do not see any problem whatsoever.
Ever been to Old Trafford? No one can get close to that. Nor the City of Manchester Stadium. The mancs all park well away from the ground and walk up or get the tram. Why won't Everton fans park in town, meet for a pint and then walk up. I would expect other establishments (I won't say boozers as I think some of them will be fancy places as part of the Liverpool Waters Project) to offer a stopping point for further refreshments.
I think the whole traffic issue is a complete red herring and of no consequence whatsoever.
20 Posted 12/07/2019 at 18:44:03
Ive no doubt there will be a similar bus from Bramley Moore. The club could even offer a park and ride scheme from Goodison to the new ground. Im sure many fans would like to get away from Bramley Moore quickly, and then be able to drive along Queens Drive towards the M62 without being caught in traffic outside the ground.
These are plenty of solutions to move people quickly from BMD. Also, if there are bars and restaurants around the ground, a proportion of the fan base will stay near the ground. Some will walk to town.
Its all very feasible. People just need options.
21 Posted 12/07/2019 at 19:44:18
I would hope that the problem of providing transport from the City centre to Bramley Moore Dock would not present too great a challenge for the people involved in this exercise!
I would build a tram line from the bottom of James St to the site.
Because in time, it will service the office buildings and residential apartment blocks of The Peel Waters Development, and EFC will be footing the cost of building the stadium that kickstarts the project, Peel and The City should be getting their cheque books out to fund it.
Not a big deal when you see this sort of thing happening in other parts of the world:-
22 Posted 12/07/2019 at 19:54:27
23 Posted 12/07/2019 at 20:31:07
I don't know much about the soccer bus..How many usually run and how long do they run after the game ends?
24 Posted 12/07/2019 at 20:33:33
Before game the buses run regularly from Sandhills for the same price.
25 Posted 12/07/2019 at 20:47:27
I ended up walking all the way to the pub from Goodison as there was no chance of getting on one of the buses. There were only three or four there and about a thousand Blues trying to get on 'em. It was a scorcher that day as well if my memory serves me right.
Soccer bus my aaaaaaarse!
26 Posted 12/07/2019 at 21:43:42
27 Posted 12/07/2019 at 22:05:38
When the 90 minutes is up I move to the end of the row so when the final whistle blows I'm handy for the exit.
I've only missed the buses once in about 5 years.
I agree they should open the doors when it's raining, though!
28 Posted 12/07/2019 at 22:11:56
29 Posted 12/07/2019 at 22:23:39
I forgot to add that I agree with Steve and cannot really see that getting away from Bramley-Moore Dock will be any more difficult than getting away from Goodison Park, or from our old ground across Stanley Park. Very few people can park within a 5-minute walk from Goodison Park.
As the resident's parking scheme moved further and further out, I finally tried the train (from Huyton) and the bus from town and found it was just as quick, if not quicker.
Sandhills Station is a 10-15 minute walk away and links south Liverpool to Southport, Ormskirk and Kirkby (Wigan) and Lime Street, Central and Moorfields can feed into this for fans from The Wirral and main line services.
In the next decade, going to football matches by car will seem as odd as the thought of smoking in pubs and restaurants does now.
30 Posted 12/07/2019 at 22:24:06
31 Posted 12/07/2019 at 23:36:02
I don't see how swift/cheap transport/parking/egress can be assured at BMD, mainly due to it having only 50% of what most every other stadium has in terms of a usable 360 degree circumference in terms of access/egress. It'll be bottleneck and then some on match days, end of.
Of course if it was in Lahndann things might be different, but it's not.
32 Posted 13/07/2019 at 09:56:23
Brian the walk into town is easy from Goodison, all down-hill as they say mate, but nothing is down-hill when you start on the bottom road though!
The trains have got to be updated in respect of a couple more stations, and that overhead railway station has got to come back into use, especially if Liverpool wants to have the facilities to back up its status as a truly great city, once again?
33 Posted 13/07/2019 at 11:28:20
This is the precise point. People arrive and depart GP from all directions. This will simply not be possible at BMD. GP itself sits in a triangle of major A-roads which can be used in both directions, and multiple feeder roads running off them to other main carriage-ways in all directions. BMD only has the dock rd (which is being narrowed), Great Howard Street on the river side of the northern line (which acts as a barrier to traffic/pedestrian flow east-west), with only Boundary St, Sandhills and Leeds st (0.8 miles away) piercing this.
However, one of the main reasons for relocating is to give a site that allows the vast majority to leave their cars at home. The Kings Dock would've done that because every local can get a bus/train/ferry to within easy walking distance, and that public transport is in place. At best, BMD is right at the edge of that envelope, so I'm not sure that there will be a big enough modal-shift to public transport. Then we would have the problem of trying to park the equivalent number of cars (or more) in half the available area, with probably only a fraction of the amount of fly-parking spaces as there are in L4 given the less dense street layout. The club said that they will be negotiating car parking with several industrial sites, so perhaps there is enough spaces.
Liverpool waters should prompt some new infrastructure, but the admission that even the station at Vauxhall hasn't been sanctioned yet shows that it's not a given. As a comparison, the entire south docks (apart from the odd plot) has been redeveloped yet apart from the Brunswick Dk station (on an existing line), and the occasional bus service, there has been no major infrastructure added there. and rest assured a fortnightly event venue will not justify it alone. So, unless Liverpool waters and the ten streets is a real high volume, high density development, then I'm not sure we can expect another MRT serving this site any time soon.
If the club has modelled people and traffic movement, and it all adds up then fair enough. Hopefully, the next consultation phase will clarify this. I'm not yet convinced that it will be better than GP and that might even be influencing the capacity ambitions.
34 Posted 13/07/2019 at 12:29:00
This is not only to cross from The Wirral but also like the two stops on the Wirral side Wallasey and Birkenhead - why could we not do shuttles from Pier Head to BMD?
With additional boats for the match would help alleviate the after kick off surge.
People should not underestimate the impact for young Wirral children seeing the new Stadium every day across the water. The ferry is a must for me.
35 Posted 13/07/2019 at 12:51:07
The dockers umbrella?
36 Posted 13/07/2019 at 13:44:13
37 Posted 13/07/2019 at 13:51:41
I don't think we can dismiss traffic as a red-herring. As can be seen from the comments of others its something that is exercising their minds and rightly so.
The next round of public consultation will provide us with the opportunity to comment on the proposed arrangements for dealing with matchday traffic, even if non are forthcoming from the club and its advisors at this stage. Best to get our concerns and ideas presented to the club so that when the planning application is put together there will have been input on the matter from those who will be regular attendees.
The application, when submitted to the Council will have to be accompanied by a series of technical documents, including a Transport and Traffic Assessment. That will be an important component of the scheme, and hopefully will have been drawn up in light of the comments raised during the upcoming round of consultations and pre-application discussions with the relevant Transport and Highway Authorities.
39 Posted 13/07/2019 at 14:32:04
“What are the plans for the movement of 52,000 people to and from the ground on match days including car parking?”
If their jaws drop, we are in trouble.
40 Posted 13/07/2019 at 15:35:45
As the majority, or at least a very high percentage of these commuters, generally work 9-5 Mon-Fri, many who have cars too. I would suggest an amnesty in the parking restrictions where for a moderate fee (pre-purchased tickets from many authorised outlets) from the Council. Even businesses could 'allow' their empty (workers) spaces to be utilised, although they would have to organise their own charging system.
With regards to the ferry option, while there are many supporters from the Wirral and North Wales area, and they do have existing ferries, should the numbers be adequate for demand, it is not beyond the scope of possibility. I suspect though most travel in by bus or train!
41 Posted 13/07/2019 at 15:45:38
As for the wastewater treatment works, we could put the away fans at that end and call it The Shit End! 😀
42 Posted 13/07/2019 at 15:59:04
43 Posted 13/07/2019 at 16:34:07
There is plenty of common sense being posted about the possible transport plans. I agree with many who opine, that you have to walk at least ten minutes from anywhere to get to GP. Therefore, what is the issue about walking from Sandhills? Lots of fans walk from Kirkdale, it's about the same distance.
If you bussed it, you'd either get off on County Road or Walton Lane. Both roads are busy with traffic, especially County Road, but they cope. It'll be the same dance with with Regent Road and Gt. Howard Street. I think there'll be circular shuttle buses from Sandhills to BMD, onto town, then back to BMD and Sandhills.
With all of the work going on at Stanley Dock, I've got no reason not to believe it will become as busy as Albert Dock. There'll be lots of bars and restaurants, it won't be just on match days, it'll be busy. Therefore the Council have the responsibility to improve the transport, to and from the area,
44 Posted 14/07/2019 at 09:18:05
Musing on Scouse humour, my suggestions are we will either be kicking into the "Hardy end" or the "Armitage end".
45 Posted 14/07/2019 at 09:37:21
Liverpool FC, need the overhead train-lines opening just as much as Everton, its called progress, especially when the infrastructure is already there.
46 Posted 14/07/2019 at 09:51:53
Obv no photos, but from the written description, it sounds impossibly small for the footprint of a modern stadium. Fifty yards here, twenty yards there. And god on earth what are Everton doing making presentations about knife crime as part of the never ending saga of getting this bloody stadium built. Stop pissing around and just get on with it.
47 Posted 14/07/2019 at 10:09:13
It is a massive project and way more difficult than almost anywhere else but provided the funding is there and the team can continue to improve then we have to do this as the rewards in terms of profile for our club will be huge and the so called “ great Anfield” will be obliterated.
I am no planner but dealing with traffic and crowds and transportation would normally be pretty much at the top of things to have resolved BEFORE planning applications are finalised otherwise permission would be withheld.
48 Posted 14/07/2019 at 10:20:50
49 Posted 14/07/2019 at 11:54:21
The council and club could build a purpose built pedestrian walk way to the City centre and to Sandhills, The Toffee Trail, or something that will become a beacon to getting to the ground.
Busy, busy times ahead and it would be useful when we eventually ate shown the drafts of the stadium design to be shown also the surrounding area within a 4 mile radius to gauge impact on transport and the surrounding developments.
But for now Id like to see some good news on some strikers Lets hope MB has some deals in the air as the new season is only a month away.
50 Posted 14/07/2019 at 13:30:40
I would've thought it was only prudent to bring up issues long before a brick was laid, because after would be too late. can we really afford that at a cost of £600m? After all, isn't the consultation process supposed to be about identifying and ironing out these issues before committing?
Let's be clear, "Field of dreams", like destination Kirkby is a work of fiction about building a ballpark in the middle of nowhere. At the time of that project, the club often adopted the "build it and they will come" mantra when asked about transport, and eventually saw their multiple-revised transport plan (btw, including a capacity-capping clause) laughed out of the public-inquiry, as entirely unworkable. So, it should never be about finger in the air guestimations, or blind faith in Kevin Costner movies.
From experience, you have noted that County Rd and Walton Lane are busy on matchdays. That alone is already double the amount of lanes provided by Grt Howard St. Then there is Priory Rd, Westminster Rd, and Queens drive too, and several other major roads on the other side of Stanley Park. However, the point is, all of these roads are already served by existing bus routes, and the vast majority using public transport have very short walking distances. On top of that, those in cars can park off all approaches to the stadium. Imagine the congestion on county Rd if all car parking was on that side of the stadium alone, and Queens Drive and Walton Lane were closed. Then again after adding 25-30% to the capacity?
The attraction of building near the city centre is to get the vast majority onto public transport, to move large numbers of people efficiently, taking full advantage of all existing infrastructure. Only the city centre has that level of provision. BMD is at edge of the walkable catchment from town and in a bit of blindspot (currently), so we need better clarification on future infrastructure, and on how that public transport focal point can be shifted to avoid serious congestion. The Northern line can be the saving grace of this site. It is a great asset and can probably shift 6k+ per hr in each direction, but it only serves about 30% of the main conurbation directly. Shuttle buses to Liverpool 1 bus station and Lime St, will probably have a turnaround times of 10-20 mins. Which means the current 8 buses provided by soccerbus could perhaps shift 2-4k per hour traffic permitting. Being close to the city centre might mean that a proportion of all city-centre bus services can be extended/redirected to/via Liverpool waters to move thousands more. Then it will be a case of if the roads have the capacity, and are free enough to allow that movement.
Hopefully this has all been modelled, and we will see how it works in the next consultation presentations. Otherwise the planners may well insist on a capacity cap (if they haven't already).
51 Posted 14/07/2019 at 13:47:59
52 Posted 14/07/2019 at 14:17:45
54 Posted 14/07/2019 at 16:04:31
Scroll down to the second video and invest 30 minutes of your time listening to this guy who knows what he is talking about; a very very smart cookie. Dont skimp listen to the whole video - if you are interested in the transport issue you will not regret it.
As most ToffeeWebbers know, despite the fact that I now live 12,000 miles away, I am very enthusiastic about not only the new stadium, but the potential benefit of the whole waterfront development to the people of the City of Liverpool.
I would be absolutely dismayed if anyone can find a reason why this is not a perfect solution to the Bramley Moore transport issue. Here are some of the boxes it ticks:-
Configurability (couldnt resist a fourth C)
A bit of respectful advice for Joe Anderson and the City Council - you have a blank canvass when it comes to the waterfront but this could be the pilot scheme for the whole City. Opportunity to be a UK first.
55 Posted 14/07/2019 at 21:52:45
Just as a matter of interest what would most punters be willing to pay for a return fare from the bottom of James Street to Bramley-Moore Dock?
56 Posted 14/07/2019 at 22:19:20
57 Posted 14/07/2019 at 22:26:25
58 Posted 14/07/2019 at 22:37:32
The cost of the system is about £4.5 million per kilometer. It is 2.5 kilometres from James St to the stadium - so initial outlay £11.25 million.
But then you have 6 days in which you can use the trams in other parts of the City as you install new tracks.
There is money in this.
59 Posted 15/07/2019 at 06:55:22
60 Posted 15/07/2019 at 07:13:27
Did you find the time to look at the videos? I thought the second one in particular about the potential for urban regeneration and the value it adds to the developers land values could have been made for the Liverpool Waters project.
The other very significant point it made was that governments are strapped for cash but in instances such as this, the developer would pay for the tram system.
61 Posted 15/07/2019 at 09:04:34
It is touched on in this article:
Joe Anderson tweets about alsorts to test the water, get a debate going or possibly just grab a headline. So there's no knowing how serious it is. The respondents to the article don't give it much hope, but you never know. In the recent past there has also been talk about reopening the loop lines to add to the merseyrail network. Feeding the whole Liverpool waters scheme and inner/outer or north/south loops with a full metro system. That would open up far more suburbs than the current system, including Goodison and Anfield.
The City centre does need a proper people mover and major public transport revamp. As does the bulk of the north-eastern and south Eastern districts and airport, and these could well provide a solution if dedicated/segregated pathways could be created. That should be relatively easily achieved at Liverpool waters.
IMO, it needs something of this capacity/performance to really make BMD viable in terms of transport.
62 Posted 15/07/2019 at 09:51:11
From what I could make out The Mayor is suggesting a light rail/tram system which I have read is much more expensive to build per kilometre and more disruptive than this “Trackless” system which can be laid in days as opposed to months.
I hope someone is willing to raise the potential of this system at the next consultative meeting. I really believe it is a winner.
63 Posted 15/07/2019 at 09:59:02
That article about the trackless trams is fascinating and exactly what the stadium/docks area & the City needs.
But the biggest need for it to get off the ground is someone with a vision and foresight..a Leader who realises what is required and drives it forward..getting heads together and saying this is what we want, this is going to work...lets make it happen !
64 Posted 15/07/2019 at 10:07:15
It starts off talking about light rail, but towards the end of the Anderson calls them electric trams not confined to tracks. So, I'm not sure if that means trackless or not, but I thought I'd read elsewhere that they're like these Chinese systems. just cannot find that article at present.
65 Posted 15/07/2019 at 15:11:10
The Loo End:
I agree a wastewater treatment plant is not the ideal neighbour. As for any smells, there was none when I visited, but I was there for no more than an hour. But this city's been getting built up for 250 years and now there aren't too many sites to choose from. My favourite one was next to the Albert Dock. My second favourite option would be a stage-by-stage redevelopment of Goodison (another discussion, another thread). But there is no will to do that from the board and I certainly haven't got the money to pay for it. So, I see Bramley-Moore Dock as potentially the most likely site. I certainly don't want to see us moving to the outskirts which I believe would be the beginning of the end of EFC.
I'd love to know for sure but I am reckon this site is bigger than Tottenham's new stadium. Getting from one side of that to the other, I ended up walking through an underground car park for a Sainsbury's supermarket that is next door.
Ferry Cross The Mersey:
I believe this has been ruled out due to tides. But that may be on the idea of a ferry tying up to the seawall. When I used to get the ferry years ago, there was a floating landing stage at both Woodside and the Pier Head, connected to the mainland by a walkway around 30 yards in length. Whether one is practical at Bramley-Moore, I don't know.
Well, there was great enthusiasm among local travel chiefs and council chiefs for the re-introduction of trams in Liverpool from the mid-Nineties and big plans were put forward that went back and forth to the Labour Government. There was talk of hundreds of millions of pounds being spent. It seems to have been a complex story and I am sure some on here know much more than me. But the whole thing got kicked into touch around a decade ago. Can the idea be resurrected? Well, it would cost big bucks. Would central government help out? Not likely to be on their yellow sticky notes at the moment. The only hope now would be a Prime Minister taking the concept of the Northern Powerhouse seriously. (I wrote that before seeing Laurie Hartley's posts and can add nothing more than Tom Hughes's responses)
I think these have been mentioned by one or two people commenting. I had been wondering about the possibility of raised, overhead walkways to get people some distance away. Given you can have retractable roofs and pitches, could you not have retractable walkways?
Some of you seem confident that getting to and from the stadium on matchdays will not pose any more problems. You may be right. I hope so. But I disagree. I believe Tom Hughes has made many good points on this and I won't repeat them here.
I will add: Regards the idea of car parking in town then walking to the stadium, I have my doubts about this on Saturdays due to all the shoppers who like to park up, especially as many do so earlier than football fans going to a 3pm kickoff, especially in the six weeks prior to Christmas.
I cannot see shuttle buses going to the stadium itself. Just go and have a look at Regent Road. It would be gridlocked. I think buses would have to drop off on Great Howard Street although it should be said that's only a few minutes' walk away.
Overall, I reckon many people will be doing a lot more walking than they do at the moment to get to and from the stadium. There's a lot that's good about that. But in some weathers I can see the walk from the stadium to town becoming the survival of the fittest, possibly like the last mile of the London Marathon. Consideration might be given to a special shuttle bus service for over-60s only (I must declare an interest here) otherwise some might start giving the game a miss.
Of course, we can proceed with the stadium plans on the basis of "Build it and let them make their own way there and back". But I hear more and more these days of the phrase "visitor experience". If people find it a frustrating experience, or get soaking wet before they get there, some may give up on the experience.
Bear in mind this stadium is meant to be up for, I guess, the next 50 years or so. It's not intended so much for those of us from the "put up with anything" generations born in the middle of the last century. It will be catering for generations who have grown up, or will grow up, with plenty of opportunity to watch the game live on television, big televisions, in the comfort of their own homes, or local hostelries.
I will be interested to learn if the club sees the dock wall as the end of its responsibility to any extent for supporters. For instance, if 10,000 people, possibly more, are going to try and catch a train from Sandhills after the game, surely this will require a lot of stewarding. Is the club going to contribute in terms of either supplying stewards or helping Merseytravel with the cost of this?
Bear in mind the club started to look at this site when it was being suggested as the main venue for the Commonwealth Games. If our city's bid had been successful, there would have been a lot of government money going on surrounding infrastructure. I have just read that the city of Birmingham will be receiving £594million from the Government. A lot of this will go on putting on the Games itself but it seems there will be plenty on infrastructure too. Could you imagine all that money being spent in Liverpool and the boost to the Mersey economy?
Pass me those tissues. I want to cry. But ultimately, all we can say is onwards and upwards.
66 Posted 15/07/2019 at 15:16:11
The potential of Goodison Park is massive if only the supporters were shown it and the backhanders were for this project, and of course we had that someone 'with a vision and foresight... a Leader who realises what is required and drives it forward'
You only have to look across the park to see the way forward – unfortunately no-one wants to.
67 Posted 15/07/2019 at 18:43:17
Liverpool has trains and train stations what it needs is a system that shuttles people to and from them to across the city and beyond.
From what I have seen and read light rail or conventional tram systems are great but it is very expensive and disruptive to construct.
The Chinese Trackless system shown in the link I posted costs buttons to construct in comparison - I have read £4.5 million as opposed to £90 million per kilometre (no I havent put the decimal place in the wrong spot.
The other key issue as I see it is that it is even in the developers interest to pay for the system because it increases the land value of their development sites.
Like I said in my original “trackless tram” post and you have recognised - this system is perfect for the stadium and waterfront development.
Surely if I can discover this system and identify its suitability after a couple of days of thinking about it and you can see the value after reading the article (and watching the videos?), the City, Peel, and Everton should know about it.
As Tom has suggested they may well have - I certainly hope so.
68 Posted 15/07/2019 at 20:05:20
69 Posted 15/07/2019 at 21:35:15
70 Posted 15/07/2019 at 22:14:13
If this is not considered it would be criminal.
There really does appear to be no downside to this system, imagine a liverpool where trams like these replaced all the buses!
Just going from the city centre to the new ground would be a great opportunity for anyone serious about transport to showcase it. We shouldn't have to fantasise about projects like this should we when you think of the history of the train and this city region (the rocket/ edge hill station).
Another obvious question and answer to many questions regarding the difficulties of getting to Bramley Moore I have yet to see answered clearly is why is it so hard/expensive to build a new station on the northern line where it meets Boundary st by the Tai Pan Chinese restaurant?
This would then be literally a 5 minute walk to the ground?
Is it an ancient burial ground or something?
I remember wavertree technology station being added without much drama, I realise it costs a few million but honestly is it that hard if you already have the track going through it.
I may be missing something but why is everything in this country so fuckin difficult to achieve? We have regressed into some dark age of engineering where everything is impossible to resolve.
71 Posted 15/07/2019 at 22:49:44
Let's see what they come up with in the consultation – who knows they may surprise us. I hope so.
72 Posted 15/07/2019 at 23:13:23
I remain optimistic (stupidly)? Maybe, and like Tony Abrahams, I go past the site from time to time with my fingers crossed.
If only to bury the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity messed up by Kenwright and others at Kings Dock.
73 Posted 15/07/2019 at 23:33:25
Just hope I live long enough to be transported there.
74 Posted 16/07/2019 at 07:41:32
So do - I but you will be going on a Blue & White trackless tram.😉
Billy # 72 - on the other thread it seems Everton are sending representatives to London to present their proposal to the House of Commons - “to gain wider approval”.
That in my view does display the will on the part of EFC at least to make this happen.
Like you and Tony I remain optimistic.
“If you think you're beaten, you are; If you think that you dare not, you don't; If you'd like to win, but think you can't, It's almost certain you won't. If you think you'll lose, you've lost; For out in the world you'll find Success begins with a fellows will. It's all in the state of mind. If you think you are outclassed, you are; You've got to think high to rise; You've got to be sure of yourself before You can ever win a prize. Life's battles don't always go To the stronger or faster man; But sooner or later the man who wins Is the man who thinks he can.”
75 Posted 16/07/2019 at 07:51:18
What we'd like and what we MAY get will be somewhat different, I fear.
76 Posted 16/07/2019 at 10:36:13
Clearly the issue of transport to and from the ground has raised many very interesting and well thought-out observations on the matter, the highlight of which is the idea of the trackless tram link (presumably integrated with a citywide network).
The publication of the proposals for the stadium at the end of the month will give us a first site of any ideas that may be forthcoming from the club on the issue of transport to and from the ground. We shall all have an opportunity to put forward our views on the matter and hope that they are taken fully into account in finalising the proposals. My experiences tell me that comments presented on behalf of an acknowledged and recognised group or interested party tend to carry more weight than those put forward by individuals, whatever their merits.
So, and going out on a limb here, would it be appropriate to consider drawing together a group of interested ToffeeWebbers to present the "consolidated" views of TW. The excellent article by Mike Owens has got us all thinking in some detail about the new stadium and how it is going to look and operate. Seems a shame not to channel all these observations as being representative of a wide group of supporters?
Just a thought. The idea may run counter to the spirit and objectives of TW. Perhaps someone could put me right on that.
77 Posted 16/07/2019 at 15:48:23
I would actually have liked to attend the consultative meetings but because I am now resident in Australia that is not possible. Nevertheless I enjoy putting my point of view on ToffeeWeb. If anyone thinks they add value to the discussion and are worth pursuing then I am content with that. This is where I am up to now:-
Billys idea of a station on Boundary Road also has great merit if it stacks up for whoever owns the railway and or the City. Having thought about it, it would certainly provided easy access for thousands of people on match day.
I like Tonys idea of the ferry and a landing stage; in fact I am sure if Everton do build the stadium at BMD the day will come when that will happen. However I think it will be to service the thousands of Evertonians that live in my old home town Birkenhead, also Wallasey and the rest of the Wirral and North Wales.
As you know I am rather enthusiastic about the trackless tram (ART) option.
I have corrected myself on what I thought were the original costs but even if it is the worst case scenario of £4.5 million per kilometre of track, the 2.5 kilometres from the bottom of James Street to the Dock makes it look like a perfect pilot model to me. Let me elaborate.
Four of those units and 2.5 kilometres of track might cost £15m? Shared three ways between The Council, Peel, and The City (all of whom stand to benefit greatly from the pilot) it is not a lot of money.
If it proved a success that would be stage one. The track could then be extended up to the city centre - maybe another 1.5 kilometres depending on the route - as stage two. Remember these units can be run off the tracks and stored in a bus depot or suitable shed overnight.
To my way of thinking it is a great way for the City to test the water because it is effectively a modular system with relatively modest initial costs, and therefore low risk, that can be progressively extended throughout the city and suburbs if it is a success.
I better leave it at that because Ive just had it running through the Queensway tunnel to the Wirral Waters project.
78 Posted 16/07/2019 at 16:22:10
The main talking point is transport and crowd dispersal. I have to say my reaction to the site was one of ‘well thats easy, walking up from town and back is definitely my preferred way of going/coming back from a game.
I wouldnt dream of taking a car or trying to get close. But heres the bigger point for me, perhaps this will encourage people to get there earlier, the mooted fan-zone perhaps?, be in the ground more promptly and potentially give us a more organic atmosphere?
Do some of the comments stem from a need to ‘get in and out, as STHs maybe the whole thing around the game is now reduced to that? I dont know.
When I go, its rare being in the ‘States, but more generally when we go to sport its less frequent but we make more of it. I hope BMD can do that for some. Great talking points though.
79 Posted 16/07/2019 at 20:32:21
Traditionally, most fans get to the ground as late as possible and leave asap. I'd like to see this change and the stadium become more of a destination. Again, the English weather discourages this!
80 Posted 16/07/2019 at 21:53:03
Shared three ways between The Council, Peel, and The Club (all of whom stand to benefit greatly from the pilot)
81 Posted 17/07/2019 at 08:56:10
Here is a copy of what I sent to the Mayor's office last year when I first heard about the World Heritage threats:
"I would just like to comment about my team Everton planning to build our new stadium on the Bramley Moore site (thanks for all you have done), and the objections raised by some people who are using the World Heritage threats to have it stopped.
The "World Heritage Status" objection in my view is just snobby, jealous and judgemental people's way of getting in the way of progress. The Heritage of this City is based on world trade, migration and the culture of football, amongst other things. If Everton build our new stadium it will fit perfectly into our heritage with regard to migration and football.
People departed these shores from the Liverpool Docks and took their football with them. I am sure that, just as there are Evertons around the world, there are other names of teams taken from British and Southern Irish clubs.
A football stadium on a World Heritage site is a fitting and lasting tribute, and the case should be taken up by our City Council and argued. If we don't build the stadium then the site will remain an eyesore for at least 20 years or so, based on Peel Port's plans for the redevelopment of the site. I hope that these ridiculous objections can be ended once and for all."
I received a nice reply from his office but I have not read anything similar since. I am not arrogant enough to believe that my view is the only one, but it must be put into the melting pot for those who are arguing the case on both sides to consider.
Perhaps you have the contacts, or access to the right people, if you agree with me?
82 Posted 17/07/2019 at 09:37:03
83 Posted 17/07/2019 at 09:46:40
Alasdair, that is an interesting idea about the "consolidated" view of ToffeeWebbers, but if you mean finding a consensus, that could be a tough task. And I, for one, don't have enough spare time for that. Best of luck to anyone who might take that job on.
However, I note your comment on views having more weight if they come from a group, rather than individuals.
I shall certainly start to follow the issue in detail. I must confess I am still not sure what's the crux of the World Heritage Site issue, especially if we are talking about building next to a wastewater treatment plant, although we shouldn't sniff at it, having read that it cost £200million.
Is it that Liverpool might somehow lose World Heritage Site status if the stadium goes ahead? If so, how come the city didn't lose it after those carbuncles went up next to the Three Graces?
And was it on that site visit last Wednesday that I heard someone comment that the Tower of London retains World Heritage Status, even though it is surrounded by all sorts of skyscraping oddities?
Excuse me. I'm laughing so much I'll have to go to the wastewater treatment plant.
84 Posted 17/07/2019 at 13:11:09
It's just that the attitude seems to be from the council that we will plough on regardless, as it is good for jobs, prosperity and so on, which I totally agree with. I just think that playing the local heritage card back at the committee who decide on these things might make them see it differently, and will find it difficult to deny the local history that goes towards the heritage status.
Although we would live without it, it just seems another example of the siege mentality we are branded with, when sense and sensibility should really help to resolve it amicably for all sides.
85 Posted 17/07/2019 at 16:03:25
As a retired Planning and Development Consultant, if you are up for it, I would suggest that you are the perfect candidate to head up a small group of ToffeeWebbers at the consultative meeting. Your experience and expertise would add great credibility to any presentation.
86 Posted 17/07/2019 at 20:34:31
Be interesting on derby day, on the Mersey.
Anyway, banter out of the way, some great suggestions on here.
The soccer bus at Goodison works really well, not sure if it is just Mersyside day ranger that covers both train and bus, but you can board the soccer bus free with a valid train ticket ranger, worth asking those who use the bus and trains further afield if your train ticket is valid on the soccer bus.
The The ferry is also a great idea, just out of interest does anyone know how many spaces there are on a ferry for passengers.
One of the best reads on here for a good while with suggestions and not one curveball dragging Bill into it, pleasent change.
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