The recent disappearance of Sarah Everard in London has led to searching conversations about the safety of women in our country. It prompts many of us to take a close look at areas in our community which pose particular threats to pedestrians at all times of the day, but particularly in winter months, when dark mornings and reduced daylight in the evenings present additional problems.
Why it is our council has yet again failed to address the continued neglected subway at Blundellsands and Crosby station? This essential underpass is in a deplorable state. The drains are obviously broken or blocked, waste water is a permanent feature on the ground. This unidentified liquid, mixed with piles of fallen leaves presents a slipping hazard for pedestrians. The walls are filthy and need jet washing.
The mural, completed at least 4 years ago, has never been maintained and now looks more like graffiti. The lighting which lights the subway 24 hours a day is now being obscured by ivy and other vegetation and poses an additional problem to those who are partially sighted as they attempt to navigate their way through this ever growing forest, whilst avoiding the damp, dirty surface underfoot.
The trunking in some areas which contains essential wiring has become loose and will eventually fall from its fixings. Coupled with this dismal subway, pedestrians have to walk past a wilderness of undergrowth, which provides an excellent hiding place for individuals to hide. This neglected piece of scrubland needs some radical maintenance.
School children use this subway daily to travel to neighbouring schools in Formby. Their journey is more perilous if they are returning at a later time as a result of after school commitments, Parents with young children use this subway as they accompany their offspring to local schools in the morning and collect them at night time. Elderly people are so nervous of walking through this area that they stay on the train to Waterloo and catch a return train so they can alight on the seaward side of the platform.
They deserve better.
This subway is a well-used pedestrian route but it needs upgrading. Imagine your daughter walking through this subway in its present state. Research shows that women are subjected to a variety of behaviours which cause them to be anxious. Catcalls on the street, vulgar comments being shouted at them by passers-by.
Just the thought of walking past a group of men at night is cause an increase in heartbeat and a raised level of anxiousness. The sudden realisation of a new shadow in front of you or noise from undergrowth at night can bring a sickening sensation to the body.
We deserve and demand that our safety is treated with importance. The subway is a disgrace. The cleaning and general maintenance of this area needs to be incorporated into a regular cleaning regime. It makes one wonder whether local councillors ever walk the streets of the wards they represent.
Clean up the grot Sefton and show some respect for the electorate.