Following our recent appraisal of Everton’s precarious position in relation to the Tesco planning application and its current non-compliance with existing planning legislation KEIOC has now turned its attention to the woefully inadequate Transport Plan which forms part of the same Tesco Planning Application. A team, that includes members of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport, has assessed this transport plan.
Evertonians everywhere will remember the tantalising statements emanating from the club and interested parties during the ballot process; amongst other things we were told that the Kirkby Project was the “Deal of the Century” and that “People will be happy with the Matchday Experience”
We’d advise all match going Evertonians to read this comprehensive article with an open mind, the assumptions have been cast aside in favour of hard facts and data supplied from the actual planning application. Read how Dave and Alan, loyal lifelong Evertonians, have had their “Matchday Experience” enhanced by the move to Kirkby, digest the data taken from the transport consultants own documentation, put yourself in Dave and Andy’s shoes and then ask yourself the question “was I told the truth about the Kirkby Project?”
Those of you who feel that this move is wrong for Everton come and join KEIOC, offer your support via our website and treat statements such as “we expect planning permission to be granted within three months, with a spade in the ground June or July 2008” with the same contempt that is being shown to you.
“This stadium will be the best served transportation wise of any stadium in the north west if not the UK. There will be a new rail link at Kirkby and a new station is being planned right now and built. It is right on the M57 motorway and we think Mersey Tram might come into the picture.” - Keith Wyness, 09 August 2007
Sweeping claims from the CEO of Everton Football Club on the eve of the ballot to ascertain if the Evertonians deemed eligible by the board, were in favour of relocating the first club in Liverpool, out of the city of its birth and into a small town in Knowsley. Taking the above quote and adding it to the almost endless list of never to be forgotten claims made by Keith Wyness throughout the summer, it is a wonder that 41% of eligible Evertonians voted “NO” to the Tesco Proposal.
Maybe those 41%, despite the heady claims of the CEO, were not willing to vote “YES” to Kirkby, without being in possession of the full facts.
In July 2007, Keith Wyness said:
“Fans will be asked to review the plans in detail before they vote in the ballot in the first week of August with the results due later that month. They will be shown transportation plans, to reassure them that Kirkby is the right location.”
"Mr Wyness added: "We are trying to be as inclusive and open as possible. The fans are a very important part of the process."
Only now, six months later, can Evertonians view the transportation plans.
By now, all Evertonians will be aware that the Tesco Planning Application has been submitted to Knowsley Council. The application is made up of a huge amount of documents; the Transport Assessment (TA) for the Stadium alone, runs to 214 pages. The majority of documents are dated as being completed (including all the EFC related ones) in November 2007. Just two months after the ballot was held. Tesco, Knowsley and Everton have been working on this proposal getting on for two years now. They have been (and remain) legally bound by an exclusivity agreement since December 06.
Whether you voted "YES" or "NO" there should now be no doubt that the full facts on the transport strategy weren't reported.
Given the outcome the club craved, and the revealing of the frankly astonishing claims within the Transport Assessment (TA), nobody could blame them for not making public the details of "Destination Kirkby" and the Transport Strategy to Evertonians before the vote. If the club had revealed just one fact regarding the transport strategy he had at hand before the vote, as stated on the 24th of January in the Liverpool Echo, under the headline;
“Everton promise to pay for Kirkby parking”
would the outcome of the vote have been the same? If the quotes from Everton and Tesco within the recent Echo article, were included in the ballot brochure, would the board have gotten their “mandate” to relocate Everton Football Club to Kirkby?
You be the judge;
"Under the plan, supporters would be banned from parking along residential streets around the new stadium. They would also be barred from town centre shoppers’ car parks to prevent the area becoming gridlocked on match days.....Strict penalties for football fans flouting the rules such as fines, clamping and towing cars away."
“This would be one of the most comprehensive and stringently policed controlled parking areas connected to a football club in the entire country." - Liverpool Echo (24 January, 2008)
Did anybody vote “YES” to the above?
The controlled parking (CPZ) issue covered in the above mentioned Echo article is one of many real logistical and transportation issues that every Evertonian would be facing if this Tesco proposal is allowed to go ahead.
This article will focus on the other numerous facts, figures and modes of transport that would “enable” Evertonians to travel to Kirkby, as set out in the Transport Strategy for the proposed ‘Kirkby Stadium,’ within the Tesco Planning Application.
All numbered quotes are taken directly from the “Transport Assessment Document 9.1, Volume 3, Stadium, November 2007.”
Information regarding two Everton season ticket holders currently traveling to and from Goodison Park using public transport from Aigburth and Crosby respectively, will be used to highlight and give some perspective, not only to the significant increase in journey time but also the real inconvenience that will be endured by all but a few supporters on a match day at the proposed ‘Kirkby Stadium.’
8.2 The closest station to the stadium is Kirkby, which is approximately 900m from the north west entrance to the site.
8.4 The catchment area for the rail network is shown in Figure 8.1 and presents those stations that are within a 45 minute journey time (station to station) of Kirkby Station. It is assumed that spectators would be willing to spend an hour travelling to Kirkby Station on a train, of which up to 15 minutes has been allowed for walking to the origin station. Once spectators have arrived at Kirkby Station it is approximately a 10 minute walk to the stadium.
8.7 Those stations which have more than 100 STHs within a 15 minute walk and a 45 minute train journey are presented below in Table 8.1.
Name of Station/Number of Season Ticket Holders (STH)
Aughton Park 111
Birkenhead North 110
Blundellsands And Crosby 306
Bootle New Strand 169
Old Roan 193
Orrell Park 307
Rice Lane 116
Seaforth And Litherland 243
Kirkby to Liverpool Central is given as "16-30 minutes." Although you should note these are the journey times taken from Merseyrail as they are today. Not when a predicted 4000 plus extra commuters will be using the Merseyrail Northern Line on a matchday/night. Added to those journey times is a "15 minute walk", from the home to the "origin station."
Steer Davies Gleave (SDG) on behalf of Tesco Stores Limited "assume" that 4000 plus "spectators would be willing to embark on;"
A 15 minute walk from their homes to their origin station...........
Spend up to an hour traveling to Kirkby Station on a train.......
Walk approximately 10-15 minutes to the Stadium from Kirkby Station.
That equates to supporters taking the train from 25 stations, that include all stations in South Liverpool, Sefton, and The Wirral, spending up to a predicted 1.5 hours pre-match journey time, just getting to ‘Kirkby Stadium.’
‘Dave’ is an Evertonian season ticket holder who has on a regular basis, for the past 23 years, traveled to home games at Goodison Park by train from his home in Aigburth. Including the walk to Aigburth station, 1 change and the 15 minute walk from Kirkdale Station to Goodison Park, ‘Dave’ takes a ‘door to turnstyle’ journey time of approximately 55 minutes.
‘Dave’s’ pre-match journey time to the proposed ‘Kirkby Stadium’ would be, according to the planning strategy for ‘Kirkby Stadium,’ extended by up to 35 minutes. This no doubt, will be seen and argued by some, apparently including the Everton FC board members as being an acceptable ‘inconvenience.’
The reality is, that people like ‘Dave’ may well put up with an extra half hour on their pre-match train journey time. The stark reality will be what he and the 4000 other Evertonians will be facing on their post-match train journey back home;
8.20 It can be seen in Table 8.5 that there is sufficient capacity in the peak pre- match hour to accommodate the expected matchday demand before a Saturday match of 1,564 spectators. However, in the peak post-match hour there is insufficient capacity to accommodate the expected matchday demand of 3,797 spectators.
8.23 In order to meet the matchday demand it is proposed, after consultation with
Merseytravel, to introduce 6 carriage trains on Saturdays and weeknight matchdays.
8.24 By introducing 6 carriage trains on matchdays the available capacity will double from 480 spectators per train to 960 spectators per train.
8.45 Three carriage Merseyrail trains currently serve Kirkby Station on the Liverpool line. On the occasion of specific large events, such as the Grand National, Merseytravel use a planning capacity of about 480 passengers when crush loaded. This planning capacity has been used as football matches are deemed to be large events.
SDG have calculated that within 1 hour of the match ending, 4000 Evertonians who want or need to get back to Liverpool, will be "crush loaded" onto 4 trains, 1 every 15 minutes. However, the walk time to the station from the stadium in the TA is given as 10/15 minutes. Meaning (Taking a 15.00 kick off as an example) that the first 1000 supporters will not be able to be "crush loaded" onto a train until at the very least 17.10/17.15. Meanwhile, the other 3000 supporters, will be "organized" into a queue by Merseyside Police in the car park of Kirkby Station and out and onto Kirkby Row;
8.43 It is anticipated that the Merseyside Police will manage the post match queues along Kirkby Row and the safe crossing of spectators from Kirkby Row, across Whitefield Drive to the station car park. It is likely that temporary barriers will be provided to manage the significant queues within the station car park and along the footway on the northern side of Kirkby Row. Directional pedestrian signage will also be installed to assist spectator movement between the station and the new stadium.
This is open air queuing. I don't imagine those 4000 supporters will be too happy in the middle of winter, when it's blowing a gale and raining when one thousand of them are being forced to wait without shelter for at least one hour, only to be "crush loaded" onto a train back to Liverpool. Have SDG taken into account the woman and children and elderly Evertonians who are to be “crush loaded” onto these trains? It seems not. Would any right minded parent be willing to allow their children to be “crushed loaded” onto a train?
The following is a list of Kirkby Station facilities taken from the National Rail Enquiries website;
First Class Lounge; None. Seating Area; None. Waiting Rooms; No Waiting Rooms. Meeting Point; None. Refreshment Facilities; None. Pay Phone; Yes. ATM Machine; None. Shops; to be confirmed by Station Operator. Customer Information System; None. Operator Help Point; Yes. Information Kiosk; None. Men's Toilets; None. Women's Toilets; None. Staff Help Available; None
As per the Tesco planning application there will be no significant redevelopment of Kirkby Station.
According to the figures quoted at 8.7 in the TA. These “crush loaded” Evertonians will be looking at a journey time of up to 45 minutes station to station, with up to 15 minutes walk from stadium to station and station to home thereafter.
What those figures do not take into account is the 1000 Evertonians who will have to add on an extra hour to their post-match train journey time due to waiting in Kirkby Station car park to be “crush loaded” onto the last of the 6 carriage trains in service post-match. Of course, they could add even more time to their journey by waiting even longer for the post-match peak hour to end;
16.55 Match ends;
17.10 First 1000 fans depart - 3000 waiting, exposed to the elements……..
17.25 Next 1000 depart – 2000 exposed to the elements........
17.40 Next 1000 depart - 1000 still waiting.........
17.55 Final 1000 get away.
This means that for ‘Dave’ the match-going day could stretch from around 1 pm to 7pm, just to get the train to and from ‘Kirkby Stadium.
According to SDG, ‘Dave’s’ matchday journey will entail;
13.00 Leave home.
13.15 Catch the train.
14.15 Reach Kirkby Station.
14.30 Enter Kirkby Stadium.
Watch the match.
16.55 Match ends.
17.10 Reach the queue for Kirkby Station.
17.55 “Crush Loaded” onto train.
18.55 Reach destination (Aigburth Station).
19.10 Arrive home.
A total of a minimum of around 4 hours journey time by train, for a home match!
Is this the type of matchday experience 59% of Evertonians voted “YES” too? According to Keith Wyness back in August it was;
“I think people will be happy with the matchday experience.”
9.3 It is estimated that 18% of Everton spectators will travel to the new stadium by local bus services. This equates to demand of 9,405 bus passengers on any matchdays over a 2-3 hour period.
9.4 Based on empirical evidence at Emirates Stadium, 50% of passengers arrive during the peak pre-match hour and 70% depart during the peak post-match hour. However this has been adjusted as the retention level in Kirkby is unlikely to be as high as at the Emirates Stadium. Therefore, we have assumed that 85% (7,994) of spectators will depart in the hour after the match finishes.
The Transport Assessment looks at how public transport will cope, and what measures will be needed on matchdays. It acknowledges that there is no likelihood of an increase in public transport, since the population of Kirkby is not going to increase significantly. Therefore alternative measures need to be taken. Note: there is no need to lay on ANY extra transport above the current arrangements for Goodison, which clears within 30 minutes.
There are no plans for further public buses in 2010. Instead, the TA proposes a series of Season Ticket Holder buses to 15 routes throughout Merseyside to cope with the 8,000 Evertonians who due to lack of capacity of the regular service, won’t be able to get to Kirkby on public buses.
9.56 In total it is anticipated that approximately 68 buses would be required to operate the15 new matchday special bus routes.
With buses filled to capacity, that is a total of 100 bus journeys needed within the first hour post match (a total of 117), to go along with the 188 bus journeys required to move people to and from Park & Ride sites (214 journeys in total) (Park & Ride will be covered later).
9.42 Tables 9.3 and 9.4 show the number of seats available in the pre and post match situations. As can be seen, the maximum number of seats available in these periods is around 1,600 in total. Assuming that only 50% of these seats are available to spectators traveling to or from the match implies a capacity shortfall of around 4,000 seats in the hour before the match begins, and 8,000 in the post match hour, which will have to be accommodated within the matchday overlay services described below.
9.43 The level of service will need to be enhanced for the new Everton stadium as the forecast level of bus trips (9,405) can not be met by existing services.
So just to be clear, that is 9405 trips needed – with just 1600 available.
‘Alan’ is a Blue from Crosby. He generally travels to Goodison Park by bus and gets going at around 2.05, but can leave it until 2.15 and make it comfortably into his seat before kick-off. A journey time, including the 15 minute walk from his destination bus stop to Goodison Park, of around 40 minutes.
According to the transport strategy for Kirkby Stadium, by using one of the 68 matchday buses, ‘Alan’s’ pre-match journey time, including the 15 minute walk from the proposed Westvale bus park, will be 1 hour and 15 minutes. An increase in Journey time of around 35 minutes. Again, some would say an increase that would be worth the hassle. Again, it is the details of the post-match journey back to Crosby, that tell the true story of exactly what SDG have in mind for thousands of Evertonians.
The bus station plan which has been chosen has a bay capacity of 25 buses, with a holding area for 25 more. They estimate 6 minutes per bus to load. In the very simplest of terms, if all of the buses were going to the same place, and all could arrive and leave at the same time, there would be 13 changes of buses on the bays. Many of the buses are due to make at least 3 round trips (both P&R and STH) so assuming they could get back in time to get on the bay in the allotted time, it would take 1 hour and 20 minutes to clear the queues.
However, since the buses are going to at least 19 different destinations, to be colour coded for queuing, the reality is that it will take a considerable time longer.
It is clear that the transport strategy plan for 25 bays at the proposed Westvale bus park is flawed.
The schedule SDG have created, which involves the clearance of 20,842 supporters by bus (both matchday specials and Park & Ride shuttle buses) from the proposed Westvale bus park, requires 36 bays and not 25. Even if every single bus got on the bay, loaded, and departed within the allotted 6 minutes loading time (assuming the bus was back and waiting for the empty bay) there would be over 5000 people of the initial 85% still waiting after one hour, plus the 1030 shortfall, plus the other 15%, who are predicted to arrive at the bus park after the initial post-match “peak hour.”
This, by SDG’s own calculations means that there will be a requirement to move 9987 Evertonians by bus, in the second hour pre-match.
The layout of the bus station indicates individual queuing at each bay with the TA calling for colour coding (Blue, Green and Yellow) of bus routes to help funneling of supporters. There is however, no holding area in the proposed Westvale bus park for the 20,000 plus supporters who would be using it post-match. It appears, similar to the proposed strategy at Kirkby Station, in that supporters would be queuing on the opposite side of the bus park on Valley Road, again open to the elements.
The 20,000 plus supporters that would form a queue behind ‘removable pedestrian fencing,’ on Valley Road in order to be ‘funneled’ across to the bays in Westvale bus park, seemingly would then have to cross at the same junction used by the shuttle buses and matchday special buses.
In the first hour, post-match, the bus flow is estimated to be 87 ‘Spectator Buses’, 188 Park & Ride shuttle buses and 30 Coaches; a total of 305 bus journeys. Of those, 100 would be expected to turn left from Whitefield Drive onto Valley Road, and 205 would turn right, towards Junction 6.
As mentioned, a major complication is that the crossing point for Westvale bus park for the 20,000 plus spectators who will be moved during the first hour, is also at the junction of Whitefield Drive and Valley Road.
In the Transport Assessment, Document 9, Volume 7, SDG state crowd flow on level ground as 82 people, per metre width, per minute. From the drawing of the Westvale bus park, it appears the crossing point is approximately 12 metres wide, giving a flow of 82 x 12 per minute = 984 people crossing the road per minute. This means the estimated 20,842 bus users will take over 21 minutes to cross Valley Road.
There is also the need to hold buses leaving the Bus Park to enable buses returning to the park to cross the junction, allow local traffic to progress along Valley Road, and allow cars leaving the Park and Walk Multi-storey and stadium car parks to get to junction 6.
This would leave approx 20 minutes per hour for buses to cross the junction, although the left turning buses would be able to turn at certain times whilst the right turning buses were held up.
Looking only at the right turns, there would be 205 buses turning in 20 minutes, a rate of 1 bus every 6 seconds – possible, but highly unlikely. However, a further complication is that the section of road between the exit from the bus park and the junction is long enough for only 6 buses. If the junction flow stopped for just 1 minute 30 seconds to let spectators cross and allow other traffic flow on Valley Road, there would be 15 buses backed up, resulting in inevitable congestion within the bus park.
The crowd flow document also outlines the following situation for bus park users;
Routes A & E
3.24 The South Western Exit Route (Routes A & E) provides access to the coach park and bus park to the south of the stadium. The route to the bus park will require spectators to walk around the coach park and across a 10m wide footbridge. Once onto the public highway, spectators will need to cross Valley Road then proceed to the bus park which is accessed from Whitefield Drive.
Spectator Management Issues
3.25 Approximately 72% of the stadium population will use the southern exit route, exiting the podium via the southern stairs. Due to the large demand along this route an egress strategy has been developed in order to ensure that excess crowding does not occur further along the route which could result in an uncomfortable and / or unsafe environment for the spectators.
3.26 The strategy is based on creating two queuing reservoirs along the route, the first located on the podium, prior to reaching the southern exit stairs, and the second to the south of the coach park, again prior to the exit stairs. The aim of this strategy is to ensure that there is no queuing on either of the stairs, and that flows along the 10 metre footpath that leads towards the bus park result in the minimum possible queuing.
3.27 Spectators will exit the stadium podium and travel towards the coach park down a set of stairs with a combined width of 40 metres. A maximum queue of 5,900 people will form on the podium, although with queue times being less than 3 minutes. Spectators will then flow around, to the stairs located to the south of the Coach Park.
3.28 The coach park will provide a total capacity of 1,680 people / minute (provided south of the coach park will have a width of 10 metres, which allows a flow of 660 persons / minute. Since the remainder of the route is of 10 metres width, the proposed bridge width will focus the queue at the head of the stairs, where it can be safely accommodated.
3.29 These measures will result in a spectator flow which matches the capacity of the route towards the bus park, hence allowing free unimpeded flow once the stairs have been traversed. The proposed bridge width will result in a queuing in the southern part of the coach park. A maximum queue of approximately 8,900 people can be expected at this location, with a maximum queuing time of approximately 13 minutes.
3.30 It must be noted that during the operation of the stadium, a proportion of spectators will be able to access the bus park via the North Western Exit Route (Route B) stairs, by turning south on Tithe Barn Lane. This will result in the removal of demand on the southern podium stairs and on the stairs located to the south of the coach park. The existing analysis has assumed that no spectators will use this route, hence assessing a ‘worst case’ scenario for Routes A & E.
So, in order to get to the bus station, spectators face a queue of at least 3 minutes on the podium, and a further 13 minutes waiting to cross the footbridge. This will get them onto Valley Road, where they will then have to wait to get access to the bus station.
This has two consequences: The first buses are unlikely to have sufficient passengers for each destination to leave immediately after the match, resulting in either more journeys being required or longer delays and;
Elderly people, or the infirm or those with children, or simply those with other arrangements in the evening, will be forced to leave the match early to get ahead of the queues, resulting in a similar situation to the recently much criticized Emirates Stadium transport strategy – another SDG designed Transport Assessment.
Depending on just how quickly ‘Alan’ can get back to the bus park post-match will determine the extra journey time he will need to get from Kirkby Stadium back home to Crosby. He will, according to the transport strategy, be joined at the bus park by almost 21,000 other Everton supporters. All wanting to depart within the first hour by bus, post-match. Taking the average post-match peak hour waiting time predicted by SDG, ‘Alan’ will wait 50 minutes to board his bus home (although he could be faced with a wait well in excess of 1 hour and 30 minutes);
13.00 Leave home.
13.10 Catch the bus.
14.10 Reach the bus park.
14.30 Enter Kirkby Stadium.
Watch the match.
16.55 Match ends.
17.10 Reach the bus park with 9,000 other Everton supporters.
18.00 Boards pre-matchday bus.
19.00 Reach destination (Crosby).
19.10 Arrive home.
A total of a minimum of around 4 hours journey time by bus, for a home match!
Once again, the question begging to be asked is; is this the type of matchday experience 59% of Evertonians voted “YES” too? Again, according to Keith Wyness back in August it was;
“I think people will be happy with the matchday experience.”
Bus Based Park & Ride Facilities
11.8 It is likely that approximately 23,400 of home spectators (45%) will drive to the new stadium. This equates to approximately 7,800 vehicles with the assumption of 3 spectators per vehicle. It is predicted that 1,050 of these vehicles will park on-site at the stadium or in the adjacent surface carpark. It is also forecast that 250 vehicles will park within Kirkby Town Centre car parks and 250 vehicles will be accommodated on private property within the local area which may be introduced by independent operators.
11.9 There may be further parking beyond the extent of the matchday CPZ (up to 30 minute walk), particularly within the Kirkby Business and Industrial parks to the east of Kirkby. However, this will require a significant walk for spectators along an unattractive route and is unlikely to be a significant option for anything but a very small minority of supporters. Nevertheless, we have forecast 250 vehicles parking in this large commercial area to the east of Kirkby.
Taking the above into account means the residual vehicles requiring a parking space in either a Park & Ride or a Park & Walk site is approximately 6,000.
Of these, 5000 vehicles or 15,000 Evertonians, (SDG estimate 3 supporters per vehicle) will need to be provided with parking spaces in “satellite locations remote from the stadium.”
SDG have identified 13 sites as possible Park and Walk sites, and 11 possible sites for Park and Ride. ALL of the Park and Walk sites along with 8 Park and Ride sites are to the east of the M57, i.e; within Kirkby. For the Park and Ride Sites outside the Knowsley Borough, they have identified;
Aintree Racecouse, 1,500 cars = 4500 supporters.
'Merseytram Interchange,' Croxteth, 740 cars = 2220 supporters.
Showcase Cinema, East Lancs Rd, 800 cars = 2400supporters.
Note these are possible sites, and not necessarily confirmed in the plan.
All other Park and Ride sites are situated to the East of the M57 in Kirkby; = 5095 supporters.
There are only two realistic crossing points from Liverpool into Kirkby; at Junction 6 of the M57 and at the East Lancs Road. Traffic from Huyton might come through Knowsley Village, and some traffic from Maghull might come through Melling.
SDG have based their calculations throughout the TA based on the home postcodes of season ticket holders. Their model in Fig 11.1 of the TA shows that 91% of all season tickets holders (and thereby all home support matchgoers) will approach Kirkby along the M57 from either direction, or under Junction 6 or along the East Lancs Road.
In order to meet the scheduled number of journeys from the Park & Ride sites Merseytravel have indicated a requirement for buses to have priority at junctions to avoid supporters being delayed in traffic. Vehicles would be fitted with ‘Selective Vehicle Detection’ which would automatically turn traffic lights green as the bus approached the junction(s). Junction 6 of the M57 is one of the junctions to have a traffic light control system. However, with 17 buses traveling between Aintree Racecourse and Westvale, approaching junction 6 from Longmore Lane and 17 buses coming off at junction 6 from the Showcase and MerseyTram sites plus the 87 matchday special buses and the other listed modes of transport that would approach Kirkby through junction 6 including 2000 proposed taxi journeys almost 200 supporter coaches and the 2,960 extra car journeys into Kirkby, all converging within such a small timeframe both pre and post-match, can only mean the pressure on Junction 6 would be enormous.
11.48 Spectators will drive to one of the Park & Ride car parks, park their car and travel by shuttle bus to the stadium bus park. The shuttle bus service to the stadium will be high frequency and high quality. It is anticipated that the shuttle bus service will operate 3 hours before a match and until approximately 2 hours after the match.
With an average of 70 people per bus and 291 journeys to and from the parks, the Transport Plan estimates that a bus can get to and from the Park & Ride sites 3 times in the period it will take to clear the crowd, so 97 buses and therefore 97 drivers, (a mixture of single and double deckers) will be required.
Pre-match, these 97 buses, making three return journeys to and from the designated Park & Ride sites, will drop off 15,000 supporters at the proposed Westvale bus park. The same Westvale bus park that 9000 supporters will be dropped off at by public bus services and matchday special buses.
The planning strategy estimates that post-match 85% or (7,994) Evertonians will want to leave on public and special buses within one hour post-match. The strategy also estimates that within that same hour, 85% or (12,847) Evertonians will want to leave on shuttle buses to be taken back to their cars at the designated Park & Ride sites, also from the proposed Westvale bus park.
Giving the incredible predicted figure of 20,841 Evertonians that SDG plan to bus out of Westvale bus park within one hour of the match ending. A strategy, based on SDG’s own calculations that is fatally flawed.
The evidence base used by SDG to inform the Kirkby Stadium Park and Ride strategy is taken from matchday plans, situations and comparisons at other retail park/out of city UK stadia. They are;
Sunderland, Southampton, Reading, Brighton, Swansea and Coventry.
The only one of the above stadia which could begin to compare, in terms of ground capacity, is Sunderland, and their Park and Ride site is limited to 1,000 cars. The proposed Kirkby scheme would be in excess of 5,000. At Southampton’s St. Mary’s stadium, the Park and Ride site doesn't even operate on weeknights!
The fact is that there is no Park and Ride strategy that comes even close to the magnitude of what would be the biggest Park and Ride scheme in the country.
Other ‘informing evidence’ within the TA is frankly just as ropey as the above. Here are just two examples regarding Park and Ride/transport;
12.4 The results of the 1996 JMP surveys of Everton FC supporters were reported within the Merseytravel “Stadia Access Study”. The study reported that of the 70% of Everton FC supporters using their car to travel to Goodison Park, 84% of car users indicated that they would be willing to walk up to a mile or for 20 minutes for a car parking space and this included 30% who would be willing to walk over a mile if necessary. The remaining 16% would only walk up to half a mile.
And this regarding the mode of transport analysis;
7.58 Liverpool FC Spectator Travel Behaviour
Surveys undertaken for Liverpool FC also assist in understanding football spectator behaviour and provide a good comparison.
7.59 The mode split for Liverpool matchday travel on a weekend and weekday evening match is presented in Table 7.4 below. The mode split information was based on telephone interviews with UK based season-ticket, day-ticket holding home fans and face to face interviews with away fans.
Other Modes Of Transport
SDG estimate that;
3000 Evertonians will use Park & Walk sites that “are within a 30 minute walk of the stadium.”
2,090 other Evertonians will also walk to Kirkby Stadium.
2,090 Evertonians will arrive in Kirkby by Taxi;
13.3 It is estimated that 4% of spectators will travel to the new stadium by local taxi services. This equates to 2,090 people traveling to the stadium on a matchday. Assuming 3 spectators per vehicle approximately 700 vehicle trips are expected to be made in the local area. If we assume that each taxi makes 3 trips an hour there is likely to be a demand for approximately 180 taxis on matchdays.
What SDG omit to calculate is the post match situation. Liverpool hackneys cannot pick up in Knowsley, and Private Hire's must be pre-booked.
There is also no holding area for any pre-booked Private Hire cars, and it's fair to assume that, in the whole of Knowsley, some of the 240 available cabs are being used elsewhere, or not on the road.
1,045 Evertonians will cycle to Kirkby Stadium. Although SDG are quick to point out that this number could significantly rise;
14.20 The predicted mode share of spectators cycling to the new stadium is forecast to be 2% or 1,045 spectators. For a 55,000 seat stadium approximately 10,000 Everton spectators could cycle to the stadium.
14.21 100 secure cycle stands will be provided within the Town Centre to provide parking for 200 cycles which can be used on non matchdays. Parking for 240 cycles will also be provided for the retail units and some of these stands could be used on matchdays.
The calculation of the initial 1,000 cycling Evertonians vying for only 200 cycle stands in the town centre, plus some of the proposed 240 at the retail units means that at least around 2/3 of the cyclists will have nowhere to park their bikes.
Not unexpectedly, an actual figure regarding the costs to Everton Football Club on the implementation of the transport strategy is not given within the Tesco planning application. There is though an indication to the scale of cost to the club within the Draft Proposed Heads Of Terms S106 Agreements, Document 16 of the Tesco planning application;
2.4 EFC will provide the following in connection with the use of the football stadium:
(a) Coach/bus parking facilities, including access arrangements;
(b) Park and walk sites, including access improvements and signage;
(c) Park and ride sites, including access improvements, traffic direction
signing, and agreement to ensure an appropriate level of bus provision is
available on match days to adequately serve these facilities.
These will be provided within an appropriate distance of the stadium, and the
stadium will be restricted to a capacity of [x] until these facilities are in place.
2.5 EFC will meet all reasonable costs associated with establishing match day residents parking schemes across areas of Kirkby identified by the Council as requiring such provision, up to a capped figure. EFC will also meet the reasonable costs of any future extension to the areas covered by such scheme, if it becomes apparent within 1 year of opening of the stadium that this is necessary to regulate parking or encourage greater use of Park and walk/Park and Ride facilities.
2.6 The Applicant will meet the reasonable costs of any other Traffic Regulation Orders required as a consequence of the Development.
2.7 The Applicant will procure the carrying out of traffic studies into the impact on the highway network of the stadium and the retail/commercial uses proposed at 6
months and 1 year after opening.
2.8 EFC will meet the reasonable costs of establishing and operating an Event Day Parking Scheme, in consultation with the Council and Merseyside Police.
As yet the cost to the club is an unknown factor but given the monumental size of the transport strategy, it seems for once Keith Wyness was spot on when he was recently quoted in the Echo regarding the time and money that would be spent;
“We will be spending an enormous amount of time and money addressing this question.”
Just to make it clear, these are the words spoken by the CEO of Everton Football Club, back in August last year;
“This stadium will be the best served transportation wise of any stadium in the north west if not the UK. There will be a new rail link at Kirkby and a new station is being planned right now and built. It is right on the M57 motorway and we think Mersey Tram might come into the picture.” - Keith Wyness, 09 August 2007.
All the above information, facts and figures are taken from the submitted Tesco planning application. This is the vision of the future matchday experience for every Evertonian if the proposed Kirkby Stadium and Tesco developed retail park on the edge of Kirkby town centre is, to coin a phrase “delivered.”
The CEO of Tesco Stores Limited called it a “win, win, win situation.”
Knowsley Council “a once in a lifetime opportunity.”
Everton shareholder Robert Earl “Manna from heaven.”
The CEO of Everton Football Club “The deal of the century.”
Having seen exactly what they and SDG would have in ‘store’ for future generations of Evertonians, it seems it is only the genuine supporters of the worlds greatest team who are the only ones not to be invited to the party.