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  • Concerns raised over safety of junction at planned McDonalds outlet

    Danielle Thompson

    SAFETY improvements are being called for at the junction of the Formby Bypass near to the proposed new drive-through McDonalds restaurant.

    Last month, we revealed that the abandoned MJ’s steakhouse and diner in Formby is set to become a new drive-thru McDonald’s if plans are given the green light. MJ’s, on Altcar Road, unexpectedly closed its doors for the final time in October 2016, leading to speculation about the future of the building. A number of events were held at the venue, which seated up to 250 customers, including comedy and bingo nights.

    Applicant McDonald's Restaurant Ltd submitted a planning application to Sefton Council to turn the closed-up building into a new restaurant, which would lead to the creation of 65 full-time and part-time jobs.

    Sefton Central MP Bill Esterson have called for safety improvements to the junction of the Formby bypass near to the proposed new restaurant. The MP, along with Ravenmeols Cllrs Nina Killen and Catie Page, have written to Sefton Council's planning department to propose new light-controlled pedestrian crossings over the bypass and Altcar Road on both sides of the dual carriageway. They suggested that as the restaurant is expected to be popular with young people, improvements to the crossing would be needed.

    The letter said: "We share the concerns of many about the employment practices experienced by staff at some McDonald's restaurants and are asking for assurances about workers rights, pay and conditions at the Formby restaurant. We would therefore encourage the franchise holder to be a responsible employer, including welcoming trade union membership for their staff. We also call on the franchise holder to ensure that rubbish is recycled or disposed of by customers in bins provided and to avoid litter.

    “While we broadly support the application which will bring around 65 jobs to the town and will mean a currently empty building will be put back into use, we are concerned about the safety of the nearby junction on the Formby bypass.

    "McDonald’s is likely to be hugely popular with young people, who may travel there on foot from the main residential part of Formby, crossing the busy Formby bypass in the process.

    "Currently there is just one light-controlled pedestrian crossing across the bypass. There is no light-controlled pedestrian crossing across Altcar Road on either side of the junction.

    "We ask that through the planning system or otherwise, the safety of this junction is improved for pedestrians by installing light-controlled crossings across Altcar Road on both side of the bypass, and ideally on the fourth side also, so that no matter where pedestrians cross there is a light-controlled pedestrian crossing to ensure their safety.

    "Please consider our comments with regard to this planning application."

    Cllr Killen added: "A number of residents have approached us to say they are concerned about young people crossing the bypass to get McDonald's. I cross the road regularly and feel it absolutely needs a light-controlled 'green man' crossing across Altcar Road on both side to improve safety. You take your life in your hands right now trying to cross."

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