What the hell?
A few days ago Robert posted a pic on his Twitter feed of Aigburth station being improved. "That looks interesting," I said. "What's happening?" "This," he said.
You couldn't possibly disagree with that, could you?
Yes you could. Because right now Network Rail is pulling down the pretty wooden awning and the ironworks. They're being taken away to be "held in storage" for a station that apparently deserves an attractive station more than Aigburth. The ironwork, too, carted off to be stuck in a museum. In its place will be one of those off the shelf waiting shelters, assembled in kit parts like a very dull Meccano model.
Stop this. Stop this right now.
As this article makes clear, this isn't what rail users want. I'm not sure they were even consulted. There's a perfectly good waiting room at Aigburth already, just closed up: reopen it as has happened at Rock Ferry or Bromborough. Leave the historic features - features which are nearly 140 years old.
It's astonishing that this has been allowed to happen and Network Rail, Merseytravel and Merseyrail should all be thoroughly ashamed. The message being sent out here is that Aigburth doesn't deserve to look nice. I thought we'd reached a stage in history where we realised that good, attractive architecture should be enhanced not demolished. What next? The closure of the ticket office? Removing the platform indicators and chairs? Closing it altogether?
Aigburth is a lovely station. It's absolutely worth defending. It's about more than that though, it's about making sure that Merseyside isn't second best. Our railways are a real asset. We need to make sure they remain so.