Wirral park healthier since lockdown says campaigner

Shóna de Brún in Birkenhead Park with Cllr Pat Cleary

Radio Clatterbridge listeners have heard how hundreds of people have signed a petition to keep an historic Wirral park free from cars.

The woman who launched the petition spoke to Coffee Club presenter Steve Evans about the difference to Birkenhead Park since vehicle access was restricted at the start of lockdown.

Shóna de Brún explained how she had already considered starting a petition because of her frustration of careless driving and noisy cars.

“It’s been brilliant to have a green space in Birkenhead that’s free from cars. You physically have to drive your car to other parts of Wirral and you couldn’t do that in lockdown.” - Shóna de Brún

Wirral Council restricted access of private vehicles to the park in April for the safety of greater numbers of pedestrians and cyclists using the park for exercise during lockdown.

“People were actually rediscovering what was on their doorstep. People were getting their bikes out, learning to cycle. It’s just been lovely to see.” - Shóna de Brún

Shóna is calling on the authority to consider making the park car-free whilst still ensuring access for everyone.

She says it would also reduce pollution, protect wildlife and reduce anti-social behaviour.

The petition has attracted more than 1,500 signatures to date including Wirral’s Olympic cycling champion Chris Boardman.

Noctorum resident and disabled cyclist Ellis Palmer, 26, said: "I only got my handcycle a few weeks before lockdown, but I've been in Birkenhead Park most days since. Having the park as a car-free space has meant that I've been able to go around it at my own pace, gradually increasing my confidence to go out on the roads as time has gone on. As a car-free space, a car-free Birkenhead Park is less polluted and more inclusive".

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