Access off the Rock Ferry By-Pass and Car Parking
A fundamental part of the whole Rock Ferry Waterfront strategy has been to improve the access to the Waterfront, which currently involves a winding route through the residential roads of Rock Ferry leading over the bridge and swinging into the front of the Admiral Pub.
A direct access off the by-pass was considered to be an essential first step in regenerating the area together with the provision of additional car parking for visitors.
Although the by-pass is now de-listed with a 50 mph speed limit, it is still a dangerous stretch of road and over recent years there have been several fatal accidents. Wirral Highway Engineers were keen to address this problem at the same time as designing a suitable access to the Waterfront.
Aecom, a firm of highway consultants, were instructed to undertake a feasibility study setting out options for access. The initial report gave three options, roundabout, traffic light giving access both ways and a simpler in our arrangement onto the west side giving one way access and egress to the by-pass.
The Highway Engineers considered all three options: the roundabout would take too much land; the single in out was too restrictive and would still encourage traffic through the residential areas. So although it was slightly more expensive, the two way traffic solution was adopted as the best answer to the design.
Plans of the traffic light scheme were duly prepared, together with the scheme for a car park on the site of the former Royal Rock Hotel site, and these were duly submitted for planning approval.
After lengthy consultation with all the statutory bodies, which resulted in additional environmental survey, and redesign of the position of the traffic lights to ensure satisfactory sight lines and stopping distances, planning consent for the access and car park was finally granted on 6th March 2012.
The Admiral Pub
The Rock Ferry Waterfront strategy began when members of the RMYC formed a consortium to buy the pub, which had lain empty and derelict for 18 months.
They recognised the potential for regeneration and it was their foresight and financial commitments, which slowly gained momentum in the forming the Rock Ferry Waterfront strategy
The Admiral is a well-known pub with a tremendous local history and following negotiations with a local restaurateur and pub owner, the former owner of Pollards in Willaston and Villa Jazz in Oxton, has now purchased the Admiral and work has started on its refurbishment.
The pub is scheduled to re-open in late June or early July in time to allow summer visitors to enjoy a range of real ales, a tasty menu of modern and traditional fare coupled with range of wines and other beers and spirits.
It will be a welcome development to the area and the new owners hope to attract a wide range of customers together with visitors looking for a waterfront “Go to Destination”.
The Esplanade, stretching along the river frontage by Rock Park, forms the beginning of the trail along the Coastal Park. The scheme to upgrade the Esplanade includes work to reinforce the sea wall and resurfacing the walkway, together with the provision of balustrade and lighting along its whole length.
At present, it is in the ownership of the Proprietors of Rock Park. Grants applications are now being made by Wirral Council and on completion of the works the whole of the Esplanade will then be transferred to public ownership.
Royal Mersey Yacht Club
The RMYC clubhouse is a Grade 2 listed building within the Rock Park conservation area. A feasibility study has recently been completed to consider the options for repair, extension and refurbishment to enable the whole building to be brought back into use.
The concept behind the scheme is to extend the footprint of the building by filling in the space between the two outriggers. This will facilitate the creation of a large multifunction room which will act as Maritime Heritage Centre to display not only the valuable and interesting collection of maritime artefacts built up by the club over its 168 year history but also to reflect the enormous and varied yachting activities on the River Mersey.
The room will also enable the Club to increase the number of people who can attend functions.
RMYC is a registered RYA Training centre, and rooms on the first floor will be converted into additional training rooms enhancing the clubs ability to offer a wider range of RYA courses.
As part of the future business plan, part of the second floor will provide an apartment suitable for an on-site manager and the other spare rooms on the first and second floor will be fitted out to provide 8 or 9 twin berth “cabins” with en-suite facilities to enable members and visitors to stay overnight.
As a result of the study, the General Committee of the Club has approved the broad principle of the scheme and a more comprehensive report will be presented to RMYC members at a special forum.