I had a trip to Liverpool today. I always want to call it Liverpuddle for no obvious reason. Certainly not for a derogatory one as my great-grandmother was born there, at Everton View, Bootle-cum-Linacre to be precise, so there is an eighth of a scally in my genes.
Unlike inland cities, Liverpool is a “dead end” by which I mean that if you keep driving to its centre you either end up at the Mersey or taking an unexpected and unwanted trip through a tunnel to the Wirral. (Interesting fact: all tolls for the Mersey Tunnel are taken at the Wirral end. This is because the Benadictine Monks of the Birkenhead Priory were given royal permission to collect tolls for the original ferry.)
Anyway, I had got my directions from Multi-Map to my destination at Princes Parade (no apostrophe, but that’s what it says on the map) and had even scribbled down the road numbers down large in red pen that I could refer to as I drove, glancing at the sheet on the passenger seat.
I was doing okay, even negotiating the gridlock that is the road works on Edge Lane, then just at the moment I needed to pay attention, I was distracted by a call on my mobile, hands-free of course, the upshot of which was that I got hopelessly lost. I knew which way I wanted to go, but there is so much building work going on that this is impossible to do.
As the start time for the meeting came and went, I ended up pulling into nearest car park which turned out to be at St John’s Shopping Centre where I paid and displayed, bought an A-Z and walked the mile or so to where I needed to be.
But if the journey in had been confusing, the one back was even worse. Liverpool criticism alert: the signage in the city is bloody awful. We drove round and round (I was giving a colleague a lift home) but it took us the best part of an hour to reach the M62.
The message is, if visiting Liverpool, take care, and let the train take the strain.