In the UK there are a number of new towns, that have been specifically designed and built to serve new communities and provide more housing space. The nearest one to me is the town of Skelmersdale, in West Lancashire…
Status: West Lancashire, Lancashire, Town, England
Travel: Arriva Buses (Ormskirk – Skelmersdale)
Eating & Sleeping: Concourse Shopping Centre
Attractions: Skelmersdale Roundabouts, Roundabout Artwork, Concourse Shopping Centre etc
Skelmersdale sits near the river Tawd at the edge of West Lancashire, very close to both Greater Manchester and Merseyside. The settlement of Lancashire has been around for hundreds of years, with “old Skem” being the original part of the town, which was a small mining town. Since then, the Concourse Shopping Centre has been built and is in the place of most of what is known as the town centre for the new sections of Skelmersdale, known locally as Skem.
There are other buildings around the shopping centre including offices and the library, and this whole area is the town centre.
A lot of Skem is made up of large roundabouts, which it is well known for. The town contains some of the largest roundabouts in the country, including half mile island, which has a diameter of half a mile. Most of the roundabouts have artwork in the middle, including the one above.
There are many businesses located in and around the town, but not many footpaths, as instead the different roads are connected by subway footpaths for pedestrians so they don’t have to try and cross the large roundabouts.
There are some smaller shopping arcades around the town, including at Sandy Lane and Digmoor Parade. Nearly all buses going through the town call at the shopping centre, and you can get a direct bus to the other town in West Lancashire, Ormskirk.
There is a lot of new housing in the town, most of which was built to take the overspill from Liverpool and Merseyside, but the town is very green and an interesting place if you are looking for a new home in the area.
There is no railway at the moment in Skem, as the train station closed back in 1956 however the local council have announced plans to build a new station to connect it up to the rail network, but there is no word yet which exact line the station would sit, whether its an extension from Ormskirk or from Kirkby.
Skelmersdale is well connected by road, as the M58 (from the M6 to the M57 for Liverpool) runs right next to the town providing easy links to the main motorway network or through to Liverpool.
There are other buildings of note in the town, including St Paul’s Church, built as a chapel in 1776, it had subsequent enlargements in 1823 and 1850. In 1856 it became the new parish church, however it suffered badly in the 19th century because of subsidence due to coal mining and a new church was built nearby, with the same name. Construction began in 1903 and was completed by 1906.