Liverpool’s Trams – A fascinating historic film

www.youtube.com/watch?v=_mWS5JZZEiA

If you have an interest in Liverpool in the 1950’s and the demise of its once very significant tramway network then you will want to view this YouTube film – see link above.

Liverpool Tram 869 (Not the last tram) in Crich tramway Village, Derbyshire. Photo from 2008

The filming was done by local man Alfred H Jacob.

Merseyrail – RMT Guards vote for Industrial Action

The present Merseyrail rolling stock (Class 507/8 EMU’s) at Southport Station.

Below is the RMT Union notice which was sent to members of the Merseytravel Committee today:-

RAIL UNION RMT confirmed today that members have voted overwhelmingly for both strike action and action short of a strike in a ballot for industrial action after Merseyrail’s continued failure to provide cast iron assurances around the future of the safety critical role of the guard.

Action has by RMT’s Merseyrail guards and drivers has been confirmed as follows: Members not to book on for any shifts between 0001hrs and 23.59 hrs on Monday 13th March. In addition members will not work any rest days from 00.01 hrs on Tuesday 7th March indefinitely.

81.8% of members voted for strike action with 93.5% backing action short of a strike.

In addition, the union is kick starting a renewed campaign, involving the general public and targeting politicians across the area served by Merseyrail, aimed at maximising political and public support for RMT’s fight for a guaranteed guard on the company’s services.

RMT General secretary Mick Cash said:

“This ballot result sends out the clearest possible message to Merseyrail, Merseytravel and politicians across the area that RMT is prepared to stand up and fight for public safety and the guard guarantee. The company now has the best part of two weeks to sit down with us, address the core issues at the heart of this dispute and negotiate a settlement before the action commences.

“The union’s position on Driver Only Operation is perfectly clear. We will not agree to any introduction of DOO and will fight to retain the safety critical role of the guard and to keep a guard on the train. It is the failure of Merseyrail to give guarantees on those basic principles that has led to the current dispute and the campaign of industrial action.

“RMT asked Merseyrail to give the union assurances that any new trains will have a second safety critical crew member on board and that the guard will be retained on all services. We set out clear deadlines giving the company ample time to give those assurances but the company have flatly refused to consider a guarantee of a second safety critical person on the new trains”.

“This dispute, and the industrial action announced today, were entirely preventable if the company had listened and to the unions deep-seated safety concerns, had taken them seriously and had put passenger safety before profit. The blame for the industrial action, and the disruption it will cause, lies solely at the door of Merseyrail and those who are happy to put private profits before public safety.

“Merseyrail are also completely ignoring the clear wishes of their own passengers, who overwhelmingly oppose the idea of Driver Only Operated trains on their network. That pig-headed attitude has forced the union’s hand and the idea that we would compromise on the fundamental issue of rail safety is absurd. The union remains available for meaningful talks and we would expect Merseyrail to take up that offer as a matter of urgency.”

I can’t say that this has come as any surprise at all as Merseytravel, the public sector body that controls the Merseyrail Train Franchise, all but invited the strike in my view by choosing to purchase new trains which will be DOO – Driver Only Operated.

Like many I view this move towards taking away train guards with great scepticism as I don’t think Merseytravel have convinced anyone so far that it will actually lead to a safer local rail network for Merseyside. It does not help that Merseytravel seem to have differing answers to the question why they have decided to go down the route of Driver Only Operation. But of course I also view with horror the prospect of an industrial dispute and railway strikes such as that which is presently ongoing in the South East of England over this very issue.

I suspect this dispute has a long way to run and the victims of it will be the travelling public and Merseyrail staff it seems.

My thanks to Cllr. John Dodd for the lead to this posting.

Melling, Lorry turns over at Ashworth Junction of M58

www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/overturned-lorry-blocks-kirkby-junction-12662959

The Liverpool Echo has the story – see link above

Oddly the junction is in Melling yet the Echo refers to it as the Kirkby junction.

But why do we hear of and see so many lorries turning over these days? Is it happening more often or are these incidents just getting more publicity? Is speed the problem?

Sefton Rights of Way – Any issues out there?

For my sins (can an atheist sin?) I am a member of this Group which meets on a 3 monthly basis to discuss and highlight issues with the Borough’s public footpath and bridleway network.

Footpath of Bridges Lane in Sefton Village

I represent both Maghull Town and Lydiate Parish Councils on the Group and am happy to take up issues with public rights of way in the two civil parishes and beyond. So if you have any comments to make please get in touch with me.

And whilst on the subject of walking I am presently reading a book by Stuart Maconie called ‘The Pie at Night’ – its all about what those of us Oop North do for fun! I was struck by some comments about the Ramblers Association now re-branded Ramblers. What I did not know was that it grew out of the Communist British Workers Sport Federation. Can I hear any Conservative members of Ramblers laughing at that surprising bit of history?

Liverpool City Region – New transportation web site lauched

www.keepliverpoolmoving.com/

A new web site has been launched to chart the progress of the investment in our local rail network – see the link above to access the site and learn more.

Site for the new Maghull North Railway Station. Photo taken looking north from School Lane road bridge. The former Moss Side Hospital site is to the right and Mersey Avenue to the left.

The new Maghull North Station gets a mention with work starting in August 2017 and a planned opening of the Town’s second railway station in May 2018. Some of us have be campaigning for this second station for more years than we care to mention! Great to see it on track!