A mock-up of a Class 777 – The new Merseyrail trains that will soon replace the Class 507/508 EMU’s
* The first Class 777 unit is expected to arrive on Merseyside in the Autumn of this year.
* The seventh unit delivered, I am told, will not now have battery capability and the battery trial has been suspended due to an identified technical issue. Battery capable units are being looked upon by OPSTA and others to enable the extension of the Ormskirk line (for example) to Burscough and possibly even Preston as this option will be much cheaper than having to install electrification along the present Ormskirk – Preston Line. It is to be hoped that the technical issue will be solved.
* There seems to be some truth in the rumour that a number of the present Class 507 EMU’s may be retained. This is, I understand, a contingency plan should the movement of platform signals not be achieved in time. This would be an interim measure.
A new Stadler Merseyrail train artist impression
A Merseyrail train at Bootle Oriel Road Station
The Liverpool Echo has the article on its website – see link below:-
With all the appalling rail services being offered around the UK in recent times the charge of ‘crap service’ has often been levied at companies such as Northern but rarely does the normally excellent Merseyrail system get called that. But the incident reported in the Echo gives a whole new mean to the phrase a crap rail journey!
Readers of this blog site will know that I have been posting for a long time now against the plan of Highways England to build a new access road to the Port of Liverpool right through this lovely Country Park. I was delighted therefore to read in the Champion newspaper (3rd April) that a Cycle Safari organised by Merseyside Environmental Trust/Merseyside Cycling Campaign stopped in this South Sefton Park to register their objections to the road building plan.
Nice to see fellow cyclists getting involved in trying to stop the Highways Agency bulldozers.
An idyllic view of Rimrose Valley Country Park
Having become aware that at the junction of the Northway Service Road and Moorhey Road there’s no dropped kerb for cyclists to access the short path to the pedestrian/cycle crossing across the A59 I took the matter up with Sefton Council’s Highways Dept.
They’ve come back to me and there’s some good news – They say that the missing dropped kerb will be included as part of the Dover Road improvement scheme and will be one of the first pieces of work for that project. It seems the works are scheduled for the coming financial year but there’s no firm date as yet. Best present guess the autumn I understand.
This year is the centenary of the formation of the mighty and much-missed (in bus enthusiast quarters particularly) Ribble Motor Services.
Vintage Ribble bus photoed at the West Lancs Light Railway in 2018
I’m told that Arriva’s Bootle Depot are to paint one of their buses in Ribble livery as a commemoration of the Centenary, which is fitting given Ribble’s Bootle depots (both the old one – now demolished and the new one – now Arriva’s depot) operated an intensive service on Ribble’s routes.
Here’s a blast from the past a former Ribble Lydiate bound 321 bus in model form. Sadly it’s a long lost route for Lydiate residents.
With thanks to Kevin Duggan for the lead to this posting
Lydiate residents will most probably have seen the article in this weeks Aintree & Maghull Champion regarding requests for a bus shelter on the A59/Northway adjacent to the Kenyons Lane traffic lights.
I’ve also raised this with Merseytravel recently following a Lydiate resident asking for a shelter at this spot on the Lydiate & Neighbours FB Group in a thread that I posted about a bus shelter being removed in Moss Lane, Lydiate. The shelter being removed is one that served the old 311 route that provided a good service between Lydiate and Ormskirk.
Obviously the response as printed in the Champion is at best disappointing as there’s only one bus to Ormskirk from Lydiate these days i.e. the Arriva 310. What’s more it only skims the edge of Lydiate with just one stop on the A59/Northway.
I appreciate the difficulties of this A59 bus stop site but in reality, on such a busy road, you would expect not only a shelter but a bus lay-by too. However, I also appreciate it’s a cramped site and that Merseytravel have to prioritise their expenditure. Maybe a re-routing of the bus to travel through more of Lydiate would actually be the best solution. The most likely way to do this would be for the bus to cross Northway instead of turning onto the A59 so to serve the rest of Kenyons Lane, then Liverpool Road past the old windmill and back to the A59 at Robins Island. But this at face value simple change has its problems too as St Thomas’ School is on that short stretch of Kenyons Lane and I guess that at school coming and going times the bus would get caught up in traffic jams just like the 31/31A Lydiate circular bus does on Sandy Lane.
Arriva and Merseytravel can surely get their heads together here to try to find a way forward because this situation has come about mainly due to the former 311 bus being withdrawn by Arriva in August 2015. I covered the campaign to try to save that bus on this blog site – see link below:-
Yes of course the 311 was a commercial service and the 310 is too so I realise that Merseytravel have no powers to make Arriva think again about the provision of buses between Lydiate and Ormskirk. However, there’s a Bus Alliance in operation across Merseyside which Merseytravel and Arriva are a part of so at the very least they should be around a table trying to sort issues like this out.
And lastly, for now anyway, the underlying issue here is the Deregulation of bus services outside of London that was brought in during the 1980’s. My own view is that we lost control of our bus services when that happened and it was bad legislation. I’m told that Merseytravel are slowly working towards re-regulation of buses but I fear that that bus is only just about creeping along.