To be a volunteer litter picker or not?

The other day I was in effect challenged to reconsider my actions by a local resident. My action? To have ‘adopted’ the public footpath which runs from Southport Road to Coppull Road and litter pick it/cut back over-hanging foliage now and again. Indeed, I’ve blogged about this previously – here’s a link back to a posting from October 2018:-

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2018/10/05/lydiate-coppull-road-southport-road-footpath/

I think I’ve tidied the path up 3 times now over the past year or so but the challenge is in effect to ask me not to do it as I’m giving Sefton Council the opportunity to get out of doing it. In other words we pay Sefton Council via our council tax so make them keep it clean and tidy. And from a slightly differing perspective but on the same kind of subject a Maghull resident, by coincidence, brought my attention to this recent article* in the Metro newspaper:-

Now I’m a trade unionist by instinct and I spent many years as a trade union officer in the civil service during my working years, so the last thing I would want to do is to compromise the jobs of council employees via my well intentioned volunteer litter picking activities. I hope such an approach would go for all the volunteer litter pickers across Lydiate and many other communities.

Of course we volunteers have started to litter pick because councils have not been doing the work as they once did and yes quite clearly austerity has been the underlying cause of reduced litter picking.

So there we have it. Do volunteer litter pickers stop what they are doing because a) the council is being paid via our council tax so should be forced to get on with the job or b) volunteers may be putting council workers jobs at risk? You could say that both these points could apply of course.

Like many things in life there’s no easy answer and for what it’s worth here’s my view. Sefton Council will not be able to keep this path in the condition that local residents would want to see it because it simply does not have the resources to do so. So on that basis it will only react to issues with footpaths like this when people complain and when the condition of the paths is well past acceptable to locals. It may not be how we want things to be but its how they are though.

Do I think I am putting council jobs art risk? No I don’t unless I see some evidence of this. Do I think the council will now step back in and make the work of litter picking volunteers unnecessary? No I don’t because they are struggling to pay for much bigger issues such as care for the elderly.

Click on the newspaper article to enlarge it

Note: There is a volunteer Lydiate litter picking group who travel across the Parish litter picking – I’m not a part of that group and my litter picking has been as an individual. I do support their work though.

* the article is about Leamington Spar volunteer litter pickers

My thanks to Kevin Duggan for his input into the posting

Maghull/Lydiate – Sefton Bus Review implications

Maghull Station buses back in the 1970’s

I’m told that as a result of the recent Bus Review by Merseytravel in Sefton, the following alterations are proposed from 1st September:

* New service 32A introduced to offer a peak hour service for South and West Maghull to Maghull Station and Westway/The Square.

* Service 32/33 hours extended to run of an evening and Sunday.

* Peak hour service 34/34A to be withdrawn due to low usage following the opening of Maghull North Station.

Anyone spotted any other local implications on Maghull/Lydiate from this review please let me know.

Here’s a link to the detail for changes across Sefton Borough from the Merseytravel website:-

www.merseytravel.gov.uk/about-us/Pages/Sefton-Bus-Network-Review-2019.aspx

Note:- Still no proposal to route a circular bus serving Lydiate to the new Maghull North Station via Maghull Square, a request I have heard on a number of occasions from Lydiate folk. There’s clearly a view out there that some Lydiate folk feel that a bus to the new station would be a much quicker link to Merseyrail. Would be interesting to hear why it has not been trialed…..

With thanks to Kevin Duggan for the lead to this posting

Ribble Centenary – Arriva Photos

I’ve posted a couple of times recently about 2019 being the centenary of the creation of Ribble buses. My two previous posts are available via the links below:-

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2019/04/04/ribble-motor-services-this-would-have-been-their-centenary/

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2019/04/22/that-ribble-centenary-again/

Maghull resident Kevin Duggan has now let me have a couple of photos of a special livery ‘Ribble’ Arriva bus which we could all see out on the road a suppose…… Watch out for a red 300 or 310…….

Click on the photos to enlarge them

Ribble Motor Services – This would have been their centenary

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

Merseytravel – Sefton Bus Network Review 2019

An Arriva 300 bus at the Meadows bus stop, Maghull.

Merseytravel have launched a bus network review for bus routes serving Sefton Borough – see link below for details and to take part in the online survey of your views about local bus services:-

www.merseytravel.gov.uk/about-us/Pages/Sefton-Bus-Network-Review-2019.aspx

If you use local buses please take a few moments to complete the online survey or you can attend one of a couple of face to face events in Bootle Strand or Southport.

I have completed the online survey and made reference to the 31/31A buses probably being better routed to the new Maghull North Station rather than the old Maghull Station for Lydiate residents. I appreciate that this would require some route changes to the circular bus network serving Maghull & Lydiate. Also, these buses need to meet each train all day.

My thanks to Kevin Duggan for the lead to this posting

Paying your bus fare on Merseyside cashless but there have to be concerns about the move towards a cashless society

Cash is of course still accepted on buses, but the option to pay by the Contactless method has to date only been available on Merseyside via Stagecoach buses.

However, Merseytravel want to make this option more widely available, which helps both passengers and the bus companies, as they don’t have deal with so much cash at the end of each day. Plus, there’s less chance of ne’er-do-wells robbing a driver.

Cumfybus have recently upgraded their ticket machines in order they can accept Contactless payments. However, there do not seem to be any notices on the buses to inform cash passengers of this payment option.

An Arriva 300 bus at the Meadows bus stop, Maghull.

My understanding is that the new machines are owned by Merseytravel and rented out to Cumfybus (and HTL in the near future) so the cashless revolution can progress. Arriva are getting the same ticket machines later this year, so they can finally join the 21st Century!

The new ticket machines Merseytravel are providing to Cumfybus & HTL also have a tracking system which allows Merseytravel to check on the punctuality of their sponsored services as well. I’m also told that there’s a website which allows the public to check where buses are at anyone time and the registration of said bus. Handy for seeing if the 31/31A (Maghull/Lydiate circular buses) is coming and if it is on time!

Of course all this progress could potentially lead up to totally cashless buses and even trains locally, indeed that may well be the long-term aim? But I must admit to having reservations about a cashless society as it may not be a very inclusive one. Hence campaigns like this by Which?:-

‘The UK is drifting into a cashless society that risks leaving millions of people behind.

People like Gem, who has brittle bone disease:

I use a powered wheelchair and I have to get a taxi to and from work, which I pay for in cash. We’re definitely heading in the direction of being a cashless society. I’m a very digital person myself, but I think it’s important to realise that there are still barriers out there for a lot of people.

Bank branches and cashpoints are closing at an alarming rate. More than 3,300 UK bank branches have closed since 2015, leaving people struggling to access the cash they rely on.

That’s why we’re launching our new Freedom to Pay campaign. We want the government to set up a regulator to protect our access to cash and make sure nobody is left behind.

Support our campaign now and demand urgent action to protect cash for as long as people need it.’

campaigns.which.co.uk/freedom-to-pay/?utm_source=whichcouk&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=freedometopaylaunch

My thanks to Kevin Duggan for the lead to this posting