Merseyrail – Delivery of their 1st new Stadler Class 777 train

A mock-up of a Class 777 – The new Merseyrail trains that will soon replace the Class 507/508 EMU’s

For those wondering what the new trains look like for real, as opposed to the mock-up one (see photo above) that was on show in Liverpool & Birkenhead, the link below shows the first one being delivered to Merseyrail’s Kirkdale Depot on 15th January:-

www.youtube.com/watch?v=ST9-nCbxiHA

My thanks to Kevin Duggan for the lead to this posting

Class 769 driver training on Southport – Wigan line

A Southport bound Class 156 DMU at Burscough Bridge Station on the Southport – Wigan – Manchester Line – in 2014.

I’m indebted to Flickr user British Rail 1980s and1990’s for permission to use the photo contained in the link below to this blog posting:-

www.flickr.com/photos/britishrail1980sand1990s/49529872211

As this blog site and many, many other sources have commented on for far too long now the standard of service, the short forming of trains, cancellations etc. etc. on the Southport – Wigan – Manchester line has sadly become a part of every passengers life. But there has to be hope and the testing of bi-mode Class 769’s on the line may well be a part of that hope.

I know that OPSTA will be interested in this development as they have been championing this long neglected line, together with the Ormskirk – Preston line of course, for many years indeed.

And a nostalgic reminder of the line in happier times when the Burscough Curves were still in use – photo credit Phil Hughes:-

OPSTA keeps on pressing for the curves to be reopened and is it just possible that the powers that be could be starting to take notice? I hope so but sadly there’s been far too many false dawns over the past 30 years or more to get too optimistic. However, one day Southport and Preston will again be connected by rail I sure, I just hope I see it happen.

My thanks to Kevin Duggan for the lead to this posting

310 Bus Route – Liverpool to Maghull – in the days of Ribble

I picked up a copy of a book published in 2001 called ‘Glory Days – Transport in Liverpool’ not so long ago mainly due to my interest in local railways but on page 93 I saw a 310 Ribble bus with the destination ‘Park Lane Lodge’ on it.

Photo credit Arnold Richardson/Photobus

A query to a local bus expert confirmed that the photo was indeed taken in Maghull outside Northway Primary School at the junction of Dodds Lane and Moss Lane Lane. The bus used to terminate (having come from Liverpool) in Ribble days at the junction of Park Lane and Parkbourn.

The photo is undated but the bus is noted as being a 1959 example of a Leyland Atlantean, so the shot must be from the 1960’s. Behind the bus in the far background looks to be the roofs of houses on the Lathom Avenue Estate and nearer to the bus is Northway Primary School.

My thanks to Kevin Duggan for his help with this posting

Click on the photo to enlarge it

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