Merseyrail – Should their fare structure copy Bandwagon Burnham’s Manchester approach?

Merseyrail Class 508 EMU at Maghull Station


The Liverpool Echo has the story on its website – see link below

www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/1-ticket-manchester-commuters-been-15395226

Well, I’m certainly no fan of Andy Burnham, who has always struck me as popularist who jumps from policy to policy depending on which way the political wind is blowing, but has his latest pronouncement as Mayor of Greater Manchester hit the right note in terms of trying to reduce congestion on our roads?

A Manchester Metrolink Tram

Here’s a link to Transport for Greater Manchester’s website with details of their low fare scheme:-

www.tfgm.com/press-release/early-bird

Would I be right that Mersey Metro Mayor was caught on the hop by the Echo in effect challenging him to come up with a similar deal for Merseyside? The fact that a spokesperson from Merseytravel responded for the Mayor makes he think so.

My own view is that public transport needs to be cheap, reliable, convenient and of high quality and frequency if we are to get folk to leave their environmentally challenging cars at home.

Northern Rail recruiting train guards whilst being in dispute with them

The Liverpool Echo has the story on its website – see link below:-

www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/northern-rail-looking-train-conductors-15382492

And isn’t this the very section of its workforce that Northern seems to be in almost permanent dispute with via the RMT trade union due to this franchise operator’s wish to run trains without train guards?!

Kirkby – When it’s Ski Slope project went down the hill far too fast

Remember the ill-fated Kirkby Ski Slope project from the mid-1970’s?

It was the talk of Merseyside for quite a while but whilst it was meant to be for downhill skiing the whole project went down the hill far too fast to the great embarrassment of the Council of the day.

The Liverpool Echo has the story on its website – see link below

www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/heres-how-kirkbys-ambitious-plan-15353527

Sefton Council – What happens if you don’t pay your Council tax

The Liverpool Echo has the story on its web site – see link below:-

www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/people-merseyside-facing-prison-not-15329840

Recalling my 16 years as a Sefton Councillor (1999 to 2015) my recollection is that Sefton has always been pretty good at collecting Council tax i.e. it collects more than many other councils. And it’s clear from this Echo article that the Council is willing to chase up Council tax debt through the courts.

Sefton Council Logo

Council tax is a poor and unfair and regressive tax because it is based on the value of land/property rather than the ability to pay. A poor person can end up living in a large house with high Council tax with the person next door paying the same amount of Council tax whilst being wealthy. We need a new form of Local Income tax to re-balance such a badly targeted tax to pay for council services.

But, until we get a fairer tax system to fund councils, my experience of talking to Sefton residents is that they expect all householders to pay their way as they do. So my guess is that there’s little sympathy out there for those who don’t pay, although there well may be for those who are trapped in larger properties on low incomes and who can’t pay.

Don’t mention ‘Merseytram’ as modern streetcars could make a welcome return to the Wirral

The Liverpool Echo has the story on its web site – see link below:-

www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/trams-set-return-merseyside-operate-15262163#ICID=Android_EchoNewsApp_AppShare

Any politician who lived through the Merseytram fiasco (I did) must wince when they hear that there could be plans to reintroduce modern streetcars on the Wirral. Merseytram was Merseyside politicians shooting themselves in both feet!

But hey lets try to be positive as streetcars/trams/light rail are the future for urban transportation especially over shortish routes and I’m a fan of them having recently experienced the excellent NET tram system that runs in and around Nottingham.

A Nottingham NET Tram at the Phoenix Park terminus.

What’s more inter-political party co-operation on the Wirral with both the Lib Dems and Greens co-sponsoring the matter on their Council. Not usually a very British way of doing politics because political parties are expected to oppose the ideas of other parties, even when they agree with them, simply because the ideas are from another party. Whatever next? I bet the national press will not want such political cooperation to bed in into our adversarial political culture as it’s the pointless party political battles they love to report upon.

Also Wirral Transport Museum and the tramway which runs from their Taylor Street premises to Woodside Ferry Terminal gets a mention in the Liverpool Echo article. The museum is well worth a visit and you can ride on old fashioned trams there too, like this one:-

‘Baby Grand’ Liverpool Tramcar 245 at Woodside Ferry Terminal.

With thanks to Keith Page for the lead to this posting

Maghull – Major crash closes A59 Northway this afternoon

The Liverpool Echo has the story on its web site – see link below:-

www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/two-taken-hospital-after-serious-15153479

It’s the section of Northway between the Hall Lane and Dover Road/Liverpool Road South junctions and the accident seems to have been on the southbound carriageway.

It seems that the Police were chasing a stolen car just before it was involved in the crash. The vehicle was travelling on the wrong side of the road. The driver of the stolen car ran from the scene but was arrested I understand.

We can only hope that the seriously injured person pulls through.