Merseytravel to deliver 2 new stations for Merseyrail (plus 2 new Mersey Ferries)

The present end of the line for trains from Wigan, the Merseyrail service to Liverpool is accessed under the bridge. The new Headbolt Lane Station will see the Liverpool – Kirkby Line extended to it.

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

www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/merseyside-set-two-new-train-16838844

If delivered this is good news indeed, my only reservation is that Merseytravel has a history of big promises but being less than good at delivery as previous blog postings on this site have detailed.

My old friend Cllr. Andrew Makinson (member of Liverpool City Council) will be delighted to hear that St. James Station is seriously back on the cards as he tried to get the project going quite some years ago when the then transport authority were not listening to him.

On the cycling front there may also be good news because at present the cycling facilities/safe cycling routes across the City Region are generally very poor/non-existent indeed, with a few notable exceptions.

Mersey Ferries at War – 1st World War

Modern Mersey Ferry Royal Iris but why its called Royal is in this blog posting

www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/nostalgia/how-mersey-ferries-went-war-14561873

The Liverpool Echo has the story on its web site – see link above

It’s 100 years since the Mersey Ferries Iris and daffodil were involved in the Zeebrugge raid and the short Echo article is well worth reading.

Merseyside has it’s own unique breed of Walrus

www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/what-walrus-everything-you-need-12937411

The Liverpool Echo has the story on its web site – see link above

And here’s a link to the Merseytravel web pages about this travel card:-

www.merseytravel.gov.uk/Tickets/walrus-card/Pages/default.aspx#

It’s going in the right direction but as Carl Cashman the Lib Dem candidate in the recent Liverpool City Region Mayoral election said to fulfill its potential we need to ‘Expand the Walrus card system, creating an ‘Oyster-like’ system across the region, to include buses trains, ferries, tunnels and bridges. Unifying our transport network into one single contactless payment.’

Carl Cashman

How right he is and so the challenge is now there for the winning candidate Steve Rotherham to make this happen by taking up Carl’s pledge.

And there’s more spending promises – But what about the far bigger picture for Merseyside?

www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/joe-anderson-pledges-build-new-11441098

The Liverpool Echo has the story – see link above

50p child bus fares, a new Mersey Ferry etc. Mm, back to politicians pledges that I commented on not so long ago.

These latest pledges are because we are getting a Metro Mayor foisted on Merseyside (Liverpool City Region) because our Tory Government says we should have one and Merseyside Labour rolled over and grabbed at the chance to have another politician living off the public purse. Remember Liverpool electors didn’t get a say whether they had an elected Mayor and across Merseyside we have had no say either in the one we are going to get in 2017.

So the pledges are starting from those jockeying to be Labour’s candidate with Liverpool elected Mayor Joe Anderson desperate to rule all of Merseyside.

But in the real world what are the big issues that need to be tackled across Merseyside?

Education – In Knowsley Borough and parts of Liverpool education attainment is poor to say the least – bumping along the bottom of any comparative league tables across the UK.

Housing – The lack of suitable housing for elderly – small bungalows, sheltered housing etc. The short supply of social housing again mostly 1 and two bedroom.

Environment – Putting a stop to the mad rush to build on green spaces and Green Belt on Merseyside and turning Merseyside into a truly green and sustainable City Region.

Unemployment and low skill jobs – Breaking the cycle of families where generation upon generation does not work. Upskilling the Merseyside workforce so that quality jobs are attracted to here.

Getting our Transportation right – Investing in connecting up the rather small (in my view too small) Liverpool City Region with its surrounding major communities of Preston, Skelmersdale, Wrexham etc. by rail. Connecting Liverpool Airport to the national rail network.

Yes I am sure 50p child bus fares would be nice and a new Mersey Ferry will make us all nostalgic for another playing of that Gerry and Pacemakers song but they are not going to change the City Region. They will not address, unemployment, low skills, low wages, the wrong mix of housing stock and poor transport links. They will not improve the health and the life expectancy of some parts of Merseyside that need this addressed urgently. They will not make us a green and sustainable sub regional economy. Our poor health and life expectancy is played into by the first 4 of the issues I raise above.

I don’t know about you but I want to see real pledges to address the kind of things I am raising above (which of course is not an exhaustive list) as without addressing and solving such important matters a new Metro Mayor will indeed be just another politician living off the public purse.

Mersey Ferries – A blueprint for their next 20 years.

Mersey Ferry Snowdrop in the lead and in Dazzle paint.

Mersey Ferry Snowdrop in the lead and in Dazzle paint.

www.qlocal.co.uk/southport/news_list/20_Year_Vision_for_Mersey_Ferries-54708409.htm

Q Local Southport have the story on their web site – see link above.

With thanks to Cllr. John Dodd for the lead to this story.

The photo above is also amongst my Flickr shots at:-

www.flickr.com/photos/86659476@N07/

Thetis Memorial

Thetis Memoria at Woodside

Thetis Crest

On the riverside near to Woodside Ferry Terminal in Birkenhead there sits this memorial to the submariners who perished in the 1939 disaster. She sank during trials on 1 June 1939 with the loss of 99 lives.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Thetis_%28N25%29

Thetis had been built in Birkenhead at the Cammell Laird shipyard.

The photos are amongst my Flickr shots at:-

www.flickr.com/photos/86659476@N07/