Merseytravel – Their over 60’s travel card and the new(ish) Liverpool (LS) to Chester train

Those of us over a certain age and who live within Merseyside/Liverpool City Region have a card which gives us free bus, train and ferry travel within Merseyside and in some cases beyond it.

For example we can go to Chester by train (via Merseyrail) from anywhere within Merseyside for nothing but there are two direct train services from Liverpool to Chester. There’s the long standing one via Merseyrail along the Wirral Line but in very recent times a 2nd route has been added from Lime Street Station to Chester. And you may by now have guessed what my query is…..

How come Merseyside residents over 60 can go via one route to Chester from Liverpool for free but this facility is not available on the new alternative route? And why am I asking this question? Because someone asked it of me and off the top of my head I did not have an answer.

Thinking about it, I can’t see what the problem is; surely it’s just another route to the same destination? Whether Merseytravel (the public body responsible for passenger transport on Merseyside) pay a subsidy for over 60’s travel to Merseyrail or to Transport for Wales (who operate the Lime Street – Chester train) for each journey the end result is pretty much the same is it not? It’s still the case that only eligible Merseyside/Liverpool City Region residents can have an over 60’s travel card, all it does is offer them another route to get to Chester, indeed it may well be a far more convenient route for some card holders.

So what am I missing here? Answers on a post card………..

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.

Maghull/Lydiate area bus changes from 1st September

Merseytravel are advertising the following changes to some of our local bus routes

31, 31A, 32, 32A, 33, 34, 34A, 34B Maghull Circulars
Evening and Sunday Route 32A journeys and Routes 34/A/B are withdrawn but are replaced by additional Route 32/33 journeys and a new Route 32A which runs during the morning and evening peak periods. Some times are changed.

36 Aintree Hospital – Maghull circular
Service is rerouted out of/into Aintree University Hospital. Journeys exit the hospital grounds onto Lower Lane and enter the hospital grounds via Longmoor Lane. Times are unchanged.

133 Kirkby – Waterloo
Service is now operated for Merseytravel by Huyton Travel. Minor retiming of mid-journey times of the 0653 journey from Kirkby Admin.

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

Liverpool Airport’s missing rail link

Departure board at Southport Station from back when you could get to Manchester Airport from our local seaside resort by train as well as from Liverpool.

A recent article on the Liverpool Echo website regarding the lack of a rail link to Liverpool’s John Lennon Airport, by Liam Thorpe, got me thinking again about this odd missing link in our local transport infrastructure. Here’s a link to the Echo article:-

www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/after-anfield-new-rail-link-16614708

My angle on this goes back to the failed Merseytram project of some years back. At the time I was leader of Sefton Council so was involved in all the comings and goings as the project slid towards its demise when the last Labour Government in effect pulled the plug on funding Merseytram.

I raise Merseytram again now because I am utterly convinced that if the first line had been planned to go to the airport the local political wrangling which killed off the project would not have happened. If readers recall the first line was going to be built to Kirkby according to plans put forward Merseytravel yet most folk scratched their heads at this and said the first line needed to go to the airport. Well no tram/light railway lines were constructed on Merseyside at all and a lot of political fingers got burnt in the process of going nowhere.

So I’m not surprised that Liverpool Echo readers are saying to the paper what they were saying to the politicians some years back ‘build some form of rail/tram connection to John Lennon Airport’ and I agree with them now as I did in the Merseytram era.

Below is the only thing I have to remember Merseytram – a promotional bookmark:-

This promotional Merseytram bookmark is about all that Liverpool City Region has to show for its big tram ideas.

Climate Change – Getting Real

Despite the political and media obsession with Brexit and whilst it may seem like the biggest major crisis, the reality is that climate change will kill off the human race if we don’t take very serious action very soon.

At a local level I get sick of cycling behind pollution from diesel powered vehicles many of which could be electric powered because they only do local trips. The circular buses which serve Maghull & Lydiate and connect the community to railway stations and shopping center are just one obvious example where change to electric power should have happened years ago. And what about the Post Office’s local delivery vans too where similar very local runs must be being made day in day out. I’m sure there will be other examples…..

Air pollution is killing us all by shortening lives and it’s linked to dementia too. It’s a scandal that communities up and down the land, often the poorest ones, are being subjected to pollution levels that are simply far too high. Governments have know this for years but little has been done apart from a lot of wringing of hands.

That our present Government has dismantled virtually all the green initiatives brought in by the Coalition is astonishing when we have declared a climate emergency as those green cutbacks are taking place.

Another example is the lack of progress with building regulations. Why aren’t all new buildings being constructed with solar panels/tiles; they’ve been around for years, there really is no excuse.

I could go on but you get my drift………..

Lydiate – Making the case for reconsidering the circular 31/31A bus route

I made a point of getting to the Merseytravel bus consultation event at Maghull Square Shopping Centre this morning.

When I arrived a chap was already talking to the staff and I quickly realised he was making the very same point I had come to make i.e. that the 31/31A Lydiate circular bus should serve the new Maghull North Station rather than the old Maghull Station.

Our reasons? Since the loss of the 311 bus Lydiate folks have limited options to get to Ormskirk by public transport. Secondly, Maghull North Station is nearer to Lydiate so the journey to get to Merseyrail would be shorter.

This issue has been raised with me as a Lydiate Parish Councillor a few times now, indeed I raised it myself when the original public consultation took place about the building of the new station a couple of years ago or more. However, for some odd reason this quite workable change keeps falling on deaf ears. I hope someone is listening this time.

Here’s a link back to a previous posting of my on this matter from August 2017:-

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2017/08/26/maghull-north-station-so-which-local-buses-will-serve-the-station-when-it-opens/