Northern Train Fares – Going down the route of private car park enforcement?

This move made me wonder whether this new penalty scheme will in fact catch out the honest traveller as well as the deliberate fare evader?

What do you do if you are at an unstaffed station with only a ticket purchasing machine but the person ahead of you has never seen one before and is puzzling about how to work it and get the best value ticket for their journey. Oh and the train is coming too so you are not going to be able to get a ticket yourself. Do you take a chance that the guard/ticket inspector will believe you or do say oh well I’ll have to await the next train which maybe an hour later?

See what I mean? This new process could start to look like what happens where private parking companies are running supermarket or shopping centre car parks, in other words a money making process not really a parking enforcement one where you the driver are effectively guilty until proven innocent.

This worries me as I fear for train users who innocently find themselves having to justify what the ticket inspector is maybe trained to reject as the train operating company sees an opportunity to make a few bob at the same time as dealing with real ticket evaders.

With thanks to Bob for his assistance with this posting.

Liverpool John Lennon Airport – Drop off charges 2nd most expensive

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

Liverpool Airport seems to be at a number of disadvantages in that it relies on cheap airlines for its customer base and they don’t like paying much for landing/take off fees and it has no rail/light rail/tram connection to Liverpool City Centre or to the nearest mainline station.

In such circumstances people get dropped off/picked up in large numbers at the airport for their travel. Would I be being unkind to say that this drop-off/pick-up traffic is being targeted as a income stream to balance the airport’s books?

Formby – Parish Council blasts Labour-run Sefton’s parking charges

Readers may well remember that Labour-run Sefton Council is in the process of bringing in parking charges for this popular car park in Formby Village. Indeed, the issue has already split Labour locally with their Sefton Councillors backing the parking charges whilst the local Labour MP is publicly opposing them! So much for Labour unity, although if you read my previous posting you will notice that there has not been much Labour unity locally in recent times.

My previous posting on this matter can be accessed via the link below:-

Formby Parish Council are leading the campaign against the charges but Formby also has 4 Labour Borough councillors! The Parish Council is run by people independent of the main political parties who are all experienced community and environmental campaigners. What’s more they gained that experience by opposing the same Labour-run Borough Council’s Local Plan which aims to concrete over vast swathes of Green Belt and high grade agricultural land across the Borough.

Sumner Road Car park - Formby (1)

This was the scene in Sumner Road car park yesterday (17th October) afternoon where vehicles can presently be parked for up to 2 hours without charges. A traffic warden was clearly doing his rounds checking that no one was overstaying their welcome.

Sumner Road car park - Formby

Formby – Bill seems to be at odds with his Labour Sefton councillors again

The Southport Visiter has the story – see link above

So Labour MP Bill Esterson seems again to be at odds with his fellow Labour Councillors who run Sefton Council; there is a pattern developing here!

Library closures – Bill opposed them but his Labour councillors ignored him and closed them.

Building on the Green Belt and high grade agricultural land – Bill opposed it but his Labour councillors ignored him and voted to build on it.

Parking charges in Formby – ?

I do wish Bill had been motivated to oppose the Tories Welfare Bill recently, like Lib Dem MP John Pugh (Southport) and Labour MP Peter Dowd (Bootle) did, instead of abstaining in the crucial vote because the Labour Party’s official line was to vote neither in favour nor against it. Surely I must speak for Labour councillors in Sefton when I say how disappointed they must have been that he voted a different way to what they surely would have wanted?