Giant U Turn? Well a small one anyway as Hightown is saved from station closure during event

Little girl and her dog near the old Mersey Tunnel entrance during the last Giants tour of Liverpool.

I blogged about this only a few days ago and it seems that public pressure has brought about some concessions regarding the number of Merseyrail Stations that will close during the The Giants Spectacular in Liverpool in a couple of weeks time. But even with these limited concessions Merseyrail and the powers that be who are organising the event have managed to cheese off a lot of the travelling public by closing stations on the network.

Hightown is one station reprieved:-

Hightown Station

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

www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-merseyside-45627563

With thanks to Keith Page for the lead to this posting.

Liverpool – Merseyrail – The Giants and closed railway stations

Hightown Station will have no trains stopping there during The Giants event in Liverpool.

This is indeed an odd story which is carried on the Liverpool Echo’s web site – see link below

www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/commuters-reacted-fury-after-finding-15184496

When it was first pointed out to me it read like an April 1st leg pull but there’s no joke about it, stations such as Hightown, Aughton Park and indeed many others will be closed when The Giants event is being staged in Liverpool in early October.

Unsurprisingly rail passengers who usually get a train from one of the closed stations are less than impressed and some politicians have been backing the angry rail users. But hang on a minute, Merseyrail the train operating company will surely not have made decisions about which stations to close down in complete isolation will they? Consultation will surely have taken place with event organisers and most importantly with Merseytravel (the public sector committee of Liverpool City Region which controls the Merseyrail franchise) won’t it?

On that basis surely these station closures will have had some kind of political sign off from elected representatives, or officers to who decision making of this kind has been delegated, of Merseyside’s dominant political party will they not? But then what about the station closures in West Lancashire or Ellesmere Port that are outside of the City Region, were politicians from those areas involved in the decision making process?

Is this another example of Merseyrail seemingly carrying the can for others like with the recent train guards dispute?

With thanks to Keith for the lead to this posting

Merseytravel – Why they say public transport shuts down (too?) early each day

www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/merseytravel-late-trains-q-a-9490230

A Merseyrail train at Bootle Oriel Road Station

A Merseyrail train at Bootle Oriel Road Station

I have a lot of respect for Liam Robinson (the Chair of Merseytravel – our local public transport body on Merseyside) despite the fact that he is not of my political party, partly because he is a reasonable chap and partly because of his professional background in the railway industry.

This does not mean I agree with all he says in a Liverpool Echo follow-up article (see link above) to the recent call in the paper for trains to run latter at night on Merseyside, which I and many others support.

As I said in my previous commentary on this matter part of the problem for say communities like Maghull/Lydiate, for example, is that there is no circular bus to meet the last train even now, never mind any later running trains that could possibly run in the future.

I feel that the last Merseyrail trains out of Liverpool should be just after midnight.

As for the commentary about how the Merseyside public transport system works during big pre-planned public events I refer readers to my previous posting associated with the Giants from July 2014:-

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2014/07/30/the-giants-liverpool-merseytravel-was-the-transport-advice-right/

I have the feeling that this issue has a long way to travel before it is resolved but despite the difficulties I hope that the powers that be can find a way forward to offer later trains out of Liverpool.

The Giants, Liverpool & Merseytravel – Was the transport advice right?

Just a few thoughts on the transport implications of the massive Giants event in Liverpool over the last weekend.

The advice from Merseytravel was very clear – come into Liverpool by train or bus and the emphasis seemed to be very much ‘by train’. But was this advice right?

We travelled into Liverpool on both Saturday and Sunday. On Saturday we drove to Bootle and got a train at Bootle Oriel Road Station. The train we got on the Southport – Liverpool Line was packed but OK and we got off at Moorfields Station. Coming back though was a very different story!

On return to Moorfields Station the queue, just to get into the station, was massive and trailing all the way back to Dale Street, indeed it seemed to be an ever lengthening queue. We did not bother waiting; it was going to be a long wait or a long walk. We settled for the long walk on the basis that we would probably be able to flag down a taxi. After about half a mile we did indeed get a taxi back to Bootle.

On Sunday we drove all the way into Liverpool, parked up in the large Council car park next to the Adelphi Hotel with no difficulties what so ever, walked down to the Stand (where the event was taking place) and all was fine. On the way back we walked to the car park, drove out without any delay what so ever and were home in Lydiate within half an hour.

Did Merseytravel over egg the advice and in effect get far too many folk to use the trains instead of spreading the load across all modes of transport? Our experience would indicate that they did. I hope the next time Liverpool hosts a major event the advice is reconsidered.

More on Giants Spectacular – The leaving of Liverpool

I have loaded more shots onto my Flickr site today. Here is a taster:-

Giant Grandmother on her last walk about before leaving Liverpool.

Giant Grandmother on her last walk about before leaving Liverpool.

This photo and others from the Giants Spectacular event in Liverpool are amongst my Flickr shots at:-
www.flickr.com/photos/86659476@N07/