Merseytravel on the move
Passenger Transport Authority and Executive, Merseytravel, has
signed one of Liverpool’s biggest commercial property deals in
The organisation will move to Neptune Developments and Countryside
Properties’ Mann Island site [currently known as Building 3] on the
banks of the River Mersey following a long and exhaustive two-year
search for a new headquarters building. The organisation hopes
to move into the 11-storey 140,000 sq ft building, designed to some
of the country’s highest environmental and accessibility standards,
in around 2 years. The new headquarters will bring Merseytravel staff from 4 sites into 1 location for the 1st time.
Councillor Mark Dowd, Chair of Merseytravel, said:- “This is a
landmark deal and one that will bring all our staff together in one
central location. It will mean we are in the heart of the city
and situated right next to all our major assets, the rail and bus
network, the Mersey Tunnels and the Mersey Ferries.”
Neil Scales, Chief Executive and Director General of Merseytravel,
added:- “This is the right location for an organisation that
is striving to be the best that it can be and will help us work much
more closely across all divisions of our business. Our vision has
been to unite our staff under one roof and put ourselves in the best
possible position for the future. There is a great deal of
history at our current headquarters in Hatton Garden. However, the
age of the building is also one of the biggest problems. Staying
there was no longer a long-term option as the ongoing maintenance
costs were very high and the site just wasn’t big enough to pull all
our staff together.”
The Mann Island development is being delivered as a joint venture
between Neptune Developments and Countryside Properties plc.
As well as the 140,000 sq ft commercial office building adjacent to
The Strand, the £135m scheme includes two striking granite buildings
containing apartments, shops, restaurants and a series of sheltered
waterside public spaces.
Steve Parry, Managing Director of Neptune Developments, added:-
“This is one of the biggest commercial property deals in the
country and certainly the biggest office letting in Liverpool for
several years. Securing the letting has been greatly assisted
by the quality of the public realm and new buildings at Mann Island
and the Pier Head which will make this the premier office,
residential and leisure location in the City.
Mann Island is an excellent location for Merseytravel due to its
close proximity to the ferries, tunnels, Merseyrail and bus services
at James Street and Paradise Street, providing a highly accessible
location for its customers and staff.
The high standard of the
office space, which is one of the first offices in the city that
achieves the BREEAM Excellent environmental standard, fits in with
Neptune and Countryside’s philosophy that delivering developments of
exceptional quality leads to commercial success.”
Merseytravel scoured many potential sites before short listing the
Mann Island site as its preferred location. The fit out,
design and layout of the new building will be fine-tuned over the
coming months, including a number of improvements for customers.
LIFE-SAVING ORGAN DONOR REGISTER REACHES 16 MILLION EARLY
A call to
double the number of people on the NHS Organ Donor Register (ODR) to
16 million has been achieved, 12 months before the planned date.
The appeal was launched in 2001 by former Health Secretary Alan
Milburn when the Register stood at 8 million and 5,532 people were
waiting for transplant. Now more than a quarter - 26% of the
UK population – have joined the ODR pledging their organs for
transplant after their death but the number waiting for the call
telling them that a life-saving organ has been found for them has
risen to almost 8,000 and continues to steadily increase.
Since January 2001, 23,551 life-saving organ transplants have been
made possible thanks the generosity of donors and their families but
during the same period, at least 4,500 people died while waiting
because a suitable organ could not be found in time. NHS Blood
and Transplant (NHSBT), the UK-wide organ donation organisation,
pays tribute to those who have made this achievement possible.
Lynda Hamlyn, Chief Executive of NHSBT, said:- “Reaching 16
million on the NHS Organ Donor Register a year before planned is
testament to the support that exists for donation in the UK. More
than quarter of the population have demonstrated their commitment by
signing the Register. But, with 8000 people in the UK currently
waiting for a life-saving organ transplant, we need to do more.
Around 3,000 organ transplants take place in this country every
year, but during the same period approximately 1,000 people – 3 a
day - die while waiting because of the shortage of donated organs.
Please join the NHS Organ Donor Register. If you have already signed
up, please talk to your friends and relatives about doing so. Every
time someone joins, they offer the possibility of transforming
someone else’s life and the lives of their families through their
generosity,” Ms Hamlyn added.
Most organ transplants are carried out as a result of donation after
death but today at least one in three of all kidney transplants take
place through living donation, most often between couples and other
Health Minister Ann Keen said:- "It is fantastic news that 16
million people have put their names on the Organ Donor Register. But
there is still much to do. We remain firmly committed to helping
many more people benefit from a transplant and want to see organ
donation rates rise significantly over the next 4 years from the
current 800 donors to 1,400 per year by March 2013."
The most popular ways to join the ODR are through the driver licence
application and through applications to register with a new GP
practice. Other ways to register include the Boots Advantage Card,
passport applications, a number of local authority SmartCard schemes
and through the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). Joining
the Register is easy, call the Organ Donor Line on 0845 60 60 400,
text GIVE to 84118. Alternatively, write to NHSBT, Fox Den Road,
Stoke Gifford, Bristol, BS34 8RR
"Targeted drink drive campaigns work"
(Institute of Advanced Motorists) has welcomed the news that 9,000
drink drivers were removed from our roads during the festive season.
Neil Greig, Director of Research and Policy at the IAM, said:-
"Targeted enforcement campaigns work, and it is encouraging to
see these initiatives improve road safety for all road users.
Although there are now fewer irresponsible drivers on the road than
there were in 2008, there are still too many people who are prepared
to risk their own and others' lives by driving after drinking or
taking drugs. We need more targeted enforcement all year round;
safety is for life - not just for Christmas." Between December 2008 and January 2009, 183,397 drivers were breath
tested - an increase of more than 25,000 from the same campaign in
2007. The typical test failure rate is 4.99%. Worryingly, drivers
aged below 25 represented a higher proportion (5.62%) of those who
tested positive. "We don't want to demonise young drivers, but IAM research has
shown that young men are more likely to drink and drive than older
motorists. These drivers also have a high risk of crashing and there
is a perception among their peers that they can 'get away with it'.
Young people must be convinced that the only way to drive is sober
and one way to achieve this is through targeted enforcement,"
added Mr Greig.