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Southport and  Mersey Reporter -  Your free online newspaper service covering the Merseyside region - (Greater Liverpool).
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Issue:- 17/18 February 2009

New view for Waterloo

WATERLOO station has benefitted from better passenger facilities, as part of a £90,000 plus refurbishment scheme jointly funded by Merseytravel and the National Stations Improvement Programme (NSIP).

Work includes an upgraded station entrance, improvements to the staircase and access ramp with installation of double handrails, enhanced lighting and security fencing renovation.

Councillor Mark Dowd, Chair of Merseytravel said:- “This investment will benefit the many passengers who use Waterloo station daily.  We are committed to investing wherever we can in stations and facilities that will improve our passengers’ journeys and have a lasting effect on the quality of the station.”

The scheme is 1 of 7 on the Merseyrail Network to receive funding through the NSIP.  Other stations benefitting are, Liverpool Central, Hall Road, Hooton, Meols, Rock Ferry and Huyton.

The National Stations Improvement Programme is a joint industry initiative funded primarily by the Department for Transport. It was introduced in 2007 as part of the Rail White Paper.

Earlier this year, Ormskirk station was the first station in the country to benefit with an investment of £500,000, plus £200,000 from Merseytravel, as part of an overall £1.6m refurbishment programme.


BUS users in Liverpool are being offered the chance to become an Arriva m-ticket tester; part of an official quality control team for bus company Arriva.  Arriva North West’s m-ticket testers will receive a free, four-weekly ticket and will be tasked with rating the company’s new m-ticketing technology and overall bus experience.  The bus company, which runs a range of services in and around Liverpool, launched mobile ticketing at the end of 2009. The service allows bus users to buy Day Savers, Weekly Savers and 4-Weekly Savers on their phone at any time, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  Debra Mercer, marketing manager, for Arriva North West, said:- “Since the launch of m-ticketing we have seen a steady increase in the number of customers choosing to use their phone to purchase tickets. Now we want to recruit people to try out the service and provide feedback. All customers have to do is visit our website and complete the quick and easy registration process, during which the m-ticket application is downloaded to their phone. As part of its m-ticketing launch, Arriva is currently offering a ticket sale which sees bus passengers receiving 30p off the price of a Day Saver ticket and £1 off a Weekly Saver when they buy tickets on their mobile phone. Discounts will continue until £30,000 worth has been given away. There are a number of benefits in using your mobile phone to purchase tickets. Bus users can simply buy and store their ticket until they’re ready to activate it and hop on a bus. All they need to do is show their ticket to the driver on their phone screen. It also means no more fumbling for change when they get on the bus as well as being quick, easy and twice as secure as typical online transactions.”  To find out more about Arriva’s range of tickets and services, including m-ticketing, or to apply to be an m-ticket tester people should visit:-


THE number of small and medium-sized businesses in the North West who have had to make job cuts has levelled off in the past 6 months – but more expect to shed staff in the coming half-year.

Research carried out by Clifton Asset Management (CAM), which provides specialist financial and strategic advice to SMEs, reveals that 26% of firms in the region have been forced to shed jobs over the past 6 months, the same figure as in the previous quarterly survey.  But the latest CAM study also shows that the number who say they will have to reduce their payroll further in the coming 6 months is up, from 9% to 15%.

The survey follows the latest official figures from the Office for National Statistics which show a slight fall in UK unemployment – the first to be recorded since the early part of 2008.

“In terms of attitudes, despite that the fact that the UK is officially out of recession, our research has already confirmed that owner-managers do not see any proper recovery on the horizon until 2011,” says Anthony Carty, a director at CAM.  “It will be some time before a significant percentage of our survey can actively begin to start growing their businesses again, with many certain to be affected by looming public spending cuts and others hamstrung by the unwillingness or inability of the banks to support them.  While it is encouraging to see that the rate of job losses in the last 6 months has slowed down in the North West, it is worrying that more job cuts are on the way, with the employment situation set to lag behind any general economic recovery.”

Letters to the editor:- "Who Cares?"

"MORE than 5 million people across the UK currently care for a loved one, yet shockingly, more than 66% of those do not see themselves as carers, and do not register on the radars of health or care organisations.  Many people take on the role of carer without acknowledging it; often starting with offering to help an elderly relative with shopping, or checking if they’ve taken their medication, but before they know it, they’re caring for several hours or more a week.   As a carer, it can be difficult to admit you need support – physically, emotionally or financially. Many carers often neglect their own health and wellbeing as - to them - the person they care for is their main priority. Without help and support, before long you can find yourself struggling with what can be very physical and mental demands, trying to balance work and home life, and potentially risking your own health and wellbeing as a result. I’m supporting the NHS Carers Direct ‘Who Cares?’ campaign, to help ensure that the millions of carers across the UK are taking advantage of the support available to them. The Carers Direct helpline can be that all-important first port of call, whatever your concern, however large or small, and as many of the helpline advisors have been carers at some point, they can provide help and support not only for your family member, but also for you.  You can contact Carers Direct for support, information and advice by calling the helpline on 0808 802 02 02 or visiting" Dr Hilary Jones

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