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Issue:- 03/04 March 2010

£20 solution to Liverpool's multi million pound problem

4 out of 5 of your local journeys should be sustainable by 2020 to help country out of recession says Sustrans.  A 'perfect storm' of massive cuts in public spending, rising congestion costs and soaring health bills from obesity could overwhelm government priorities unless action is taken sustainable transport charity Sustrans has warned.

Traffic levels and congestion are projected to continue rising over the next decade, meanwhile significant reductions in transport spending will place severe pressure on transport budgets and so cheaper alternatives to large road building schemes are needed.

A 10 year target to double the number of local journeys made on foot, by bike and by public transport in Liverpool is necessary to weather the recession says Sustrans.

"If we continue with the approach to transport we've followed for the last 30 years we face gridlock. We need to re-think the ways we make everyday journeys" Peter Foster, Sustrans' Regional Director in the north west of England said.

Primary Care Trust Liverpool pays more than £10million annually dealing with the consequences of physical inactivity.  But, a different approach to transport planning could help make radical cuts in spending from the public purse and transform lives. An expansion of the programme of personalised travel planning in Liverpool - giving residents direct information about walking and cycling routes and public transport services - could slash car use by up to 14% and cost just £3.7million which is equivalent to around £20 per household. By contrast, a staggering £137million has been estimated as the cost of building less than 5km of the proposed M6 link road at Heysham near Lancaster.

Personalised Travel Planning would also make for a more active population, helping to lower levels of obesity in Liverpool. 2010 is Liverpool's Year of Health and Wellbeing, which is encouraging people to build small actions into their daily lives to improve health. Making more active everyday journeys is an easy and cheap way of doing just that.

Peter Foster continued:- "Cycling, walking and public transport journeys currently account for just two out of every five journeys under five miles. This needs to be doubled over the next decade.  Large cuts in transport budgets over the next few years are inevitable. Government will not be able to afford expensive roads schemes. But unless action is taken to reduce traffic our roads will fill up and the cost of congestion will keep rising too. Add in the rocketing costs of obesity resulting from sedentary lifestyles and the cost is enormous."

Sustrans is calling for action to get more people walking, cycling and using public transport in the following ways:-

► Encourage people to change their travel behaviour

► Create safe, attractive walking and cycling conditions

► Increase public transport usage by improving and integrating services and reducing fares

► Ensure that planning policy and practice reduce the need to travel

► Reform taxation and increase spending on sustainable travel

Over the coming months the charity will be using its call to action to target decision makers in central and local governments across the UK.  Further information about Sustrans, including other news releases and detailed online route mapping, is available through their website.

MEP says cancelled train is “Good news”

THE derailing of plans to build a £7.5 billion fleet of new high speed trains has been given an unexpected warm welcome by a Southport Euro-MP.

Transport secretary Lord Adonis has announced the “postponement” of the Inter-city express procurement programme intended to build 1,400 new vehicles to replace ageing trains.  But Liberal Democrat MEP Chris Davies says that the plans are now almost certain to be scrapped and claims that it is the right decision even though millions in design fees will have been wasted.

“If a camel is a horse designed by a committee this new train was proving to be a camel with two humps,” he said.  “The idea was dreamt up by civil servants, combined electric and diesel traction in one train and did neither of the jobs well.  Millions have been invested already, but Britain would have ended up with a train that would have been second rate by European standards."

Davies heaped praise on the transport secretary for a decision he described as brave.  “Sometimes it is best to buck the trend and admit to mistakes. Andrew Adonis inherited this project from his predecessors, but has faced down his officials and allowed the next government to start afresh.  He is proving the best transport secretary this country has ever had.”

Failed Scheme to Profit from European Capital of Culture Status

THE Secretary of State for Business, Innovation & Skills has presented a petition in the High Court to wind up European Property Management Ltd. in the public interest.  The company sold shares in itself to the general public, with the intention of raising funds to invest in property in cities with upcoming European Capital of Culture status, thereby benefitting from a surge in property values associated with the award.  The petition to wind up the company was presented following an investigation carried out by Companies Investigation Branch under section 447 of the Companies Act 1985 (as amended).  The Official Receiver has been appointed provisional liquidator of European Property Management Ltd. The role of the provisional liquidator is to protect assets in the possession or under the control of the company pending the determination of the petition. The provisional liquidator also has the power to investigate the affairs of the company insofar as it is necessary to protect the assets including any third party or trust monies or assets in the possession of or under the control of the company.  The case is now subject to High Court action and no further information will be made available until the petition is heard in the High Court on 11 May 2010.


LIVERPOOL Coroner's Office are appealing for the next of kin of a man found dead in his city centre home last Thursday, 25 February 2010, to come forward.  Harry Fletcher, aged 79, was found dead in his flat in London Road by neighbours. There are no suspicious circumstances surrounding his death.  Mr Fletcher is believed to have been born in Yorkshire but moved to Merseyside at some stage and worked at a chemical factory in Vauxhall, before retiring. The coroner's office is now trying to trace his next of kin. Any next of kin, or anyone who knows of his next of kin, is asked to contact Liverpool Coroners Office on:- 0151 233 4706.

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