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Issue:- 3 April 2014


NORTHERN Rail, the UK’s largest train operator confirmed it had reached an agreement with the Department for Transport (DfT) to introduce electric trains into the North West from December 2014.

The news follows hot on the heels of the Direct Award enabling Northern to continue operating services until February 2016.

The 4 carriage electric trains will operate between Liverpool and Manchester via Newton le Willows on the newly electrified route, part of the £400million North West electrification programme.

The first trains will be introduced from December 2014, with more entering service during 2015. In total the trains will deliver an extra 3,000 seats for passengers during peak times of travel.

Alex Hynes, Managing Director, Northern Rail said:- “This is fantastic news for our customers. These electric trains will bring much needed extra capacity, more reliable and sustainable journeys. More trains also bring job opportunities as we recruit more people to crew and maintain them.  This is the first step to unlocking more capacity for customers across the north of England. We’re committed to continuing our work with our partners to campaign for more trains, better trains and electric trains for our customers.”

Rail Minister Stephen Hammond said:- “This is great news for passengers and underlines our commitment to transform rail travel in the North. These electric trains will mean cleaner, quicker and more reliable journeys for thousands more passengers between Manchester and Liverpool, driving forward the economies of these two great cities. In addition, the deal will provide extra capacity to Bolton and see a passenger train running on the Todmorden Curve for the first time in more than 40 years. I look forward to further improvements as more trains are introduced.”

Over 2.8 million people to benefit from Government tax cuts

AS a result of a landmark Government policy and a key plank of the long-term economic plan, 343,000 people in the North West will have been taken out of income tax altogether from this weekend thanks to a series of increases in the tax-free personal allowance to £10,000 in 2014-15.

This means that overnight on Sunday, an extra 31,000 hard-working people from the North West will no longer pay income tax.

Over 2.8 million people in the North West; the vast majority of working people; will have benefited from the personal allowance increases over the past 4 years. For this financial year, that means an income tax reduction of £705 for the typical basic rate taxpayer. Over the lifetime of this parliament, the cumulative income tax cut by this government for the typical taxpayer will be £1,824.

Ahead of a question and answer session in the North West today with workers who will benefit, the Prime Minister said:- “A key part of this Government’s long-term economic plan is to cut taxes so that people can keep more of the money they earn and feel more financially secure. From this weekend, you will not pay a single penny of income tax on everything you earn up to £10,000.  Nearly every single worker across the country will get a tax cut and over 3 million will pay no income tax at all. It says to the hardworking people of this country: we are on your side; and it’s one of the proudest things I have done in Government.”

The Prime Minister has previously said that it is right that changes to the tax system benefit typical basic rate taxpayers the most. The new changes on Sunday, 6 April 2014, also mean that:-

Someone working full time on the October 2014 minimum wage (£6.50/h at 35hrs a week) will pay over 50% less income tax in 2014 to 2015 than a than someone on the national minimum wage in 2010.

Someone working for just under 30 hours a week on the October 2014 minimum wage will not pay any income tax at all.

This means that the government is supporting many of those who work flexibly and part time. The government is also helping women, who are the majority (54%) of the 3 million people who no longer have to pay income tax thanks to the increases to the personal allowance since 2010.  And, as the Chancellor announced in the Budget, the personal allowance will help even more hard working families next year when it is increased again to £10,500.


THE Sefton Coroner's Office is now appealing for the public’s help in tracing the next of kin of a Southport man who died on Monday, 31 March. Mr Hogarth was 79 years old and died in his home on Scarisbrick New Road. His death is not being treated as suspicious. Mr Hogarth's family, or anyone who knows them, are asked to call Sefton Coroner’s Office on:- 0151 777 3481.

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