in Merseyside more sociable than those in the South
RAIL users on Merseyside
are more sociable than those in London and the South East according
to new research, which reveals that passengers like to face each
other during journeys.
The findings comes from a study carried out by independent passenger
watchdog Passenger Focus to provide an insight into what customers
would like to see in a modernisation of the Merseyrail fleet.
In picking out seats, 50% chose to sit in the existing pod-style
seats, facing each other in 2s, in direct contrast to the
preferences of those who make regular journeys by train in London
and the south east. The reasons given were that it allowed them to
sit as a group and talk to family and friends. Even those travelling
on their own felt it gave them an opportunity to make conversation
The railway has seen strong growth in passenger numbers over the
last ten years and this looks set to continue at a rate of over 2%
per annum. As a result, researchers recommend that a mix of seating
including the pod-style, airline and possibly longitudinal, like on
the Tube, would best address capacity demands.
Other improvements passengers suggested were making trains more
spacious and 'open plan' with areas for bikes. wheelchairs and
pushchairs. Security issues were also of paramount importance to
passengers, including increased visibility of CCTV cameras and the
installation of help points. Calls were also made for Wi-Fi and bins
on the trains.
The current Merseyrail fleet is approaching 40 years old and is one
of the oldest operating in the UK. All options, which include a new
fleet or extensive re-work of the existing stock, are being
Passengers' feedback and ideas will feed into the specification and
design for any new or modernised trains where practical and
David Powell, Merseytravel's Project Director for Rolling Stock,
said:- "We are looking at a number of options regarding the
current Merseyrail fleet but, whatever the outcome, Merseytravel is
committed to ensuring that passengers' opinions are fully understood
and their ideas are incorporated where possible. By listening to
passengers we can deliver a scheme that the whole of the City Region
can be proud of.
It's interesting to know that our passengers like to face each
other, although it doesn't surprise me that we're a sociable bunch
because we have a strong reputation for being a friendly part of the
world. I'm glad that security is also top of the customers' agenda
as it is also a priority for us for any future decisions we make."
David Sidebottom, Acting Chief Executive for Passenger Focus,
added:- "We consider it vital for passengers to be involved in
the design of new trains at the earliest opportunity. Without proper
consultation, passengers could end up travelling on trains that fail
to meet both their existing and future needs. Therefore, we were
delighted to be able to work with Merseytravel on this joint
Maarten Spaargaren, Managing Director at Merseyrail, added:-
"Customers are at the heart of everything we at Merseyrail do, and
we know from the string of accolades that we have recently secured –
the Customer First accreditation, topping the National Rail
Passenger Survey and being the highest performing rail operator in
the Which? survey; that passengers like our trains, stations and
the services we provide. We refuse to become complacent and will
continue listening to their views and enhancing our offering to the
City region's travelling public."
In the meantime, a new look for the Merseyrail fleet has been
unveiled with designs that reflect what the Liverpool City Region
has to offer in terms of sights, shopping and sport. The train
'wraps' are part of an £8.5 million investment that will see
essential work carried out on the stock to keep it in good working
order, as well as enhancements inside and out.
The long term modernisation of the Merseyrail fleet is being
considered as part of a broad rail strategy for the Liverpool City
Region. It is about ensuring that the overarching vision for
improved capacity and connectivity in the Liverpool City Region is
shared across all rail projects.
invited to air views on licensing proposals
LIVERPOOL'S landlords are
being given the chance to have their say on proposals to introduce a
citywide licensing scheme for private rented properties.
St George's Hall will host special landlord events in June, as part
of the 12 week consultation on the licensing plans, which aim to
improve the quality of Liverpool's private rented sector.
It will give landlords the opportunity to find out more about the
plans, ask questions and have their say. All feedback will be
considered by the City Council before it makes a decision later this
year on whether and how to introduce the licensing scheme.
The events are being facilitated by independent research company
Opinion Research Services (ORS), which has been commissioned by the
City Council to carry out the consultation.
They will take place at in the Reid Room at St George's Hall on:-
► Monday, 2 June
2014, 1.30pm to 4pm and 6.30pm to 9pm.
► Wednesday, 4 June
2014, 1.30pm to 4pm.
Places are likely to fill up quickly, so landlords who wish to
attend should register as soon as possible, by calling:- 01792 824741
Liverpool City Council's Cabinet Member for Housing, Councillor Ann
O'Byrne, said:- "These are really important proposals for the
future of our private rented sector, so it's crucial that we take
on-board as many views as possible before reaching a final decision.
We want to make sure everyone has the chance to get involved in the
discussions, and these events give us the opportunity to meet with
landlords, explain to them why we are proposing a licensing scheme
and listen to what they have to say.
We think that a licensing scheme will bring huge benefits to
Liverpool, but we need to know what everyone thinks. If you are a
landlord in the City, this is your chance to talk to us, be part of
the consultation and make sure your views are heard."
As part of the 12 week consultation, which runs until 16 June 2014, the
City's landlords, tenants, residents, businesses and other
organisations are being invited to complete an
People can read about the proposals in full and respond to questions
around a range of issues, including whether they are in favour of
the plans, the license conditions and fee structure.
As well as the questionnaire and landlords events, ORS is
co-ordinating public forums, drop-in sessions and other engagement
work, across the City, during the 12 week period.
People can also write to:- 'Liverpool Selective Licensing
Consultation, Opinion Research Services, The Strand, Swansea, SA1
1AF’. Also if you want to leave written feedback or request
a printed copy of the questionnaire (freepost envelopes are
available); and can leave comments by calling:- 01792 824 741 or via