20 year vision for
Mersey Ferries to go to Merseytravel Committee
A 20 year vision for the Mersey
Ferries, aiming to secure their future for generations to come, will be put
to the Merseytravel Committee for approval in January 2016.
The strategy is centred around bringing down the cost of the Mersey Ferries
to the public purse, while building on their commercial potential, ensuring
they are sustainable well into the future. It suggests a focus on growing
the local leisure market and highlights some far reaching proposals.
Proposals include the procurement of at least one new vessel, better suited
to the needs of the leisure and event market; resources focussed into one
Wirral landing stage with the closure of the other, and a later start to the
commuter service to allow the ferry to be docked overnight to significantly
reduce operational costs.
While endorsement will be sought for the overall strategy in January,
Members will not be taking any decisions on any of the proposals outlined at
that stage. These will be presented to Members at future meetings with
detailed evidence to support each approach, so informed decisions can be
While their public subsidy for operational costs has been reduced by around
£1m over the past four years through such measures as taking The Royal
Daffodil out of service and increasing leisure sailings, the Mersey Ferries
still have to be subsidised by around £1.5m a year for day-to-day costs.
In addition, an average of around just under £2.5m a year of public money
has been spent on capital programmes over the past 6 years including
investment in maintaining the current Vessels and a new Pier Head Landing
These costs are despite them being the most popular paid for attraction on
The strategy recognises that fundamental changes are needed to tackle
increasing costs and the challenges that come with an aging fleet; now
approaching 60 years old; and to go some way to reversing the trend of
falling passenger numbers.
Over a number of decades the market has changed from a buoyant cross river
1 to 1 focussed on leisure sailings, as people choose the Mersey Tunnels
or rail to 'short hop' across the water.
It is intended that the strategy will be reviewed every 2 or 3 years
to ensure that it remains current and takes into accounts developments and
potential opportunities in the wider Liverpool City Region such as through
Wirral and Liverpool Waters.
Said Gary Evans, Merseytravel's head of customer delivery:- "Our
success in winning Ferry Operator of the Year at the National Transport
Awards recognised the strides we have taken in making the Mersey Ferries a
more efficient operation, whilst continuing to get customers on board.
It also recognised us making the most of opportunities, from the key role
the ferries played in welcoming Cunard's Three Queens to the launch of the
'Dazzle Ferry' an art and history project of national significance. Should
Members approve the strategy, there will be some exciting decisions for them
to take and some difficult ones. However, to secure the Mersey Ferries for
future generations to enjoy we have to think big and differently. Efficiency
has to go hand in hand with looking at the wider economic benefits the
Mersey Ferries bring to the Liverpool City Region; looking at how we can
build passenger numbers and their commercial potential."
Some of the key recommendations outlined in the strategy:-
► An overall focus on building and growing the Mersey Ferries' leisure
market, not least as demand for cross river services continues to decline
and the number of leisure passengers goes up.
Moving towards a new fleet of Vessels; recognising that the current Vessels
are over 50 years old and that introducing new ones would support a
reduction in operational costs. New vessels would also mean that the leisure
market could be better catered for. The existing ferries were built for
largely 'short hop', cross river journeys. It is hoped that the names of the
Vessels can be retained.
Recognising the major investment needed in the terminals and landing stages
over the next 5 years, by looking to review the terminals with the
possibility of moving from 3 terminals to 2.
► Considering retaining one of the existing vessels and operating it in the
Manchester Ship canal only, therefore offering canal style cruises that are
not tide dependent outside of peak times.
Considering changes to the commuter service which would remove the need to
have the vessel on the river overnight; including starting later.
Looking to increase ferry presence on the river with a second vessel during
peak times such as school holidays. Moving from an hourly river explorer to
maybe every 30 minutes.
Edge Hill University
shares Christmas spirit with those who need it most
EDGE Hill University is proud to
spread Christmas cheer in Ormskirk and surrounding communities this festive
season, donating food items and more than 300 wrapped gifts to those who
need it most.
This year the University 'Giving Tree' will support the Liverpool's
Crisis centre; the national charity for single homeless people, and the
Birchwood Centre's work with young people to prevent homelessness and
improve wellbeing. Aisling Benson, Edge Hill Staff Wellbeing Manager said the generosity of
staff and students has meant the University can support more community
groups than last year. "Every year the staff and students at Edge Hill University dig deep to
support our local community, especially those who otherwise may not get a
hot meal or a gift during the festive season. The enthusiasm for this years' appeal has meant that we can reach more
members of our local community than last year; a feat that our staff and
students are proud to celebrate," she said.
Staff events in the lead up to the Christmas break will also support the
Ormskirk Foodbank and the Southport Soup Kitchen.
HOMELESS people and young children
are to benefit thanks to fundraising by older people in Walton. People who
attend Walton Social Club have been raising money all year at cabarets,
bingo nights and raffles organised by Councillor Gerard Woodhouse, Mayoral
Lead for Older People. There have also been bucket collections at the recent
Christmas parties in the Florrie and across the city.
Over £2,500 has been raised so far, with the money going to the Whitechapel
Centre, Everton Nursery School and Liverpool Homeless Football Club. They
have also given out hampers and shopping vouchers to local families.
On Wednesday, 16 December 2015, they are came together for a Christmas Party
where they handed over the money to organisations who
benefit from this celebrative fundraising.
Youngsters from Everton Nursery School sang Christmas Carols at
the event, while Lord Mayor, Councillor Tony Concepcion and Assistant Mayor,
Councillor Nick Small, also handed over some of the cheques.
Councillor Woodhouse said:- "This is
something our older people have done for the last 6 years. They want
to give something back and take great pride in being able to support the
local community and those who are vulnerable."
Assistant Mayor, Councillor Nick Small, added:- "It is great to see
older people in Walton doing so much to help other sectors of the
Make it a Happy
THE maths expert tasked with
increasing standards in mathematics and numeracy in Liverpool is urging
parents to buy mathematical games for their children this Christmas.
Dr Graham Lawler, Director of Liverpool Counts, hopes it will encourage
teenagers to improve their grades and accomplish the aims of the scheme.
Dr Lawler; who created the highly acclaimed:- 'BBC Bite Size GCSE' revision
guide for advanced maths and wrote a book with the late Sir Arthur C Clarke
about understanding maths; believes mathematical games are integral to
He said:- "Games are a brilliant way to encourage children and young
people to improve their mathematics. They are learning and having fun. The
best types of games are strategy games; these are where the players have to
think ahead. If we can get more children and young people playing these
strategy games then it can have an amazing impact on their mental skills
capacity and that is important in improving their maths. There are many
apprentice jobs in Merseyside that are going to people from outside the area
because they have higher maths grades. If mums and dads encourage their
teenagers, and improve their maths grades at school, these are jobs our
young people can have. That is why this is so important."
Liverpool Counts was launched in October with the objectives of:-
Raising standards in mathematics and numeracy with fun and joy of numbers at
Challenging perceptions and changing attitudes toward numeracy and
Raising the profile of numeracy using activities, events and resources based
on real life.
Bring relevance to numeracy through problem solving, demonstrating it as an
It is based on the successful model of Liverpool City of Readers, which is
contributing to the raising of standards in reading and writing and aims to
improve attainment in maths at all levels of education.
Liverpool Counts is spearheaded by the Liverpool Learning Partnership, which
represents all education sectors and all learners in Liverpool.
Liverpool man wanted by Lancashire Police
following attack a on 20 year old woman!
THIS week Lancashire Police said:-
"We are trying to trace a man from Liverpool in connection with an
assault that took place in Preston in 2015. Liam Field, 20, is wanted in
connection with an incident which saw a woman lose consciousness after she
was violently attacked on 28 February 2015. His last known address is in
Kirkby and he has links to Skelmersdale, Ormskirk and Preston, as well as
Barrow in Furness in Cumbria. He is known to go by various other names
including John Casey, Fernando, Morgan McKenzie and Liam Fields."
PC5833 Lucas Curnow added:- "We are keen to trace Field and so I am
asking anyone who has seen him or knows of his whereabouts to get in touch
with us. We are actively looking for him so it is only a matter of time
before he's found. If Field himself sees this appeal I would urge him to
hand himself in to the Police. He is described as white, 6ft, slim build
with dark brown hair and blue eyes. He speaks with a distinctive Liverpool
Anyone with information can contact Police on 101 quoting crime reference:-
'SA1502162'. Alternatively Crimestoppers can be contacted
anonymously on:- 0800 555 111 or online at:-