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Publication date:- 2017-01-27

user-generated Headlines and reports on this page = 5 news items.    Page - 3.

Cross River Service Is A Hit With Commuters

THE launch of Liverpool's 1st 'Bike Bus' has proved a hit with local commuters and Green Party Councillors who pressed Merseytravel for the scheme to be introduced. The scheme, which sees a single decker bus converted to securely take bikes and their riders through the Mersey Tunnel, was introduced after Green Party Metro Mayor candidate, Tom Crone, expressed concerns about cyclists being stranded during rail improvement works. "The rail improvement works are necessary and welcomed but, to begin with I and my colleagues felt the alternative options for cycling commuters were sorely lacking." Said Cllr Crone. "I spoke with local cycle groups, and "cyclemmuters" (cycling commuters) who were worried that they'd be stranded if the ferries broke down. I'm really pleased to see this 'Bike Bus' in action, and I think it should stay. It can provide a long term alternative."

Local cyclists only have praise for the "great service" the scheme has offered, with cycling group, Pedal Away commenting on Twitter that the 'Bike Bus' was a:- "Gr8 experience", and @cyclist13 saying:- "so strange to be on a bus with only 9 seats, but a great drive." Further praise came for the 'Bike Bus' team, at Arriva NW, Green Lane, and the dedicated drivers who are happily assisting cyclists boarding, and alighting the bus.

Councillor Tom Crone is expected to pledge better provisions for cyclists, and commuters when he launches his Metro Mayor manifesto ahead of the election campaign.  The bus runs once an hour, between Birkenhead and Liverpool, for the duration of the Loop Line Renewals.

Study reveals ⅕ Brits believe they will never be able to retire

WORKING for a living is something we all expect to do, but, technically, we also have to work for when we don't earn a living anymore; also known as saving a pension for our retirement. Yet when you're just about managing, paying your inflated rent or mortgage, barely getting any interest on your savings, and grappling with the constantly rising costs of living, how, exactly, are you supposed to put aside this mythical retirement money at all?

The harsh reality, unfortunately, is that many of us don't. Peer to peer lending platform Lending Works surveyed 1,500 non retired adults in the UK (YouGov), whose results you can see on their infographic here, and made some worrying discoveries. Firstly, over 1 in 5 of those who aren't yet retired; 22%; gloomily believe that they'll never be financially secure enough to retire. This suggests they have visions of working until they drop, as they won't be able to afford to stop earning money. This pessimistic view is highest in the 35 to 44 year old category, with 25% of them not seeing themselves as ever being financially secure enough to retire, although only 17% of 18 to 24 year olds, who technically have more time to start saving, agree. And countrywide, the outlook is bleakest in the West Midlands, 27%perhaps due to relatively high unemployment, compared to only 19% in London, where there are, theoretically, more jobs.

The main reason, of course, that we can't see ourselves retiring is because we can't afford to. Over a of non retired adults; 34%; don't save a single penny towards retirement each month. Let's face it, it could be that when you've got bills and rent to pay, you're trying to feed yourself and your family, you've got to pay for your transport to work and you also want to have a social life, sparing a few pence, or pounds, for the future tends to slip far down the priority list… And women are guiltier of this than men, with 41% of non retired females not saving towards retirement, compared to 26% of men.

So who does manage to put a few pennies away for a rainy day? Interestingly, the survey found a correlation between retirement saving and choice of social media. Over ½ of people who use LinkedIn; which, let's face it, is a career focused network aimed at higher earning professionals; contribute 3% of their salary or more to their pension pot each month. This drops to 32% for those who use Facebook and Twitter; who, perhaps, tend to be younger and not as well established yet in their careers;  and 29% for those who use Google+.

"It is clear from this research that many Brits are quite pessimistic when it comes to the future. It is also particularly concerning to see how many people aren't planning adequately for their retirement, although it is perhaps somewhat understandable given the slow economic recovery and poor returns on savings currently available. But with a growing number of alternatives to the established avenues for saving, there are still many ways in which consumers can get on top of things, and thus leave themselves in good shape by the time they reach traditional retirement age." commented Nick Harding, CEO and co-founder of Lending Works.

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