New Stagecoach buses on
STAGECOACH Merseyside, Cheshire, and
South Lancashire have upgraded its fleet, investing over £4 million in the
region, including 1st of its kind next generation buses across Merseyside.
The company, which operates over 400 buses across the 3 regions, will boost
its fleet by 18 vehicles, 11 of which will operate on the X2 route from
Liverpool to Preston via Southport, with the additional seven operating out of
the Birkenhead depot.
In a 1st for the business, the new X2 vehicles will include a number of table
seats complete with USB ports, allowing passengers to stay connected while on
the move. They will also feature deluxe e-leather seats and LED reading lights,
among other features.
The investment also sees seven new Gold buses arriving on the 471 and 472 routes
from Heswall to Liverpool. These luxury buses feature:- hand stitched
Italian designed leather seats; friendly, uniformed drivers; Euro 6 standard
engines complete with stop/start technology to help cut exhaust gas emissions;
free Wi-Fi; and new interior design which includes noise reducing moquette
Rob Jones, managing director of Stagecoach Merseyside and South Lancashire,
said:- "Stagecoach is committed to continually investing in our fleet in
the Liverpool City Region; ensuring we deliver sustainable, comfortable,
high specification vehicles to our customers; providing them with a 1st class
The new buses being introduced on the X2 route are a 1st for the business and
we're delighted to be launching them. We have worked closely with the design and
engineering teams to incorporate a range of new features, which will make the
passenger experience even more pleasant and comfortable. We're expecting the
table seats to be a real hit, both with commuters who want to work on the go and
with families or friends who want to sit together socially as a group.
The new features will also enable people to use their time on the bus more
productively, with LED reading lights, tables and free on board WiFi making it
easier than ever to stay connected or, particularly with the dark mornings and
nights as we head into winter, just relax and read on their journey. I am
delighted that we are also growing our Gold bus outreach in the region, adding
to existing Gold buses that currently run between Liverpool and Chester."
Stagecoach Bus is 1 of the UK's major employers, supporting around 24,000 jobs
across the UK and 1,209 jobs in Merseyside and South Lancashire. Over 200 people
have completed apprenticeships with Stagecoach since 2004 and the company
currently employs around 150 apprentices. All Stagecoach vehicles are fitted
with eco driving systems which lower emissions and the company has shown the
biggest commitment to using 100% biofuel of any UK bus operator.
Stagecoach is part of Liverpool City Region's Bus Alliance, a partnership
between Liverpool's biggest bus operators and Merseytravel. The Alliance is
focussed on quality of vehicles and customer service, value for money journeys
and straightforward travel from simple fare structures to easy to understand
journey planning and a clear, simple bus network. Follow the company's
or follow them on
for more information and company updates.
Celebrate The Creativity Of
Young People At The 2018 Now Festival
THE talent, creativity and diversity of
young people across Merseyside will be celebrated when the Now Festival returns
to the Epstein Theatre.
With at least 1 in every 10 young people suffering with poor mental health, and
the huge pressures facing education at the moment, this festival gives young
people the opportunity to have their voices heard on these important issues.
The 2018 festival takes place at the Theatre, from Tuesday, 30 January 2017 to
Friday, 2 February 2017, where local children and young people will showcase
live performances and films devised around the theme of My Education, My Mental
Now was founded in 2015 by festival director Kath Thompson as part of her work
with the RAISE mental health team at Merseyside Youth Association.
She was inspired by her previous work teaching performing arts in South Africa,
where she saw the empowering effect festivals had on the young people who got
The festival aims to engage young people in creative discussions around the
topic of mental health. Previous festival themes have been Mental Health and
Technology, and Mental Health and Children's Rights, with those taking part
devising a piece of dance, drama or film.
In 2018, the opening night will be a 'Now Festival Sefton'
featuring performances from young people across the borough, while there is also
representation from Wirral in the 2018 event.
And MD Productions' Girl Talk will write a new song around the topic which will
be combined with a drama.
Kath Thompson says:- "The festival is going from strength to strength. We
want to see it continue to be an annual event in Liverpool and see the model
rolled out in all cities, getting young people using the creative arts to talk
about mental health. 1 of the most exciting elements is taking them on the road
after the festival. It's really powerful when you get young people talking to
other young people and sharing their experiences."
Theatre Manager Rebekah Pichilingi said:- "We are delighted the Now
Festival is back for another year! The work accomplished through the festival is
remarkable, which explores a wide range of crucial issues that young people face
today. We cannot wait to welcome the festival back to The Epstein Theatre and
urge you to show your support and book your tickets."
The Now Young People's Arts Festival is hosted by Merseyside Youth Association
in partnership with Liverpool CAMHS, Liverpool Cultural Education Partnership,
and the Arts Council.
For more information visit:-
for new £50m Mersey cruise terminal
LIVERPOOL City Council has submitted a
planning application for a new £50m Cruise Terminal Facility on the River
Mersey. Liverpool City Council is looking to create an "international standard,"
permanent facility which would enable the City to welcome the world's biggest
The application includes the controlled removal of Princes Jetty and the
construction of a new terminal set within a statement building, based on a new
suspended deck structure in the river.
In 2017 Liverpool welcomed more than 60 vessels, with 120,000 passengers and
crew, but the Council wants to capitalise on the cruise boom by creating a state
of the art passenger and baggage facility, complete with:- Passport Control,
lounge, café, toilets, taxi rank and vehicle pick up point, to cater for
Liverpool's growing appeal in the cruise industry. The current terminal
generates more than £7m a year to the City's economy.
The application is expected to be heard by the Council's Planning Committee in
January 2018. If approved, site preparation at Princes Dock, in Liverpool
Waters, is expected to start in Spring 2018. The Council is currently inviting tenders to select a Design and Build
Contractor to construct the facility with a closing date for submissions will be
Thursday, 14 December 2017. This is a 2 stage contract award basis, with the 1st
stage to develop the design and confirm the construction costs with appointed
consultancy firm Ramboll UK. The 1st stage contract is expected to be awarded
in March 2018.
Tenders are also being assessed for the site investigation works needed at the
Princes Jetty site, which has been gifted to the Council by Peel, and it is
expected these works will also start in January 2018. The Council is also in the
process of promoting a Harbour Revision Order through the Harbour Authority to
construct the new terminal in the River Mersey.
Further planning applications could potentially include supplemental projects
with a new 200 room hotel and 1,700+ multi storey car park, to enhance the
capabilities in handling the next generation of turnaround cruises, which can
carry up to 3,600 passengers.
Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson, said:- "A new cruise facility is 1 of
the City's most important regeneration projects of this decade and is vital to
growing Liverpool's tourism economy.
We want to provide the next generation of super liners and their passengers a
world class welcome with a 5 star experience. A new cruise facility will also be
a huge boost to our plans to regenerate the North Liverpool docklands and create
thousands of new jobs which is why we're putting together the best team of
experts to ensure we build this facility to the very highest standards."
Although the proposed multi storey car park has been earmarked for the new
cruise facility, the Council is reviewing locations North of Leeds Street, so it
could also support initiatives around the Ten Streets creativity district.
The Council, which recently held a 2 day public consultation on the scheme, is
also investing a further £32m in upgrading the A565 to support the new cruise
facility and North docklands and is also gearing up to create a £20m link road
to extend Leeds Street to the waterfront to support a new £30m Isle of Man Ferry
Relocating the cruise terminal will also enable the Council to remodel The
Strand by removing junctions, such as the 1 servicing the current facility,
that stem the flow of traffic along the key waterfront route.
Liverpool City Council, which is currently overseeing £14bn worth of
regeneration projects, is also carrying out further maritime and infrastructure
investigations, environmental impact assessments and surveys and is working
closely with Peel Land and Property as the gifted Princes Jetty sits within its
£5.5bn Liverpool Waters scheme.
Ian Pollitt, Assistant Project Director at Liverpool Waters, said:-
"We are delighted at the progress the City Council is making with the new
terminal proposals. We are working very closely with them and our other partners
to progress the development and this planning applications is a major milestone
in that process."
North West small firms urge
action on Northern Powerhouse ahead of Budget
SMALL businesses from across the North
West are calling for effective integration of public bodies, greater
infrastructure investment and the creation of a Council of the North in a new
report urging accelerated delivery of the Northern Powerhouse. Authored by
Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) representatives in Northern England:-
'An Entrepreneurial North' highlights the benefits of moving to a
pan-regional small business support model as part of the Northern Powerhouse
project. The 5 Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) across the North West are
receiving over £2 billion in the 6 years to 2021, with 45p in every £1 coming
from European Union sources. The report suggests that Government plans to bring
together different funding streams into a single UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF)
marks an opportunity to more effectively integrate small business support
services across the North. Also among asks are improvements to infrastructure in
the North West and delivery of the Major Road Network. Projects flagged as of
particular importance following a new survey of small businesses across the
North West, are electrification of the Manchester - Bolton - Preston railline,
widespread expansion of park and ride facilities and re-opening of the Colne to
Phil McCabe, Development Manager, FSB Merseyside, West Cheshire and Wigan,
said:- "3 years on from the 1st mention of the Northern Powerhouse and
it's still hard to find concrete manifestations of it. With a week to go until
the Budget, we'd like to see the Chancellor take some meaningful steps towards
getting the show on the road. We need cast iron guarantees about EU funding
post-Brexit. Firms across the North West are benefitting from EU support to the
tune of millions every year. 1 thing's for sure, we won't have a Northern
Powerhouse unless that money's replaced. Our LEP's and Growth Hubs are doing some
fantastic work in supporting small firms across the region. Liverpool City
Region Enterprise Hub, for example, is making significant inroads towards
addressing the shortfall in start ups in this region. However, we do have some
challenges around awareness of what these bodies offer and duplication of
services. Moving to a pan regional model could help tackle these issues. The
success of the Northern Powerhouse starts with having the right infrastructure
in place. We need greater focus on the local road routes and rail lines that
matter to small businesses. Headline grabbing projects have their place, but
incremental investment in small scale projects would provide a bigger boost to
productivity over the long term."
The new report also recommends the creation of a Council of the North with
responsibility for overseeing integration of regional activity and scrutiny of
Metro Mayors. The installation of a People of the North body is suggested as a
means to tackling skills shortages in the region. A previously unreleased survey
conducted by FSB members in the North of England shows that, when asked which
improvements associated with the Northern Powerhouse would significantly benefit
their firms, small business owners most frequently identify better broadband
(56%), better small business support (52%), lower business rates (51%), improved
road infrastructure (51%) and enhanced mobile coverage (49%).
Phil McCabe added:- "With LEPs, local authorities and Metro Mayors all
working together to deliver the Northern Powerhouse, it makes sense to have a
Council of the North to advise on pan regional activity. We have some
significant skills gaps across the North West. Given that 1 in 5 UK small
business employers relies on EU workers, there is a chance Brexit could
exacerbate this issue. A dedicated body responsible for up skilling the North
will help mitigate that risk. Above all we need to move towards a situation
where people stop paying lip service to the Northern Powerhouse and start
delivering the enhanced connectivity, improved infrastructure and integrated
business support we were promised 3 years ago."