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News Report Page 14 of 35
Publication Date:- 2018-10-03
News reports located on this page = 2.

Public feedback sought on proposals for a modern Knowsley Bus Network

PEOPLE in Knowsley have the opportunity to comment on proposals to make the area's Bus Network simpler and clearer, from Friday, 9 March 2018.

Proposals will be available for view and to comment on via an online survey, from 10am, on Friday, 9 March, until 5pm, on Monday, 19 March 2018.

There will also be three drop in events where members of the public can speak to Merseytravel staff about the proposals and give their feedback. These will take place on the following days, between 10am to 3pm:-

► 13 March 2018, at the Halewood One Stop Shop.

► 14 March 2018, at Tesco Prescot.

► 19 March 2018, in Huyton Bus Station.

This follows events across Knowsley in November and December 2017, which saw over 200 people attend and offer their feedback on their frequency and pattern of bus use, including those services publically funded by Merseytravel, and what might make them use buses more.

Knowsley is the final area to be reviewed as part of a wider review of the whole Liverpool City Region Bus Network which began in May 2016 and covered St Helens, Sefton, Liverpool and Wirral.

Historically bus routes have been considered on a piecemeal basis and the idea is to consider the commercial network and the supported network; which relies on public subsidy via Merseytravel; as a whole for the 1st time, to ensure it best reflects current working and living patterns, new developments and how they are served.

This is 1 of the undertakings of the Bus Alliance, a formal partnership with operators Arriva and Stagecoach, with the aim of transforming bus services to encourage more people to take the bus. However, the bus reviews involve all bus operators.

Part of the review has been looking at the current supported Bus Network, those services publically subsidised through Merseytravel, as they aren't considered viable to run on a commercial basis, and considering how increasingly limited public resources can be focused where there is most need.

Impacts of changes have been mitigated by re-routing some existing commercial services where possible to negate the need for a service supported by public funding.

To make the network easier to understand there are also plans to make the evening network reflect the daytime services both in route and number. The proposals endeavour to ensure that everyone is within reasonable distance of a bus service.

The proposed changes would come into effect in July 2018.

Cllr Liam Robinson, Liverpool City Region Combined Authority Transport Portfolio Holder, said:- "We'd like to thank the residents of Knowsley who have given us their views on bus services in the area in the previous consultation stage, allowing us to put forward the proposals for changes to the Bus Network. We have looked at how we can best meet people's needs within budget constraints due to government spending cuts. This is us continuing to work innovatively through the Bus Alliance when other areas outside the Liverpool City Region, due to budget pressures, are seeing some communities left without any bus services."

The Bus Alliance is an agreement between:- Merseytravel, Arriva and Stagecoach to improve bus travel for people across the Liverpool City Region. In time, it is hoped that other bus operators will join the Alliance.

The Alliance's ambition is for a thriving, affordable and sustainable Bus Network that offers the customer a value for money and hassle free journey experience; leading to an increase in fare paying passengers. It will look at creating simpler networks and fare structures to more investment in the buses themselves. Encouraging more people to travel by bus drives investment and means less reliance on the public purse.

Key work areas include:-

► A review of the City Region Bus Network.

► Investment in new and greener vehicles.

► On board WiFi and at seat USB charging points on all new vehicles.

► Improved bus links to and from John Lennon Airport.

► Streamlined service changes to make bus services more stable.

► Simpler ticketing and a review of zonal structures and pricing.

► Review of all customer information including more Real Time Information.

► Better integration of bus and rail services.

► Improved Customer Service training for all bus drivers.

RMT confirms further 48 hours of strike action on Northern Rail in fight over guards and rail safety

THE RMT confirmed on Friday, 9 March 2018, that a further 48 hours of strike action on Northern Rail over attacks on the role of the safety critical guard and the extension of Driver Only Operation in the name of increased profits will go ahead as follows:-

"RMT Members are being instructed not to book on for any shifts that commence between:-

► 0001 Hours and 2359 hours, on Monday, 26 March 2018.

► 0001 Hours and 2359 hours, on Thursday, 29 March 2018."

The Union has also demanded tripartite talks with the company and the DfT aimed at reaching a solution.

RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said:- "Every single effort that RMT has made to reach a negotiated settlement with Northern Rail over safe operation and safe staffing has been kicked back in our faces. No 1 should be in any doubt, this dispute is about putting the safety of the travelling public before the profits of the private train companies It is frankly ludicrous that we have been able to negotiate long term arrangements in Scotland and Wales that protect the guards and passenger safety, but we are being denied the same opportunities with rail companies in England. Theresa May and Chris Grayling are happy to stand aside and cheer on overseas rail companies that rip off the British passenger with eye watering far increases to subsidise their domestic transport operations while throwing the guards off our trains. If it's good enough for Wales and Scotland to put safety first then it's good enough for the rest of the UK. RMT remains ready for the tripartite talks we have suggested."

Does this strike affect you? Please email us your views and thoughts to:- News24@SouthportReporter.Com.

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