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News Report Page 15 of 17
Publication Date:- 2018-14-04
News reports located on this page = 4.

Picking up a penalty

WHEN Private Hire driver Kasigwa Mushombe illegally picked up 2 people who approached him in the street, little did he know it would end up costing him dear. Because instead of driving off with an extra fare, he ended up with a hefty fine. The 2 passengers were in fact Plain Clothes Officers, taking part in a Liverpool City Council backed operation to crackdown on Taxi drivers who break the rules. Mushombe of Benhale Road, Manchester, picked up the 2 Officers, as he was parked, on Bold Street, Liverpool, back in August 2017. They asked to be taken to Bromborough and Mushombe agreed, breaking the rules of his licence. The licensing laws mean that Private Hire drivers cannot pick people up off the street unlike Black Cabs. They can only carry passengers who have booked in advance. Private Hire drivers who pick people up on the street are effectively not insured for the journey. Mushombe, who is licensed as a driver with St Helens Council, admitted the offence when he appeared before magistrates this week. He was fined ₤160 and ordered to pay ₤90 costs. He was also given 6 penalty points on his licence.

Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram Calls For Local Discount Scheme for Mersey Gateway Bridge

METRO Mayor Steve Rotheram has reacted to last week's judgement by the Traffic Penalty Tribunal regarding the Mersey Gateway Bridge. The Tribunal published a statement on 6 April 2018 ruling that a motorist was not liable to pay the toll for using the new Mersey Gateway Bridge, because Halton Borough Council had not specified the sum of the charge in the Mersey Gateway Road User Charging Order 2017.

In response, the Mayor has written to the Secretary of State for Transport explaining that he believes this is now an "ideal opportunity" for the Government to re-consider its pledge, made before the 2015 election, to fund a wider local discount scheme for regular users of the Mersey Gateway.

In his letter the Mayor noted that Halton Council had:- "done its best to protect regular users of the bridge from paying excessive tolls, by funding a discount scheme where its residents pay a small annual fee for regular travel across the bridge."

However, he went on to say that the Government's "unexecuted promise" meant that the Liverpool City Region's other 5 districts (Liverpool, Knowsley, Sefton, St Helens and Wirral) were "suffering a disadvantage."

Speaking after the letter was sent, the Mayor said:- "The Government really needs to understand the sense of anger amongst local residents who live outside of Halton but regularly travel back and forth across the bridge."

The Mayor's letter follows a series of calls by local politicians for the tolling arrangements to be reviewed by Government.

City bids to boost "Beatles Quarter"

LIVERPOOL City Council is to produce a master plan to boost the City's "Beatles Quarter" and develop its global tourism appeal. A report to the Council Cabinet, on Friday 20 April 2018, when it will be is recommend that the City (Liverpool) creates a Spatial Regeneration Framework (SRF) for the area around Mathew Street, home of the world famous Cavern Club, that will enable to Council to control future use of buildings and attract new investment.

The Cavern Quarter SRF, which will be tendered following cabinet approval, will be accompanied by a new vision which will aim to enhance the quality of attractions and build on the City's ₤90m a year Beatles Heritage industry which currently supports 2,335 jobs.

The master plan, which is expected to go out to public consultation in the Autumn and would include giving the City Council Compulsory Purchase powers, will be guided by the findings of a scrutiny panel established in 2016 which carried out an independent review of the area and recommended:-

A more diverse mix of complimentary uses of buildings that operate 24 hours a day.

An enhanced and more coordinated Beatles Tourism offer with new visitor attractions and information/interpretation points.

The redevelopment of derelict, under used and undesirable sites.

A comprehensive public art strategy for the 'Cavern Quarter.'

A way finding strategy to make the 'Cavern Quarter' more legible and permeable.

Active ground floor uses to create a more vibrant and inviting environment.

Create a more defined and useable public open space.

The report comes as figures show Liverpool's hotel sector is also booming, with occupancy levels now at a record breaking levels, and the number of hotel rooms across the City set to grow by 14% to more than 9,300 over the next t2 years.

A recent economic impact report found that the City's Beatles related industry has been growing at 5% to 15% a year following the City's year as European Capital of Culture in 2008 with Cavern City Tours and the Cavern Club now attracting 800,000 visitors per annum and 80% of the Hard Day's Night Hotel guests classed as international. But the Cabinet report also states visitors are increasingly looking for a quality experiential visit and there is a clear need to curate a Beatles Heritage offer to cater for this growing demand.

Joe Anderson, Mayor of Liverpool, who has also created a Beatles Legacy group, said:- "The Beatles are known the world over and not just by those who grew up with them, new audiences are discovering their music all the time and wanting to learn about the bands roots.  The fact is we have a good Beatles tourism offer, but it's not at the level it could and should be; 1 that has a world class wow factor that reflects the band's timeless genius and global impact.  A lot of progress has been made in the past decade and this new masterplan will seek to build on that and give us the tools to enhance the 24 hour appeal of the area around The Cavern and Mathew Street. This is a unique opportunity to establish an experience no other City can offer and 1 which will sustain thousands of jobs in the hotel, retail and Hospitality sectors for generations to come."

The SRF will also aim to create a safer and more economically viable environment in the Cavern Quarter, which has a boundary encompassing Victoria Street and North John Street to Lord Street and Stanley Street.

Once the draft SRF is produced it would then be subject to a formal consultation period that will be undertaken over a period of 6 weeks. The feedback will influence the final draft of the document before the City Council considers whether to formally adopt it.

Liverpool City Council recently produced and endorsed an SRF for the 10 Streets Creativity District and is currently tendering the production of further SRF's for the expansion of The Baltic Triangle and the Knowledge Quarter Gateway.

Last chance to submit your views on local transport priorities

TRANSPORT for the North is encouraging the public to share their thoughts on its draft Strategic Transport Plan as part of a public consultation which ends, on Tuesday, 17 April 2018.  Running for a total of 13 weeks since the launch of the plan, on Tuesday, 16 January 2018, the consultation has seen Transport for the North representatives visit 33 Towns and Cities across the North of England as part of engagement events aimed at sharing its 30 year vision for transformational transport investment.  The Strategic Transport Plan is the 1st of its kind and outlines how transport connections across the North of England need to be transformed by 2050 to drive growth and close the economic gap between the North and the rest of England.  Aimed at rebalancing the UK's economy through a sustained 30 year programme of transport infrastructure investment, the plan could deliver a ₤100 billion economic boost and 850,000 additional jobs by 2050.

Barry White, Chief Executive of Transport for the North said:- "Over the last 3 months we've travelled right across the North to hear from the people who matter, those in the region and who are directly impacted by current transport restrictions. It is clear that like us, people feel passionately about improving the connectivity of the North to allow us to function on a level playing field with the rest of the UK. The feedback we have received will play a crucial role in the development of the Strategic Transport Plan before its final release later this year. The consultation is a unique opportunity for those living and working in the North to have their say on what matters to them in their areas with the potential of actually shaping the transport agenda. I'd encourage people to take up the opportunity to submit their feedback while they have the chance."

The public are asked to share their thoughts on the proposals outlined in the draft Strategic Transport Plan by filling in a questionnaire online or by emailing feedback to:- TransportplanConsultation@IPSOS-Mori.Com. The public consultation closes, on Tuesday, 17 April 2018. A final version of the Strategic Transport Plan will be published later in the year and submitted to the Government for ministerial consideration.

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