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News Report Page 11 of 22
Publication Date:-
News reports located on this page = 3.

Save the date! Rail North Committee and Transport for the North Board Meeting…

THE North's leaders will next gather together as part of Transport for the North, on Thursday, 12 March 2020. in Manchester, the day after the Chancellor's 1st Budget. The meeting will see TfN Members discussing the implications of the expected:- "infrastructure revolution" and address the transport matters facing the people and businesses of the North. The meetings at the Hilton Manchester Airport, Schiphol Suite, Outwood Lane, Manchester M90 4WP, are open to the public and the media (exceptions for private items). Both the Rail North Committee and the Transport for the North Board are made up of leaders from across the North, including Council leaders, Elected Mayors and (in the case of Transport for the North Board) Local Enterprise Partnerships.

The meeting are as follows:-

Rail North Committee, 10am to 12pm. Items include:- Northern franchise and rail service performance.

Transport for the North Board, 12.30pm to 4pm. Items include:- Items include:- Powerhouse Rail, Budget, Northern Transport Charter, Decarbonisation, Rail North Committee.

North West Councils License Taxis fitted with illegal tyres

John Stone and death trap taxi

4 Councils in the North West have been exposed for issuing Licenses for Taxis fitted with illegal unmarked and unsafe part worn tyres. The discovery raises questions for passenger safety not just in the North West, but also across the United Kingdom on just how thorough and safe the Taxi compliance and licensing procedure is. John Stone, owner of Stone Tyres, (who are a full NTDA member) and founder of the Independent Tyre Fitters Alliance, purchased a Skoda Octavia and fitted it with 4 illegal part worn tyres and submitted the vehicle to St Helens, Liverpool, Wirral and Sefton Council approved test centres for a Taxi compliance test. Each Council's approved test centre passed the vehicle as safe, despite part worn tyres dating from 1999, 2001 and 2003 being fitted on the Taxi. To make matters worse, the fourth tyre was an illegal part worn winter tyre, imported from Germany some 10 years ago. No tyres were marked as 'Part Worn,' as they should be by law, next to the BS or ECE approval mark. John Stone says:- "This lack of care from our Local Councils is appalling and raises serious questions over Taxi passenger safety in the North West and indeed across the United Kingdom. Part worn tyres are not safe, yet some Councils are awarding licenses to vehicles running on illegal and potentially unsafe tyres; it is a disgrace and the licensing of vehicles running illegal part worn tyres needs to be stopped now. Full credit to St Helens Council as when I approached them with my findings they took the issue with great seriousness and decided there and then that this wouldn't be allowed to happen again. I'm pleased to say that on the back of this campaign St Helens MBC has already agreed to ban the use of part worn tyres on all licensed vehicles. They should be applauded for such a pragmatic and positive response, which ensures the safety of the public."

Hopefully other Councils will follow the proactive lead set by St Helens and also only allow safe new tyres to be used on vehicles entrusted to transport the general public. The Motor Vehicle Tyres (Safety) Regulations 1994 govern the sale of part worn tyres, but these are rarely being adhered to, allowing unsafe and illegal tyres to flood the UK's part worn tyre market. The National Tyre Distributors Association (NTDA) which represents national and independent tyre distributors across the UK, recently reiterated its call for an outright ban on part worn tyres due to safety concerns. Stefan Hay, NTDA Chief Executive added:-  "As we have advised the DfT on a number of occasions part worn tyres should not be fitted to vehicles, full stop. John has exposed a serious flaw in Taxi licensing testing procedures in not 1, but 4, areas in the North West and we are extremely concerned that the practice is nationwide. The combined age of those 4 different makes of tyre was 67 years old, they had illegal repairs, different speed ratings and no part worn mark, this really is beyond belief! John is to be applauded for the incredible work he has done to expose this shocking situation, but it is appalling that it has taken his personal efforts to uncover such apathy towards passenger safety. Inspections carried out over several years into the sale of part worn tyres have shown serious safety breaches, including dangerous and unsafe repairs, exposed cords, bead damage and evidence of run flat damage. We call on these Councils to review their procedures without delay."

John has set up a website and petition to ban part worn tyres:- BanPartWornTyre.Net.

Nature project recognised for mental health benefits

(L-R) Rhoda Wilkson, Myplace Manager - Daveen Wallis, Director of Health and Wellbeing for Lancashire Wildlife Trust - David Eva, Chairman at Lancashire and South Cumbria NHS Foundation Trust - Kevin O'Hara, Business Development at Lancashire and South Cumbria NHS Foundation trust

AN innovative ecotherapy project that connects people with wildlife and nature to help support their mental health has won a prestigious Regional award. The MyPlace project has been successfully delivered through a partnership between Lancashire and South Cumbria NHS Foundation Trust (LSCft) and the Wildlife Trust for Lancashire over the past three years, helping more than 1,200 people aged from 11 to over 50 years old. The project won the 'Partnership in Innovation' award at the recently held North West Coast Research and Innovation Awards 2020.

David Eva, Chair at Lancashire and South Cumbria NHS Foundation Trust, said:- "Wildlife can have a dramatic impact on helping people with their mental health and this has been proven through the success of the MyPlace project, which has been improving people's wellbeing for more than 3 years. Becoming socially isolated is a huge issue in today's society and being in nature can really help recovery, calming the mind and body. I'm delighted it has been recognised in this way and would like to thank everyone who helped make it such a huge success."

Anne Selby, Chief Executive of the Lancashire Wildlife Trust, said:- "We are absolutely thrilled to receive such recognition for this fantastic project. We have worked tirelessly together with our NHS partners to make this a success since launching several years ago. Since then we have welcomed many individuals to the project. We know from feedback that this project is changing lives, and we want to see it not only continue, but to thrive across the North West and the model replicated across the UK."

The North West Coast Research and Innovation Awards recognises the success and the excellent work being undertaken in health care across the Region on a yearly basis. MyPlace helps young people from the age of 11 that experience mental health problems such as anxiety and depression. By getting involved in outdoor activities, young people can reduce their stress levels, prevent mental health problems and improve their concentration and mood. Based across green spaces, MyPlace encourages both young people and adults to reconnect to nature. Activities can include:- bush craft, foraging, fire and cooking, nature walks, mindfulness, growing food and cooking. People are able to choose their own tailored plan. For more information about the MyPlace project visit:- LSCFT.NHS.UK/MyPlace or LancsWT.Org.UK/MyPlace-Project.

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