Monday, 24 November 2008

Gravy trains?

John Merry takes up a new post with the North West Rail Campaign following his local election defeat. Development of the heavy rail network is essential. Trains, unlike trams, have the capacity to manage to manage increasing passenger numbers. Hopefully Mr Merry will be able to use his new position to start lobbying for an improvement to rail facilities in Irlam - one of the most over-crowded commuter lines outside of London. Despite some recent investment Irlam possess one of the poorest quality stations in the country - with limited seating and shelter, no official parking area, no security system, no ticketing facilities and no real-time information. Commuter huddle together in buffeting winter rain for comfort before stepping onto expensive, crowded and filthy trains, with little chance of a seat. Irlam needs better quality facilities and trains now! Peak time return fare to Manchester is now almost £5 - considerably more expensive than the proposed congestion charge. Something to reflect upon before next month's vote.
“Fifty-two million passengers use rail in the North West, with the vast majority being concentrated within the Mersey Belt that includes rail journeys between Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds, Bolton, Preston, Manchester Airport and Crewe,” said Geoff Muirhead CBE, group chief executive for Manchester Airports Group and chairman of the campaign’s steering group.
Jones is expected to focus on congestion in the southern “Mersey Belt,” which is the area in and around Manchester Piccadilly station, the organisation said in a news release.
The North West Rail Campaign was established in 2003 to lobby for extra rail capacity in the North West and to boost investment in the region’s rail network.
Jones previously was a Salford councillor and chairman of the Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Authority. He lost his Irlam seat in the May local elections.

The North West Rail Campaign has appointed Roger Jones as its campaign director.
Defeated councillor named to North West Rail Campaign post
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