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Gary

Warrington's traffic issues - what are the solutions?

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I think you've got it right picking up on the word 'private' grey-man.
And ELEVEN Directors with no clear figures on how much they are getting paid, - on top of which there is £35,319 in one year for a Director's pension scheme makes Ob's words 'milk it !' seem very appropriate.

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Council members get no remuneration as directors of a municipal bus company. The law requires a minimum of 3 executive directors and a maximum of 7 non-exec directors.

 

How many claim mileage allowance or have a company funded or discounted car or do they all use buses to get about?

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They are ridiculously high Sid.  If a husband and wife run a business in town and buy day returns each day from Callands.  Lets be generous and give them 4 weeks off.  The cost of bus fares would tot up to just under £3000 a year. 

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Steve

 

Personally, I'm less bothered by any allowances or remuneration you may receive.  I'm more interested in your conflicts of interest as a councillor, your knowledge and experience of running a business (none in your case?) and why you all refuse to make this supposedly municipal company accountable to the people who own and use it. Not only does this business continue to increase fares far higher than those in comparable towns to compensate for its mismanagement, it is clearly run by a man who is either so arrogant or cowardly* that he doesn't feel the need to communicate with customers. It is your job as directors to do something about it, yet you don't.   

 

* My guess

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 it is clearly run by a man who is either so arrogant or cowardly* that he doesn't feel the need to communicate with customers.

 

* My guess

 

 

 

"Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt."

 

Abraham Lincoln.

 

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They are ridiculously high Sid.  If a husband and wife run a business in town and buy day returns each day from Callands.  Lets be generous and give them 4 weeks off.  The cost of bus fares would tot up to just under £3000 a year. 

In the interest of accuracy, this:

 

http://www.networkwarrington.co.uk/touch-and-go

 

Which would indicate that, in your example, it could cost just over half of what you estimate. And could your fictional couple claim the cost as a business expense against tax? I don't know, just asking.

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Also, in the interests of accuracy pointing out that the same couple could travel to work for £1080 in Stoke, £1090 in St Helens and £830 in Preston. 

 

Obviously the companies in those towns know something that Network Warrington don't. 

 

This should be the main point of issue for the directors of this company. Steve Parish and his fellow directors are paid to represent the interests of the people of Warrington, not the interests of Damian Graham and his colleagues. A five minute Google search proves this company is mismanaged compared to other bus companies, as does the behaviour of its leaders who hide at the first sign they might be asked difficult questions.  

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In the interest of accuracy, this:

 

http://www.networkwarrington.co.uk/touch-and-go

 

Which would indicate that, in your example, it could cost just over half of what you estimate. And could your fictional couple claim the cost as a business expense against tax? I don't know, just asking.

 

Many people can't find over £1500 up front in a lump to buy a season ticket and as pointed out even those are grossly overpriced.  The only people who can really afford to use the buses on a regular basis are the Twirleys with their free passes.

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I wonder how many on here that advocate the use of the bus actually use the bus? Problem is unless the bus goes where and when you want it it could be free and people won't use it.

 

It is obvious if you keep putting traffic lights up to stop the traffic, congestion will continue to mount, because if you look at the stats, the number of vehicle millage has not risen in the last 15 years or so and in many areas is going down.

 

In Warrington many of the entrances to the large shopping places are poorly thought out in my view.

 

The answer to the traffic problem is technology, home working/schooling and staggered opening times and local services

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I would never advocate the use of a bus. 99% of the ones running outside peak hours have a handful of people in them. They should all be crushed and recycled into V12 E Type Jaguars :)

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I'm pretty sure that a £1500 loan would be worth it if it means saving a like amount on bus fares PJ. I do agree that Warrington fares seem high, but Arriva fares are even higher if you use Arriva buses for Warrington area travel. Anyway, speaking as a Twirley, I use the bus quite a bit and don't find them at all expensive :lol: :lol: :lol:

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Steve

 

Personally, I'm less bothered by any allowances or remuneration you may receive.  I'm more interested in your conflicts of interest as a councillor, your knowledge and experience of running a business (none in your case?) and why you all refuse to make this supposedly municipal company accountable to the people who own and use it. Not only does this business continue to increase fares far higher than those in comparable towns to compensate for its mismanagement, it is clearly run by a man who is either so arrogant or cowardly* that he doesn't feel the need to communicate with customers. It is your job as directors to do something about it, yet you don't.   

 

* My guess

 

We are accountable - we publish accounts. Unless the town is gridlocked, the bus turns up, usually on time. As the Traffic Commissioner says reliability and punctuality are what bus passengers want, we have to design timetables that allow for congestion - then try to make sure buses don't run early when there is no congestion. There's a cost to that, as if journey times are longer, we need more buses and drivers - or reduce frequency. But if journey times are longer, then (despite the Commissioner's mantra) some will choose other modes of transport. Transport patterns are changing - we tried the innovation of a route across the north of town to link residential areas with the new employment sites (Birchwood Business Park, Gemini, Omega etc) but there's no substantial "core" of regular passengers, and we've obviously lost office-workers commuting to town because there are not as many offices in town.

 

Comparing other towns isn't that simple either - Warrington has higher car ownership than other towns in the North-West, many residents work in Liverpool or Manchester and buses can't compete for that traffic with the train, etc etc.

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I wonder how many on here that advocate the use of the bus actually use the bus? Problem is unless the bus goes where and when you want it it could be free and people won't use it.

 

It is obvious if you keep putting traffic lights up to stop the traffic, congestion will continue to mount, because if you look at the stats, the number of vehicle millage has not risen in the last 15 years or so and in many areas is going down.

 

In Warrington many of the entrances to the large shopping places are poorly thought out in my view.

 

The answer to the traffic problem is technology, home working/schooling and staggered opening times and local services

 

I used to, especially as a way of doing things with the kids. It has now become far too expensive. 

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We are accountable - we publish accounts. Unless the town is gridlocked, the bus turns up, usually on time. As the Traffic Commissioner says reliability and punctuality are what bus passengers want, we have to design timetables that allow for congestion - then try to make sure buses don't run early when there is no congestion. There's a cost to that, as if journey times are longer, we need more buses and drivers - or reduce frequency. But if journey times are longer, then (despite the Commissioner's mantra) some will choose other modes of transport. Transport patterns are changing - we tried the innovation of a route across the north of town to link residential areas with the new employment sites (Birchwood Business Park, Gemini, Omega etc) but there's no substantial "core" of regular passengers, and we've obviously lost office-workers commuting to town because there are not as many offices in town.

 

Comparing other towns isn't that simple either - Warrington has higher car ownership than other towns in the North-West, many residents work in Liverpool or Manchester and buses can't compete for that traffic with the train, etc etc.

 

Accountability is about more than publishing your accounts. You are part of a board that does not think it owes its customers any form of communication. You also employ a man who appears to be too much of a coward to answer straight questions. I'll say it again Steve. Your first priority in this regard is the people of Warrington, especially those who rely on the buses. Typically, these aren't people with jobs in Manchester, but people on low pay or who rely for other reasons on public transport. Instead you seem more concerned with covering the back of somebody who not only appears to be promoted beyond his abilities but also cannot respond to simple requests. 

 

As for benchmarking yourselves against other towns, then that is normal business practice. What it shows is that this company is run badly compared to comparable companies in other towns, end of story. Directors with proper business experience and a backbone would be looking at all sorts of other factors instead of relying on price rises to compensate for some pretty obvious failings. I've checked the data on car ownership by the way, and what you've said about those three towns I mentioned is inaccurate. They have similar levels of car ownership to Warrington, possibly higher in some districts. So that can't be the reason why local bus fares in Warrington are way higher. It must be something else. 

 

What always amuses me about you lot at the council is how when you screw up, you dig yourselves in a deeper hole by trying to manage perceptions rather than addressing the core problem. That is exactly what is going on here.  

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Yes they could get it at 3000% interest off wonga

Don't be silly PJ.

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Some do, mostly no. However they have now put printed timetables at most stops.

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Accountability is about more than publishing your accounts. You are part of a board that does not think it owes its customers any form of communication. You also employ a man who appears to be too much of a coward to answer straight questions. I'll say it again Steve. Your first priority in this regard is the people of Warrington, especially those who rely on the buses. Typically, these aren't people with jobs in Manchester, but people on low pay or who rely for other reasons on public transport. Instead you seem more concerned with covering the back of somebody who not only appears to be promoted beyond his abilities but also cannot respond to simple requests. 

 

As for benchmarking yourselves against other towns, then that is normal business practice. What it shows is that this company is run badly compared to comparable companies in other towns, end of story. Directors with proper business experience and a backbone would be looking at all sorts of other factors instead of relying on price rises to compensate for some pretty obvious failings. I've checked the data on car ownership by the way, and what you've said about those three towns I mentioned is inaccurate. They have similar levels of car ownership to Warrington, possibly higher in some districts. So that can't be the reason why local bus fares in Warrington are way higher. It must be something else. 

 

What always amuses me about you lot at the council is how when you screw up, you dig yourselves in a deeper hole by trying to manage perceptions rather than addressing the core problem. That is exactly what is going on here.  

Well, I do tend to defend people who are unfairly attacked (and "coward" from someone hiding behind a pseudonym is a bit odd). As to matters of fact rather than caustic opinion, I'd like to see your car ownership statistics. In the 2011 census, Warrington ranked lower than those towns on "households with no car" and higher on "households with one/two/three/four cars" (search table KS404EW  on www.ons.gov.uk) - that's one for statisticians, but a simpler format is at http://www.racfoundation.org/assets/rac_foundation/content/downloadables/car%20ownership%20rates%20by%20local%20authority%20-%20december%202012.pdf

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I've called him much the same in an email to you and him already Steve. And in fact I didn't even call him a coward. I suggested he was either that or arrogant and the former was more likely in my opinion. I don't know the bloke but I do know he doesn't think he has to do more than cut and paste platitudes in replies to straight questions. 

 

I'm not hiding behind a pseudonym because you know my name. Indeed a few people at the council know it judging by the number of times I've been looked up anonymously by WBC employees on LinkedIn. What I do know is that this man has yet to answer even the most simple questions about his decisions, even choosing on one occasion to void on the Borough's doorstep before running away on holiday by all accounts. You're just proving my point by sticking up for him. You need to do your job as a director and make this business accountable to its customers. You're simply not doing that and not obliging Damian Graham to do it either.

 

Those were the data I referred to. There is no substantial difference in car ownership, and it varies greatly across each borough anyway. Even whatever difference there is does not explain why Warrington's bus fares are massively higher than those in other towns, including many of those with higher levels of car ownership than here. In fact I notice that West Lancs has very similar levels of car ownership and yet annual bus passes in that part of the world are far cheaper than in Warrington. Doesn't prove a thing.    

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Steve,  try to be honest in your answer to this, it isn't a trick or leading question,  do you believe that the pricing of bus travel in this town ( excluding Fairbrothers Pound to Town)  is attractive enough to get people out of their cars ?  A simple yes or no will suffice.

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