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JimmyMac

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Everything posted by JimmyMac

  1. I'm wearing a purple hoodie. My photos are still a work in progress: http://www.flickr.com/photos/_4cryingoutloud/sets/72157634302664688/
  2. Warrington's never had an open-top bus before* mainly because the railway bridges are of sufficient height for double deckers to pass through unhindered. There's a bridge in Stockport near the B&Q which has claimed a few "scalps" over the years. Those canal bridges though - well, thankfully that's rare enough to be a once-in-a-hundred-years event in Warrington. Little resale value in step-entrance double deckers, as they have to be withdrawn from public service by the end of 2016. So presumably more value in terms of goodwill as a promotional/private hire vehicle, and the lion's share of the conversion work had already been done, umm. If Wolves keep up the good work, that's at least one booking per year! I'm told that open-toppers also go down well at the Races as a mobile viewing platform. * OK pedants, the very early double-deckers from the Edwardian period were all open-top!
  3. * It's a £113 million fund nationally, with funding from other partners (including the bus company), so for the purposes of this bid you need to know what the costs will be beforehand rather than leaving it to competitive tendering afterwards * Service 17 currently requires two buses, the new service will require six buses, so the operating costs will increase by 200%, hence a funding gap in the short-term - after three years it should be covering its costs * Arriva closed their Warrington depot in 2002, Stagecoach's nearest depots are in Northenden/Kirkby, so any bid by them would be more expensive as they'd have to either set up a new depot (with all the associated overheads) or travel in remotely every day with the resultant fuel costs and supervisory issues * Competition is great on paper, but not so great in reality (see 1995 or any of the recent spats in Manchester) - personally I would rather have the benefits of tickets that you can use on any service, which is more difficult to achieve when there are competing operators
  4. New or improved bus services take a while before passenger numbers increase to a sustainable commercial level, thus any funding received to cover operating costs will only be for the first couple of years, tapering off as patronage grows. DfT used to have a dedicated fund for this - "Kickstart" - that Warrington failed to gain any funding from, so it's good to see successful bidding this time round. Details of the bid here. As well as the Birchwood-Westbrook bus service, there's also improved cycle links, work on several junctions to improve priority for public transport, better cycle facilities at stations and several travel plan things as well.
  5. That isn't how I read it - it implies the whole train journey as well. Sunday services is a different argument. Just wanted to correct the initial comment by Baz.
  6. So that's £12.50 versus £5 - which isn't "cheaper to drive to town, park his car and for him and his wife and two kids to get the train to Liverpool than it was for them all to catch the bus to town and back from Callands" by a long shot! Care to revise your original post? Oh, I agree totally. I was very annoyed when the council withdrew subsidy for Sunday evening services in 2010 and voiced my opinions very strongly at the time. What we're left with is essentially what can be run commercially with only one shift. I'd like to see buses continue to at least 7pm or 8pm on Sundays (as a compromise if we can't have the whole timetable reinstated), but it's not going to be any time soon with cuts to Bus Service Operators Grant (aka fuel duty rebate) coming into effect in 2012 and continuing pressure on council finances.
  7. Going back a few years to when I had a Savercard, however WBT did offer to set up a standing order and post out my monthly season ticket as it expired: it pays to ask. Keep an eye out for this though: smartcard season tickets coming soon (and hopefully online renewals)?
  8. Don't know where he lives and which college he goes to (and so which bus services he would catch) but a Day Rover on Network Warrington only costs £3.90 - and students can buy a town weekly ticket for £6.75 - which would be a lot less than a fiver a day.
  9. Your mate mustn't have been aware of the best deals on offer - which I'm pretty sure I have pointed out to you in similar threads, Baz! Callands to Warrington (bus) Family Day Return ticket (up to 4 people travelling together, at least one under 16) £5 Warrington to Liverpool (train) 2 x adult Off-Peak Day Return £10.60 2 x child Off-Peak Day Return £5.30 Total £15.90 With a Duo ticket, two adults could travel for £7.95. With a Friends & Family railcard, you might be able to get the fare down to around £7.90 but you'd have to purchase the railcard in the first place, which is £28. And that's without paying for parking the car.
  10. You can look at it both ways - swings and roundabouts. It does amuse me that the No campaign have been arguing that FPTP is all about "one person, one vote" - in a multi-party situation that claim would surely be best represented with proportional representation, where 5% of the vote nationally would result in 5% of the seats!
  11. Voting in Australia is compulsory, yes. If you only vote for party X in Australia, then party X can choose further preferences should they be voted out. Furthermore, if you want to use second preferences then you have to specify a preference for every candidate on the ballot paper. Still, an interesting read and dispels some of the myths that the No campaign have been spouting. I don't think AV will have a huge difference on the results, but it will at least mean that politicians have to gain more consent from their constituency (the 50% threshold) than is currently the case; it will also give smaller parties and independents a greater chance of winning as people will be able to vote for their first preference without splitting the vote - and that's why I'm voting Yes today.
  12. You effectively voted for Labour twice - once in the first round of counting, and then again in the second round of counting because your candidate wasn't knocked out. The poor sap who voted for UKIP as his first preference - well, he didn't really want Labour to win, he wanted UKIP to win and he hasn't had that happen! The ABC (Australia) election blog is interesting reading for anyone who wants to hear about the AV system from a country where it's actually in use.[/i]
  13. Possibly UKIP voters might go with Tories as a second preference.
  14. Network Warrington website has details of related bus diversions - says phase 1 due to last 2 and a half weeks: "further phases of this scheme will affect another section of Lumb Brook Road and then move on to Dingleway." HTH!
  15. It is the route of the Transpennine Trail though - you know, that coast-to-coast walking and cycling leisure trail
  16. You get funny looks hanging around the Interchange with a camera
  17. Perhaps they'd have been better off with Kindles?
  18. Of course when David Cameron was a student, he didn't go round trashing things whilst protesting about student fees - the Bullingdon Club was far more likely to be trashing restaurants instead!
  19. If the bus services had operated until eight pm on Sundays and bank holidays - or if there had been a reduced frequency after six pm 'til the end of the day - then I suspect most people would accept that as necessary cost saving and there wouldn't have been half the complaints there have been. However, to have the last bus service at just after 5pm really reflects badly on the council. People who claim that all the journeys withdrawn were running around empty, with respect, I would suggest probably didn't use them very regularly. And although I haven't worked out the exact figure as yet, I believe the council saves only around ?50k per year on subsidy for these Sunday services out of their widely touted ?150k annual savings. And meanwhile, if you believe what the opposition are saying, the council has taken ?205k in dividends from the bus company over the past three years. So they take with one hand, and then take with the other as well!
  20. Her administration ought to have done more to prevent the Argentinians from invading in the first place, on the diplomatic as well as the military front. See Operation Journeyman in 1977.
  21. Reason I ask is that last year I saw this scheme in New Mills: http://www.torrshydro.co.uk/
  22. Gary, if you've got the time and interest, perhaps a piece on other renewable energy schemes in the area would be of interest. For example, the Mersey has two wiers (Howley and Martinscroft) which could potentially be harnessed to generate some electricty. Am I right when I say that I think the MSCC tried and failed to install a mini hydro scheme on the sluices at Latchford Locks?
  23. It isn't a tax, it's a fine: simply follow the rules, don't break the law, and it won't affect you one iota.
  24. Ok, but let's not reopen the old arguement about its perceived benefits and downsides else we'll be here all night. It's gone now, so would it be possible for car drivers to accept their victory with a little more grace and stop using it as a club to beat the council round the head with? Peter - the fact is though that I don't believe anything has been altered with regards to traffic lights in Stockton Heath for the past few years, so this isn't a new problem - why is it raising its head again now? As someone who used to live in the village (and subsequently someone who worked there too), I don't think we should be ripping out pedestrian crossings all over the place. The fact is there's simply too much traffic trying to get through*: how "vibrant" will the village centre remain if it's made so much more difficult to cross the road? And I take some umbrage with the idea that few people use the crossing by the swing bridge. It is either underused and therefore should have little effect on the traffic anyhow (as it will remain on green for most of the time) else it is fairly well used by pedestrians and cyclists coming from the Black Bear who need to cross over at this point. I agree that a right-turn filter phase at Victoria Square would be of use for vehicles turning out of Grappenhall Rd onto London Road. Perhaps there should also be an official no-right-turn out of Walton Road too? And then remove the pedestrian crossing on the north side of those lights, in preference to taking the route via the south side or walking up to the lights opposite The Forge. * And I principally blame the new upmarket housing developments in Appleton and Grappenhall Heys for that - maybe we need a supermarket up at Stretton...?
  25. If it's now defunct then it no longer affects the traffic - so you can't claim it as a cause for current congestion. And as for the complaints about Stockton Heath of late - as far as I can see there have not been any changes in the number of traffic lights for the past four or five years at least. So if that's the case, then what has suddenly caused the current outrage? Has road congestion gotten worse of late? If so, it must be down to some other factor specifically, be it more cars on the road, or the sheer size of vehicles on the road (less roadspace efficent), or simply worse driving standards. Unfortunately, if you are stuck in your car in a queue, the bad news is that you are part of the problem - yes, you! The good news is that you were partly right - everyone else is to blame as well!
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