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Train driver ‘refuses to depart’ for Manchester Piccadilly due to ‘unsafe overcrowding’

The incident came just days after the announcement that the HS2 to Manchester leg is to be cancelled

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G-13114 / Wikimedia & @symeonbrown / Twitter

A train driver in London refused to depart for Manchester Piccadilly because he deemed the cabins too overcrowded to be considered safe, it has been reported.

The incident happened on Saturday October 7th, just days after Prime Minister Rishi Sunak axed the Birmingham to Manchester leg of the HS2 train at a conference in the city.

The high speed service, which was due to be completed in 2025, was designed to reduce capacity on the West Coast Main Line.

According to reports, the driver had said: “The train’s going nowhere until passengers leave.”

@symeonbrown / Twitter

A picture, tweeted by Channel 4 correspondent and author Symeon Brown, shows a carriage with full seats and passengers standing in the aisle waiting to leave.

It was an Avanti West Coast train from London Euston to Manchester Piccadilly on Saturday morning, it is understood.

In a tweet Mr Brown said: “This week the PM cancelled the HS2 from London to Manchester that would reduce overcrowding. 

“Today I’m on a train for Manchester with the driver refusing to depart as ‘it’s unsafe’ due to overcapacity. 

“’The train’s going nowhere until passengers leave’, he says”.

Just 10 minutes after his first tweet, Mr Brown added: “10 minutes after I took that picture there was twice as many people standing in the walkway.”

A spokesperson for Avanti West Coast said the overcrowded train was due to ‘severe weather’ which saw cancellations because of floods in Scotland and parts of Northern England due to heavy downpours.

They said: “We asked some passengers to leave this service as the train was busy as a result of the severe weather. 

“In some circumstances when services are overcrowded a train will not depart for safety reasons and it would be requested that some customers board another service. 

G-13114 / Wikimedia

“Those affected would be able to get the next available train.

“Due to the extreme weather conditions on Saturday October 7th, services were severely impacted across the entire rail network.

“As a result, trains have been busier than normal. We thank our customers for their patience and apologise for any inconvenience caused.”

At the Conservative Party conference in his speech on Wednesday, Mr Sunak ended days of speculation when he announced he was scrapping the entire northern leg of the HS2 train, which he claimed would save £36 billion.

G-13114 / Wikimedia

He promised to reinvest the money into improving train and transport networks up north.

The announcement brought an end to over a decade of hope and promises to align the north with the south and make it possible for people, including businesses, to travel between Manchester and London in just an hour and 10 minutes.

It was hoped the train would free up crucial space on Avanti West Coast Main Line trains.

However, the government have said the new HS2 trains will still travel into Manchester, but will join the West Coast Main Line from Birmingham to Manchester. It added that the journey time will still be cut.

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Stagecoach hiring over 100 new bus drivers for Bee Network with £31k salaries

Fancy a career change?

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Stagecoach

Stagecoach Manchester is hiring over 100 new bus drivers to work from its Oldham depot, following the second phase of the Bee Network launch in March.

You can apply for a range of roles, from positions with no experience required to fully qualified bus drivers.

Successful applicants will receive full training as part of the job, and trainees will get paid to train. Then after only 12 months’ service at Stagecoach, drivers can expect to earn up to £16 per hour, which equates to £31.6K per year, before overtime.

As well as that, drivers that already hold a PCV licence may be eligible to receive a £1,200 joining bonus.

Stagecoach

There’s also a host of other benefits available to all Stagecoach employees, like 28 days paid holiday, generous pension and free Stagecoach bus travel for successful applicants and a companion.

Rob Jones, Managing Director at Stagecoach Manchester said: “Expanding our offering in Oldham means we’ll be investing more in the economy and supporting our local community, as well as strengthening our workforce.

“Whether you’re looking for a career change or you’re a fully qualified, experienced bus driver, there’s a role for everyone here in Oldham.

“We’re looking for personable and dedicated drivers who are ready to help us build on the success of the Bee Network and connect the people of Oldham and Greater Manchester with the places and people that are important to them.”

Stagecoach

Phil Cornwall, bus driver at Stagecoach Manchester, said: “I’ve been a driver at Stagecoach for 25 years and I couldn’t recommend it more.

“From the perks to the people to the passengers, it really is a great place to work.”

To apply, head to the Stagecoach website HERE.

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Two men charged with murder after torso discovered in Salford nature reserve

BREAKING:

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Greater Manchester Police

Two men have now been charged with murder, following the discovery of a human torso in Kersal Dale.

As well as that, more suspected human remains were also discovered this morning, Monday April 29th, in an alleyway close to the railway lines off Worsley Road, Eccles.

This follows earlier discoveries of human remains over the past three weeks, at Kersal Dale, Blackleach Reservoir and Colliery Wood, all in Salford.

Greater Manchester Police


Michal Jaroslaw Polchowski (25/04/1956) and Marcin Majerkiewicz (10/04/1982) both of Worsley Road, Eccles, have been charged with murder.

They are set to appear at Tameside Magistrates Court this afternoon.

While formal identification is still ongoing, the remains found at Kersal Dale are believed to be of a local man in his 60s. The remains found at the other three locations are still to be tested, but police are confident they belong to the same victim.

ACC Sarah Jackson said: “We have had large numbers of officers, staff and specialists working diligently on this investigation over the last three weeks. It has been very much a large, collective effort, with the victim and family at the heart of it from the outset.

“We have specially trained officers deployed to support the family as they come to terms with this tragic news. They are aware of this morning’s further discovery and will continue to be kept up to date with how we are progressing.

“Despite the charges brought today, our work is far from over.

“The scenes we already have established in Bury and Salford will remain in place for much of this week whilst our searches and enquiries continue. Local officers will continue to patrol the impacted areas to provide reassurance.

“We will continue following every line of enquiry to recover and reunite the victim with his family, bringing a dignified end to this terrible scenario.

“I’d like to thank the communities of Salford and beyond for their cooperation throughout this investigation. I know this incident has come as a shock, and the support we’ve had from those in the area is very much appreciated.”

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More human remains discovered in Greater Manchester as police identify victim

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N Chadwick / Geograph

Detectives investigating the discovery of a torso in Kersal Dale have found more human remains around Greater Manchester.

GMP released a statement on the weekend, revealing they had opened four scenes for extensive searches – one of them at a warehouse in Bury, and three in Salford.

Searches took place at Blackleach reservoir, where human remains were found, and a dog walker found a package containing human remains at Colliery Wood.

Officers believe they have now identified the man, who they believe to be a man in his 60s that lived in Salford, and his family have been informed.

Two suspects have already been arrested in connection with the murder probe, with officers saying they are thought to have lived with the victim.

Greater Manchester Police / Facebook


Detective Superintendent Lewis Hughes, Senior Investigating Officer for this investigation, said in a statement at Blackleach reservoir yesterday, Sunday April 28th: “We have continued to make significant progress in our investigation into human remains being found in Kersal earlier this month.

“From day one, our priority has been to identify the man and his family so that we can give them the support and the answers that they need.

“Thanks to meticulous forensic work, we are now confident we have identified the man. Formal identification hasn’t yet taken place, but we believe he is a man in his 60s and lived in Salford.

“Specially-trained family liaison officers have met with his family this afternoon to give them the devastating news, and we will do all that we can to support them at this awful time.

“We believe he is known to the two suspects we have in custody. They have remained in custody for questioning over the weekend, as we work to establish how the victim met this tragic outcome.”

He continued: “We have painstakingly worked to follow up every line of inquiry in this investigation. Over the last couple of days, we have acted on information and had four scenes in place for extensive searches – one of them is at a warehouse in Bury, and three of them are in Salford, including here at Blackleach reservoir.

“Today, we have found some human remains at the reservoir here, and last night a dog walker found a package containing human remains at Colliery Wood. Forensic tests will continue to establish whose remains these are, but we are very confident that this is also the victim in our investigation.

“We have also been searching a house in Winton where we believe the victim and the two suspects lived. We have found evidence that the victim is likely to have died there – most likely in late March.

“While this is significant progress, we know there is still some way to go to complete this investigation. I also recognise details of this case will have been distressing for the people of Salford and beyond – including the officers that are diligently working on this investigation, and most importantly the man’s heartbroken family.

“Local officers will continue to patrol the affected areas, and we will provide updates when we have more information.”

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