Connect with us
https://propermanchester.com.temp.link/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/secret-suppers-advert.jpg

News

Trains from Manchester to Leeds to ‘take 30 minutes’ thanks to ‘revolutionary’ rail upgrade

The government says the £11bn upgrade will ‘address this historic lack of balance’ between spending in the north and south

Avatar photo

Published

on

Matt Buck / Flickr & It's No Game / Flickr

The travel time for trains from Manchester to Leeds are set to be halved thanks to a ‘revolutionary’ rail route upgrade.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has this week announced a budget between £9bn and £11.5bn for the Transpennine Route Upgrades, which will improve the rail links between Manchester, Leeds and York.

Shapps said the extra cash would enable the routes to be electrified, cutting travel times by up to half and ‘revolutionising’ the journey across the Pennines, as per the BBC.

He said: “This is the single biggest investment any government has ever made in Britain’s railways.”

According to the government, the improvements will see a journey from Manchester to Leeds take just over thirty minutes instead of up to an hour.

The plans will also see the route be fitted with digital signalling as well as extra track to combat the long-standing technical faults, slow speeds and delays experienced by passengers.

Shapps said the upgrade will ‘address this historic lack of balance’ between spending in the North and South.

He added that the North would receive more investment per head than the Midlands or the South, which was ‘all part of our plan to level up the whole country’.

Matt Buck / Flickr

He went on to acknowledge that these services had not ‘kept pace with the times’ but the upgrades would make them more reliable, less crowded, better for the environment and more like commuting in and around London.

Also as part of the plan, almost £1bn will be spent on the remaining electrification of the railway between Stalybridge and Manchester.

The upgrades are set to begin next year, and are predicted to be complete in the next ten-fifteen years.

Tony Miles, from Modern Railways magazine, has welcomed the news, saying: “It’s good news the government has formally committed the money needed to complete the project.

It’s No Game / Flickr

“Network Rail now needs to keep a tight control on costs to make sure the project can be delivered.”

However, the plans have also been met with criticism, with Manuel Cortes, general secretary of transport union TSSA, saying it is ‘yet another re-announcement of existing funding from a headline-seeking Transport Secretary’. 

He said: “The funding is of course welcome, but if this government was serious about backing our railways, then it needs to do much more to tackle rip-off ticket prices and improve reliability and end-to-end journeys.”

 

News

Andy Burnham says Avanti West Coast must improve or ‘contract should be terminated’

Avanti is running a heavily reduced timetable as a result of ‘unofficial strike action’

Avatar photo

Published

on

The BMA / Flickr & TheFrog001 / Wikimedia Commons

Andy Burnham has urged the Transport Secretary to make Avanti West Coast run more trains to Manchester or terminate the firm’s contract.

In a letter to Anne-Marie Trevelyan, the mayor of Greater Manchester said he wants Avanti to run at least two services between Manchester and London per hour by the end of the month – or have their contract removed altogether. 

The Department for Transport has today placed the train firm on a short-term contract to challenge it to deliver the urgent increase in services required.

Back in August, the train company announced it would be reducing its services between Manchester and the capital to just one per hour as a result of ‘unofficial strike action’ by ASLEF members.

And over the last three weeks, an average of 10% of Avanti West Coast services between Manchester and London were either cancelled or significantly late. 

Over this same three-week time period, over a quarter of services (27%) have failed to arrive on time, according to Granada Reports.

Yet while Avanti has said it plans to return to an increased timetable by December 11th,  Burnham said it should happen sooner, and is calling for two trains per hour by the end of October, and three trains by December.

In his letter, Burnham wrote: “Unless this happens and is clearly communicated, train travel between our most important economic regions will continue to be chaotic, forcing people into their cars or into abandoning plans to travel entirely.

“These dreadful conditions would be unacceptable at any time but are particularly so now given the wholesale collapse of the timetable, something no other train company is experiencing at anything like this scale.

“Passengers face other challenges too. Tickets are still only being released a few days in advance, making planning for individuals and businesses impossible.

“Without this commitment, I will be unable to support a new contract for Avanti.”

In response, a spokesperson for Avanti West Coast said: “We are already delivering on our commitment to increase the number of services we are running between Manchester and London, with three or four trains an hour departing Manchester Piccadilly at the key times of the day.

“We remain focused on providing a reliable train service for our customers and restoring a full timetable of three trains an hour all day between London and Manchester, in December.

“Our revised timetable, with no reliance on overtime, is also proving more reliable – in the last week, we have run 300 trains between London and Manchester, with approximately one in thirty of them cancelled, mainly because of short-notice sickness.

“That compares with one out of thirteen trains cancelled back in mid-July.

“Nevertheless, we know that at the moment we’re not delivering the service our customers rightly expect and we apologise for the enormous frustration and inconvenience this is causing.

“We would like to thank our customers for their patience and understanding.”

Continue Reading

News

Tributes pour in for ‘gorgeous’ mum killed in Liverpool dog attack

Police say five American bulldogs have since been ‘humanely destroyed’

Avatar photo

Published

on

Ann Dunn / Facebook & Granada Reports

Tributes have been pouring in for the ‘gorgeous’ mum who was mauled to death by five dogs in Liverpool.

Ann Dunn, sixty-five, died after being attacked by five American bulldogs in a property on St. Brigids Crescent, Vauxhall.

Merseyside Police were called out by paramedics on Monday October 3rd at around 4:25pm. However, Ann’s injuries were too serious and she was pronounced as dead at the scene.

Police say five American bulldogs, which were found inside the property, were handed over and have now been humanely destroyed.

Ann Dunn / Facebook

Officers also confirmed that a thirty-one-year-old man had been arrested on suspicion of owning a dog dangerously out of control. He remains in custody.

Following the news of her death, people who knew Ann have paid their own tributes to the mum and grandmother on social media.

One person wrote on Facebook: “RIP gorgeous lady, still can’t believe it Ann. Had some good times with you I will never forget.”

She added: “I am all so heartbroken for you kids and family right now. Don’t want to even think how they feeling… So happy I got [sic] have old chat with you on Friday even though it was only for 10 minutes, keeping looking over your family.”

Another social media user added: “Heart breaking thinking of all the family, devastated for yous all. R.I.P lovely Ann.”

Ann Dunn / Facebook

Liverpool John Moores University, where Ann worked as a cleaner, also paid tribute to their ‘hard-working and dedicated’ employee.

They said: “The university community is absolutely shocked and devastated by this tragic loss and to lose Ann in this way is just heart-breaking. Ann was hard-working and dedicated and had so many friends across the organisation. It’s just awful and she will be terribly missed.

“Our thoughts at this time are with her family and loved-ones.”

Detective Inspector Katie Coote added: “This is clearly a very distressing incident and our thoughts are with the family and friends of the lady who died.

“Our enquiries remain ongoing as we seek to establish what has happened and I would urge anyone who could assist our enquiries to get in touch.”

Continue Reading

News

Man arrested after woman killed by ‘five dogs’ in Liverpool

The dogs have since been ‘humanely destroyed’

Avatar photo

Published

on

Granada Reports & BBC Breakfast

A man has been arrested after a woman was killed after she was attacked by five dogs in a house in Liverpool.

Merseyside Police were called out by paramedics yesterday (Monday October 3rd) after reports a sixty-three-year-old woman had been attacked by the animals inside a property down St. Brigid’s Crescent in Kirkdale.

The woman, who is yet to be formally identified, died at the scene following the attack at around 4.25pm. 

Police say five American bulldogs, which were found inside the property, were handed over and have now been humanely destroyed.

A thirty-one-year-old man has since been arrested on suspicion of owning a dog deemed to be dangerously out of control. He remains in custody.

An investigation into the incident remains ongoing and a post-mortem will be carried out to establish the exact cause of death.

Detective Inspector Katie Coote said: “This is clearly a very distressing incident and our thoughts are with the family and friends of the lady who died.

“Our enquiries remain ongoing as we seek to establish what has happened and I would urge anyone who could assist our enquiries to get in touch.”

Anyone with information is asked to DM @MerPolCC or @CrimestoppersUK on Twitter. Alternatively, they can be contacted via telephone on 0800 555 111 quoting reference 22000731247.

Continue Reading

Receive our latest news, events & unique stories

Privacy and data policy

We may earn a commission when you use one of our links to make a purchase

Copyright © 2022 Manchester's Finest Group