Archive for January, 2008

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Have your say on public transport in Salford

January 30, 2008
GMPTE logo Did you know that GMPTE hold regular Passenger Transport Surgeries where the public are invited to meet GMPTE (and rail operators ?) and express their views ? It’s a great chance to express your views to the people directly responsible for improving public transport services and facilities in Manchester.

The next surgery in Salford will be held at Salford Central Rail Station on Thursday 17th April from 4pm to 6pm. Get along and have your say !

See GMPTE website for further details.

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Platform Gap Fall at Greenfield

January 19, 2008

We were alarmed to see the story in yesterday’s Manchester Evening News about a passenger who fell between the platform edge and train at Greenfield station. Thankfully he wasn’t seriously injured but he could easily have been.

FOWS know of at least two similar incidents at Walkden in the last few years and have written to Northern, GMPTE, Network Rail and even the Office of Rail Regulation to ask for the platform to be raised. The official line seems to be that Network Rail are responsible for maintaining safe stations – but have no obligation to remedy this problem (which they acknowledge exists) until “other station improvements” are planned.

FOWS believe this is an irresponsible attitude which presents passengers with a dangerous and uncomfortable challenge when they board or alight the train.

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Shadow Secretary of State Theresa Villiers visits Walkden station

January 15, 2008
Theresa Villiers
Theresa Villiers at Walkden station with Councillors and FOWS supporters Les Turner and Iain Lindley

Following in the footsteps of Ruth Kelly, Secretary of State for Transport, who visited Walkden station last year the Shadow Secretary of State for Transport Theresa Villiers yesterday dropped by to see the poor amenities for herself.

Mrs Villiers was particularly interested in FOWS’ campaign to ease over-crowding by re-opening the disused platform to allow longer trains to call, and she took several photos of the scene.
We welcome interest in Walkden station from national and local politicians of all parties and believe the provision of a safe, accessible, comfortable and environmentally-friendly train service is something every political party should commit itself to.

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Salford Central refurbishment nears completion

January 13, 2008
Uplit Arches Salford Central station’s late-running renovation work is nearly complete and the new glass entrance hall is a great improvement on its predecessor. Inside the station the tunnel to the platforms is looking spectacular as the brick arches have been exposed and beautifully lit from below.
Information display … in a cage ! On the platform things aren’t so pretty … there’s very little sign of change apart from the welcome addition of electronic information displays, albeit hidden behind ghastly floor-to-ceiling cages. 
Is the risk of vandalism so high or has someone just installed the displays at such a low height that cages are needed to stop people bumping their heads ?
Security cameras everywhere The number of security cameras makes you wonder what kind of assault GMPTE are expecting … we counted 27 criss-crossing every imaginable area of the station.
What a pity GMPTE say they can’t afford 2 cameras for Walkden ?
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Passengers hit by inflation-busting fare rases

January 12, 2008
Money and Tickets Fares increased by around 5%-6 % from January 1st, that’s two or three times higher than the current annual inflation rate of 2.1%. Some examples fare increases are:

  • Peak Return to Manchester: up 5.38% from £4.65 to £4.90
  • Off-Peak Return to Manchester: up 5.66% from £2.65 to £2.80
  • Peak Single to Manchester: up 7.14% from £2.80 to £3.00
  • 1 Month Season Ticket: up 4.98% from £70.30 to £73.80

Passengers could be forgiven for asking how such above-inflation increases can be justified when they are still waiting for longer trains and improved facilities.

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Rush hour commuters stranded again

January 12, 2008

On Thursday morning approximately 30 passengers were unable to board the 08.04 to Manchester due to severe over-crowding on the 2-carriage train.

Oddly, FOWS understands that 4-carriage trains have recently been sent out to Wigan to work on the 08.04 but only 2-carriages have come back … what’s happening to our carriages at Wigan ?

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FOWS campaign for improved pedestrian safety

January 3, 2008

You may have seen the article in this week’s Salford Advertiser (“Campaigners fight for a safe crossing”) reporting on our recent meeting with Salford Council planners and the Walkden Road Traders Group to discuss road safety improvements around the Walkden Road/Park Road accident blackspot.

FOWS have asked for a pedestrian crossing to assist the hundreds of station users who face the daily peril of crossing two busy roads outside the station entrance. As any regular station user will know, the dingey under-bridge conditions and proximity of the mini-roundabout make it difficult for pedestrians to catch drivers’ attention, and getting over the road to or from the station can be a dangerous enterprise.

Salford have listened to our concerns, and are currently costing up several options.