Archive for January, 2009

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Disabled Access for Passengers at Walkden

January 18, 2009

FOWS get a lot of enquiries about access to Walkden station for disabled or mobility impaired passengers, so we’ve compiled this list of advice and handy information that we hope you will find useful.

All the information is correct to the best of our knowledge, but for clarification or further details please do check with Northern Rail (contact details below).

There are 42 stairs and a 17-inch step up to the trains at Walkden station – obstacles which can cause great discomfort to many passengers, and which prevent some people from getting to the trains at all. But did you know …

1) Northern Rail has a Disabled People’s Protection Policy (DPPP) which begins “Northern Rail Limited is committed to providing excellent customer care for disabled passengers, ensuring they enjoy the best possible access and journey comfort when travelling with us

The DPPP is available in a variety of formats from Northern Customer Relations by calling 0845 600 8008 or text-phone 0845 604 5608 or can be downloaded from Northern’s website here

2) Atherton station has a lift from street level to the platform and is served by all trains that stop at Walkden.

3) By prior arrangement Northern Rail will provide a free taxi for disabled passengers to/from Atherton station.

Northern’s DPPP states “Where necessary we will provide an accessible form of road transport between an inaccessible station, and the nearest accessible station on the passenger’s desired route or intermediate point required by the passenger”.

Please call Northern Customer Relations to arrange this service giving 24-hours notice if possible (0845 600 8008 or text-phone 0845 604 5608).

4) Portable ramps are carried on all Northern Rail trains and staff have been instructed to deploy them for any passenger requesting assistance – you do not have to be in a wheelchair or registered disabled.

5) A Disabled Person’s Railcard costs £18 a year and entitles the holder and a travelling companion to a 33% discount on most rail fares

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2008 – A Year in the life of FOWS

January 14, 2009

As we begin 2009, here’s a quick look back at the main events of 2008 for FOWS:

January
Shadow Transport Minister Theresa Villiers follows in the footsteps of the then-Transport Minister Dr Ruth Kelly and visits Walkden station.

March
A healthy turn out for FOWS’ first Annual General Meeting
FOWS armed with buckets of soapy water clean the station frontage
Following FOWS pressure Network Rail renew the pigeon netting under the road bridge

April
FOWS repair vandalised flower beds
Salford council conduct a survey to assess demand for a pedestrian crossing outside the station

May
FOWS install first 3 steel planters on the platform

July
FOWS organise a 120th birthday celebration for the station
FOWS clear the platform of weeds reaching several inches high in places

September
FOWS shortlisted for Best Station Adoption Group at the ACoRP National Rail awards

October
FOWS shortlisted for Best Community Group at Salford City Council’s Community & Social Care awards
FOWS present at Northern Rail’s Stakeholders conference in York

November
FOWS passenger survey records a leap in passenger numbers of 23% in one year
New flower bed built at west end of Manchester platform
Flower beds replanted with winter plants

December
Meet The Manager session at the station
New planters installed at east end of platform
Empty poster case filled with winter-themed poetry

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Motorist beware – new parking restrictions coming on Park Road

January 14, 2009

We have been informed that Salford City Council will shortly commence work on the notorious accident blackspot that is the Park Road/Walkden Road mini-roundabout.

Among the changes are double-yellow lines along Park Road – a popular parking spot for station users. While we understand the reduced congestion will improve the quality of life for residents, it will also make parking harder for rail users.

We have been advised the new parking restrictions will be rigorously enforced by traffic wardens.

FOWS have pointed out to the council the unfairness of restricting parking without making any alternate provision – and this at a time when the council is supposedly promoting public transport use !

Among the other changes planned are road and pavement resurfacing, and the installation of new bollards and railings.

FOWS’s calls for a pedestrian crossing were rejected by the council for fear of the delays it would cause for motorists.

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Thanks for the memories !

January 8, 2009

FOWS were delighted to be contacted by Syd Winward – a regular user of Walkden station back in the 1950’s when he was a pupil at Worsley Technical college.

Syd recalls the Waiting Room which used to adorn the platform being put to good use as fellow students waiting for the 16:30 departure to Atherton would use the waiting time to tackle their homework – and not always as individually as perhaps their tutors intended !

Syd emigrated to New Zealand many years ago but has learnt about FOWS through our website and says “the difference FOWS have made is obvious – keep up the good work”.

Thanks Syd – we will !

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Fares leap way ahead of inflation again

January 2, 2009

Walkden passengers have been hit by another round of higher-than-inflation price rises. This year fares to Manchester have increased in the range of 6% to 7% – streets ahead of inflation and totally out of keeping with the current bleak economic situation.

Peak Return to Mcr Off Peak Return to Mcr Peak Single to Mcr Off Peak Single to Mcr 1 Month Season Ticket
Old fare £4.90 £2.80 £3.00 £2.70 £73.80
New fare £5.20 £3.00 £3.20 £2.90 £78.40
increase 6.12% 7.14% 6.67% 7.41% 6.23%

This year’s rises are similar – or even bigger in some cases – than last January’s.

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Another chance to comment on train services

January 1, 2009

Walkden station users have another chance to comment on services at a public consultation session at Victoria station next Tuesday (6th Jan) from 4pm to 6pm.

The session has been organised by GMPTE and will be attended by representatives of GMPTE, GMPTA and local bus and train operators.

So, if you’re not happy with any aspect of the services or (non) facilities at Walkden station, why not go along and let local transport bosses know about it ?