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Publication date:- 2017-01-13

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Rail strikes looming for Merseyrail commuters

THE scenes witnessed this year, in London, of travel chaos coursed by the Tube Strikes, have resulted in banner headlines around the world. As we head into Brexit, strikes like this are, according to some business leaders, extremely dangerous and can result in the loss of confidence from international investors. Whether this is true or false, a real financial impact of the strike, in London, has been felt and it has produced bad headlines, just at the wrong time. Now, on Merseyside, we are facing the real possibility of a strike as well, which could result in the Merseyrail network being shut down. Just as in London, at stake are over jobs and new trains, but also according to the Rail Union RMT, the safety of the public is going to be at risk.

On Merseyside the latest announcement, by the RMT, follows on from Merseyrail getting the "green light" to buy "state of the art trains" to replace the current rolling stock, back in December 2016. Merseyrail also said that as a result, the network’s guards would be removed from operations on its services, due to the fact the new rolling stock will be driver only operated units.  When the idea of diver only units 1st came about, it lead to the RMT, back in September 2015 issuing statements about them having:- "grave concerns over the downgrading of passenger safety."  They also had huge concerns over the future job security of fleet maintenance workers affected by the decision, so following on from December's headlines, it was on the cards that the RMT would take action.

This latest RMT announcement comes soon after news headlines about a train driver appearing in the Magistrates Court, accused of dragging a woman along a platform, when her hand was stuck in a carriage door. That incident, took place on 25 July 2016, at Hayes and Harlington Station. The case has since been referred by Highbury Magistrates to Blackfriars Crown Court, with the trial date set for sometime in February 2017. How this case will affect or not affect things, both here and in London, are yet to be seen. But it has added weight to the RMT’s arguments at this point in time.

We are told that on 11 January 2017, the RMT informed Merseyrail that it will be in dispute, should they fail:- "to provide cast iron assurances around the future of the safety critical role of the guards, on the network, by 26 January 2017."  RMT general secretary, Mick Cash then told the media that:- "The Union’s position on Driver Only Operation is perfectly clear. We will not agree to any extensions of DOO and will fight to retain the safety critical role of the guard and to keep a guard on the train. RMT has asked Merseyrail on numerous occasions for assurances that any new trains will have a second, safety critical crew member on board and that the guard will be retained on all services. To date, the company has failed to provide the Union with these assurances. If Scotrail, which is run by Abellio, the same franchisee that operates Merseyrail, can introduce new trains with guards, then so can Merseyrail. And if Stadler, which is building the Merseyrail trains, can build conventionally operated trains for the Greater Anglia franchise, which is also run by Abellio, then it can build them for Merseyrail. I have written to Merseyrail and informed them that if we haven’t received assurances over the safety critical role of the guard, by 26 January 2017, then we will be in dispute with the company."

If you would like to see what the new trains will look like and more information about them, you can do so via clicking here to see our report from November 2016.  So what are your views on this issue? Are you affected by the plans or do you feel like the RMT safety is at stake. Do you like what Merseyrail and Liverpool City Region are planning? We want views from all sides, so please email our newsroom to:- News24@SouthportReporter.Com.

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North West Ambulance Service Awarded for Outstanding Contribution to Improving A&E Care

NHS teams from across the North of England have... Click on here to find out more...

Yorkshire Bank to Recognise Community Spirit in Merseyside
Liverpulians raise over £8,000 for rescue pets
13 year old on moped involved with serious road traffic collision
Public views sought on proposals for a modern Sefton Bus Network
FareShare Merseyside invite athletes to tackle food waste
Local man honoured for decades of volunteering
Local man honoured for decades of volunteering
Freemasons give £50,000 to parents of children with mental health problems in Merseyside
Nurse recruitment open evening at Southport Hospital
Local cartoonist drawn to writing children's books
Cut the cost of your energy by signing up to collective switch
Small business confidence in the North West recovers despite increasing costs
Firefighters urge everyone to make a new year's pledge to test their smoke alarms monthly
Another Post Office to close on Merseyside!
Father and son sentenced for burglary of local Churches
Update on Knowsley Road, Southport stabbing
Merseyside Police make 9 arrests and size 3 bikes
Birkdale care village receives planning permission
Adult learning service praised in new report
Next of kin appeal for Dorothy Caines from Southport
Unlicensed landlord fined £8,000
North West Ambulance Service Awarded for Outstanding Contribution to Improving A&E Care
Theft at jewellers Southport, do you know who this man is?
Search for stolen property from house in Formby
Hillsborough criminal probe has 23 suspects
An illuminating start to the Year of the Roostere

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£200,000 investment blows wind of change through intensive care

INTENSIVE care patients at Southport Hospital... Click on here to find out more.

Click on to read an exclusive interview with Liverpool based Scream Streets author...
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B.O.A. 70th Anniversary DVD

Click on to buy now...THE 70th BOA events this year in Liverpool has now been fully edited is available to buy, on a DVD, from our Online Shop, on Mersey Reporter very soon.  For each DVD sold, £3.00 will go to Unique opera exhibition hits the right note at Central Library the Liverpool's Lord Mayor's Charity Appeal. (Registered Charity No. 229539)  At this stage we can only do UK postage options, but if you are outside the UK, you can still order copies, but only via emailing our newsroom at:- with your FULL address and we will get back to you with a postage cost and a payment link, should you wish to continue.


Happy Birthday to Maureen Doyle from Practice Makes Perfect

Happy Birthday to Rosanna Cappiello from all your friends in Formby and Southport

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Deceased estates notice - Lilian May Jackam

Pursuant to the Trustee Act 1925, any persons having a claim against or an interest in the Estate of Lilian May Jackam (also known as Lillian May) Jackam (Deceased), late of Birch Abbey Rest Home, 55 Alexandra Road, Southport, Merseyside, PR9 9HD, UK, who died on 04/10/2018, are required to send particulars thereof in writing, to the undersigned Solicitors, on or before 24/05/2019, after which date the Estate will be distributed having regard only to claims and interests of which they have had notice. Churches Solicitors, 12 High Street, Fareham, Hampshire, PO16 7BL, UK. Ref:- 'T553015.'

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