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Half-price rail travel for young apprentices in the Liverpool City Region

From today (September 2) young people in apprenticeships across the Liverpool City Region are being given half-price train travel, just in time for the start of the autumn term.

 The Apprentice Travelcard could now save apprentices aged 19-24 as much as £680 a year on train travel, that’s on top of the £420 saving already available on bus travel.

 The discount scheme fulfils a key election pledge made by Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram to remove one of the main barriers to entry for young people looking to enter vocational training – access to affordable transport.

 Launched in November 2018, the Apprentice Travelcard is one of the most generous transport discount schemes for apprentices in the country, and was recently recognised by the TUC as an example of best practice which should be adopted across the UK.

 Chris Williams, 23, uses his Apprentice Travelcard to access half-price bus travel between his home in Garston and the City of Liverpool College where he is enrolled on a vocational training course. He is now looking to take advantage of discount available on rail travel.

 Chris said: “The half price bus travel has made a massive difference. It makes being an apprentice a much more viable option since I don’t have to worry about money as much – it’s saved me a ton already. It’s really helped me out, and it’s great for me that it’s extending to the trains too.”

 To get hold of an Apprentice Travelcard applicants must be aged between 19-24 and living in one of the six districts of the Liverpool City Region – Halton, Knowsley, Liverpool, St Helens, Sefton and Wirral.

 Eligible cardholders will then be able purchase weekly and monthly Railpass season tickets at 50% discount from all Merseyrail and staffed Northern stations. Depending on the travel zones covered by the pass, the ticket allows unlimited travel across the Northern, Wirral and City lines with all rail operators, including Merseyrail, Northern and Transpennine Express.

 Application packs are available from training providers, further education colleges and at Merseytravel TravelCentres – further details are available at merseytravel.gov.uk/apprentice

 Liverpool City Region Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram said: “With the autumn term about to begin, I’m pleased that we’re able to help young people starting on apprenticeships by giving them half-price travel which could potentially save them hundreds of pounds a year.

 Apprenticeships are a vital pathway to skilled, well-paid jobs. As the TUC highlighted recently, we’re leading the country when it comes to removing transport costs as an obstacle for young people beginning vocational training.
Yet again, we’re showing how devolution and local decision making can improve the lives of ordinary people across our city region. “

 Councillor Liam Robinson, transport portfolio holder for the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority said: “Making travel by public transport easier and more affordable for young people has always been a priority for us.

 “Already young people in the Liverpool City Region have access to great value rail fares, with Railpass tickets offering them unlimited travel across the Merseyrail network for less than £2.50 a day.

“I’m delighted that we’ve been able to extend the provision of reduced fares to young apprentices, right up to their 25th birthday.”

Southport Air Show 2019: Traffic & Travel advice

As thousands of aviation enthusiasts descend on Southport for the annual awe inspiring Air Show next weekend, Sefton Council has put together a helpful guide to the three day spectacular. 

Bigger than ever before, the stunning show takes place along Southport’s golden sands from Friday, September 6 to Sunday, September 9 with tens of thousands of visitors due to visit the resort over the weekend.

Also paying a flying visit to Southport will be a whole host of jaw dropping aeroplanes performing stunning, daring and, at times, emotional displays to wow crowds, starting with a thundering Friday night line up.

A fireworks finale on Friday will set up an amazing weekend of both aerial and ground entertainment for the whole family.

However before all that, visitors need to know how and when to get there!

Gates will open at 6pm on Friday (September 6) and from 10am on Saturday and Sunday (September 7-8).

With thousands of people expected to visit the resort over the three days, the local road networks will be busy and visitors are encouraged to take full advantage of public transport where possible.

Due to the size of the show, a number of road closures will be required to assist with the setup and safety of all those attending.

Marine Drive (Pleasureland to Marine Parade) will be closed from 4:30pm on Wednesday, September 4 to Monday, September 9.

From Friday, September 9 the following road closures will also be in effect at varying times:

Coastal Road (Weld Road – Pleasureland) 

Esplanade (Victoria Park – Marine Drive) 

Marine Drive (Fairways – Marine Parade) 

Both the Coastal Road and Marine Drive will reopen each evening following site checks.

Those travelling to the show by car are advised to tune in to the dedicated Southport Air Show Radio channel on 87.7FM for the latest news and up to date travel and parking advice.

Parking is available on Princes Park, the Esplanade Car Park and Victoria Park. Beach and Marine Drive parking will only be available on Saturday and Sunday.

Directional signage and stewards will be on hand throughout all three days to lead visitors to designated parking sites.

Motorists are advised to switch off any Sat Navs and follow air show signage.

Cllr Marion Atkinson, Sefton Council’s Labour Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Skills, said: “The 28th Southport Air Show promises to be a fantastic three day event for all the family and I can’t wait to see the huge crowds across the weekend.

“We are committed to offering an incredible events programme throughout the year which caters for all the family.

“This promises to be an exciting weekend for the Southport Air Show and the whole of the borough with an incredible flying programme. If you are planning to attend, make sure to get there early and make the most of your visit to our beautiful borough.”

Once the show finishes each evening, visitors are encouraged to take full advantage of the resort’s fabulous restaurants and nighttime entertainment.

More details about the 2019 Southport Air Show and other information about Southport is available via www.visitsouthport.com.

LFC fans urged to follow travel advice and plan ahead of Champions League final weekend.

Travel advice and information is now available for Liverpool Football Club’s big weekend – the Champions League final (Saturday June 1) and the potential homecoming parade (Sunday June 2).

The information is being made available now to ensure LFC fans, and those travelling for other reasons – such as those attending the Bordeaux Wine Festival and the River Festival in Liverpool City Centre – can plan their journeys in advance.

The Champions League final will kick off at 8pm. Fans choosing to watch the game in pubs, bars and at specially organised events are being advised to plan how they will get home, especially if the game goes to extra time and penalties, with most last public transport services scheduled around 11pm.

Should a parade go ahead, thousands of people are expected to come into Liverpool and the gathering of crowds along the route will cause disruption to the transport network, both in the period up to the start of the parade, during it and afterwards as services work to get back to normal.

In addition, Sunday service provision, with some engineering works on the rail network, will mean that the transport network is extremely busy.

Detailed information on bus, rail, Mersey Ferries and the Mersey Tunnels is available at www.merseytravel.gov.uk/lfcparade, but key pointers include:

• We want you to have a brilliant weekend. Please plan your travel in advance to ensure you can get where you’re going to go and home again.
• Use public transport wherever possible, but consider that trains and buses will be running to a Saturday/Sunday timetable with some rail services affected by engineering works, and bus services will be disrupted as a result of parade road closures. Check before you travel.
• If you live along or close to the parade route, stay local and walk or cycle. This may give you the best vantage point and means you can avoid a busy transport network.
• The open top bus won’t be stopping so take advantage of the full length of the route.
• Decide which part of the route you want to wait at and arrive in plenty of time.
• The transport network will be very busy. Prepare to queue and factor this in. Don’t aim for the last service home.
• Be patient – it is impossible to predict how long it will take the team bus to travel along the route. This will also impact on when road closures will be lifted and when affected bus routes can get back to normal.
• On the Sunday, Merseyrail will have an amended timetable in place. James St and Lime Street (low-level) stations will be closed all day, as will Green Lane, Bromborough Rake and Capenhurst on the Wirral line. These closures will remain in place whether or not a parade takes place.
• Should the parade take place, for passengers travelling in Liverpool city centre, Northern line trains will call at Moorfields only and Wirral line trains will call at Liverpool Central only.
• On the Sunday, should the parade go ahead, Mersey Ferries will be running a shuttle service from 1500, with the last service back to Seacombe at 1930.

Wayne Menzies Head of Rail for the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, and Chair of the Major Events Transport Board, said: “Both events on the Saturday and the Sunday will put significant pressures on limited weekend transport services. The sheer volume of people and road closures will also bring disruption, particularly to bus services.

“We want people to have a weekend to remember for the right reasons, so it’s essential that you plan your travel in advance so you know you can get where you are going and home again. We also encourage people to keep an eye on the latest travel information.

“We have been working closely with Liverpool FC, transport operators, Liverpool City Council, Merseyside Police and other partners to ensure that we are doing all we can to help people get to the events and home again safely.”

‘Live’ travel updates before, during and after the parade will be available on Twitter @Merseytravel, #LFCparade

Roll-out of new 24/7 £1 Mersey Tunnel toll begins

Today is the first day Liverpool City Region residents will benefit from the new  24/7  £1 Fast Tag toll for the Mersey Tunnels. The reduced rate is now available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Figures released today by Merseytravel and the Combined Authority reveal that more than 57,000 people a day in the city region will benefit from the new lower toll – which could save regular tunnel users living in Halton, Knowsley, Liverpool, Sefton, St Helens and Wirral more than £400* a year.

The cash toll for cars will be frozen at £1.80, still 20p less per journey than the rise authorised by the Tunnels Act. The tolls for all other vehicles – including large vans, coaches and HGVs – will also be held at 2018 rates.

 

A new portal can help you find the right apprenticeship in the Liverpool City Region

Finding and taking up one of a huge range of apprenticeships available across the Liverpool City Region is set to get much easier from today (Tuesday 5th March 2019) as Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram launches the UK’s first one-stop web portal for apprenticeships.

The UCAS-style portal – www.be-more.info – has been created thanks to the Metro Mayor’s powers relating to the skills agenda, and brings together apprenticeship opportunities from employers so that prospective apprentices in the Liverpool City Region can find the local information they need in one place.

Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, said:

“This is the first website anywhere in the country bringing together such a wide range of information about apprenticeship opportunities and how to apply for them, and we have built it here, in the Liverpool City Region, specifically for our residents.

“In my election manifesto I promised to simplify the way people access apprenticeship opportunities through an easily accessible, online apprenticeship portal for the city region and I’m proud to have fulfilled that pledge.

“Visitors to the site will be amazed at the type of apprenticeships we have in the city region, it’s not just the traditional trades, you can study at degree level and beyond in subjects ranging from Clinical Engineering – to becoming a Paralegal. There is certainly much more on offer in terms of opportunities and qualifications than when I did a traditional bricklaying apprenticeship.”

The portal was built in consultation with current and prospective apprentices and is part of the Combined Authority’s plans to ensure that the city region develops the skills that its economy needs.

The Metro Mayor is committed to increasing the number, breadth and relevance of apprenticeships across the Liverpool City Region, enabling more employers and learners to access and benefit from apprenticeships.

The new web portal, which is the first of its kind, is being launched to coincide with National Apprenticeship Week, and not only offers opportunities, but also features details on how to apply for an apprenticeship, how to get there, and even what specific travel benefits may be available.

This new online facility will also be a useful tool for employers across the six constituent local authorities (Halton, Knowsley, Liverpool, Sefton, St Helens and Wirral) to advertise their apprenticeship vacancies.

Councillor Ian Maher, Liverpool City Region Combined Authority Portfolio Holder for Education, Employment, Skills and Apprenticeships, said:

“Ensuring that we can recruit the right number of apprentices in the right sectors is absolutely crucial to ensuring that the Liverpool City Region economy has the skills it needs to thrive in the 21st century.

“One of the key messages we have to get out there is that apprenticeships have changed and can now be a route to highly-skilled, highly-paid careers in almost every sector of the job market.  This new portal is a vital part of our efforts to boost recruitment to apprenticeships by making it much easier and simpler to find out what opportunities exist and how to apply for them.”

Alex Ennion from Wirral is in the first year of a three year Healthcare Science degree apprenticeship with Aintree University Hospital. He said:

“When I complete my degree, I’ll be a specialist rehabilitation engineer so I’ll be going out into the community in the North West fitting equipment for patients who have traumatic brain injuries or conditions like Motor Neurone Disease or Multiple Sclerosis. By already being in a full time job, I’m working with a lot of cutting edge technology in this field a lot sooner than I would through the traditional route.

“I’ll be helping people by fitting assistive technology in their home which can help them to live more independently. These can be tablets that allows the user, who can only move their upper neck, to use their eyes to turn the TV or the lights on or off themselves.”

Aidan Matear is a 24 year old patient at Aintree University Hospital with cerebral palsy. He uses his natural eye movements to control his laptop and said:

“This equipment has been life-changing for me – it has made it easier for me to communicate and made it possible for me to complete my degree. It has enabled me to fulfil my dream of becoming a writer. Having this technology specifically configured for me and tailored to my abilities has reduced some of the barriers I face in day-to-day life and I am immensely grateful to the team at Aintree Hospital.”

Ruth Hoyte, Director of Workforce & Organisational Development at Aintree University Hospital, said:

“Apprenticeships are helping us to build a strong future workforce by developing the skills of our existing staff and offering job opportunities to our local communities. That’s great news for Aintree, our patients and the NHS as a whole. It’s fantastic to see apprenticeships being promoted across the Liverpool City Region and we’re pleased to support the launch of this new portal.”

Paul Smyth, the Apprenticeship Lead for Aintree University Hospital, said:

“We’ve had 200 apprentices through the door at Aintree University Hospital studying at a variety of levels and from different backgrounds. It makes perfect sense to be able to share our opportunities on a portal that local people can access. I think that is particularly important when you’re trying to decide whether to do an apprenticeship or take an academic route. Here you can weigh up your options and decide what’s going to be best for you. ”

To find out more information about apprenticeships across the Liverpool City Region go to www.be-more.info

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