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Liverpool City Region Combined Authority Publishes Clean Air Proposals

The Liverpool City Region Combined Authority will be asked to endorse an interim air quality action plan at its meeting next Friday (November 1).

 The interim plan, developed by its Air Quality Task Force, which includes representatives from partner organisations across the city region, makes a number of recommendations, including:

  • Development of a 600km walking and cycling network
  • Investigating scrappage schemes such as a Taxi Scrappage Scheme
  • Working towards a zero emission bus fleet by 2040
  • A commitment to work closely with partners across all six of the Combined Authority’s constituent local authorities, who are all represented on the Air Quality Task Force
  • Rolling out a network of alternative fuel facilities across the region, such as hydrogen fuelling facilities, linked to a £6.4 million scheme to pilot hydrogen buses in the city region
  • Investigating alternative models of bus delivery to best serve the needs of the city region and improve air quality
  • Potential of a boiler scrappage scheme to help address domestic consumption and fuel poverty
  • Investigating measures to reduce heat loss from homes, potentially through retrofitting insulation, to reduce energy use – around 25% of the heat produced by a boiler can escape through an uninsulated roof
  • Procuring new cleaner, greener Mersey Ferries vessels to replace the existing, 60-year old vessels
  • Making the case to Government for long-term funding certainty to support the delivery of measures that support clean air

 Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, said: “Ensuring that everyone can breathe clean air is one of the most fundamental issues facing us today and an issue that we must address together.

“Earlier this year the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority declared a climate emergency and addressing poor air quality is at the heart of responding to it.

“As is so often the case, it is our most deprived communities, who already have to cope with multiple health problems, who suffer most from the effects of polluted air.  Public Health England has calculated that air pollution contributes to 700 deaths a year in our city region and we know that we have areas where men have a life expectancy seven years lower than the national average. 

“We have had some notable successes in tackling air pollution. Seven-out-of-ten buses in the city region are now low emission, we are home to pioneering work to develop trains that run on hydrogen and we’re building on our strength in offshore wind with the development our potentially world-leading Mersey Tidal Power scheme.

“And this action plan sets out how we can work together with partners across the whole of our city region to tackle this ongoing public health emergency.”

Councillor Liam Robinson, Liverpool City Region Combined Authority Portfolio Holder for Air Quality and Transport, said: “Clearly no single organisation or individual can address poor air quality alone. That’s why our Air Quality Task Force is made up of elected and other representatives from across the six local authority area of the city region. And it’s why this plan, the first result of its work, contains actions for the Combined Authority, for our constituent local authorities and partners, supported by the Combined Authority, for residents, communities and businesses and actions we need from central government and its agencies.

“We all need to change the way we live, work and do business if we are to improve our air quality for ourselves and for future generations.  And we need to make those changes now.” 

Borough of Culture Shines on Sefton!

Crosby Coastal Park is set to be lit up with an amazing light constellation and high-octane entertainment to signal the start of Sefton’s build up to the Borough of Culture.

The Borough of Culture (BoC) title is awarded by the Liverpool City Region’s Combined Authority to one of its six local authorities (Halton, Knowsley, Liverpool, Sefton, St Helens and Wirral) on a rotating, annual basis.

2019 is currently Wirral’s year while 2020 will be dedicated to Sefton with a raft of new, existing and community led events planned for the year.

To start the build-up to Sefton’s year, a huge light constellation – Parabolic Lightcloud – will be switched on in Crosby Coastal Park on Friday, November 8.

This forms part of a Liverpool City Region arts project designed to inspire local communities to rediscover their local neighbourhoods and spend time stargazing.

On November 8, there will be an evening of activities including local bands, choirs, food-stalls and Spark! Spark! are a street theatre show performed by five to seven characters that combines high-impact drumming, dynamic choreography and beautiful lighting design.

The constellation will be located at the bottom of South Road, Waterloo and will be there all weekend (November 8-10) along with entertainment from 4pm-8pm each evening.

Cllr Trish Hardy, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Housing, is the main sponsor for the Borough of Culture year. She said: “As Wirral’s amazing year draws to a close, we can’t wait to receive the Borough of Culture baton off them and launch Sefton’s.

“The Borough of Culture title for 2020 is one we are extremely proud of and can’t wait to showcase everything about our wonderful borough. The focus of our year will be on stories looking at two key elements, local history and the environment.

“To start the build-up, an impressive light constellation will be switched on in Crosby Coastal Park in an evening of celebrations. This is open to everyone and I hope as many people as possible attend the event and marvel at the constellation.

“If you can’t make the Friday, the display will be there all weekend and we want families and friends to get a photograph of the constellation and widely share it on social media tagging us in and using #Sefton2020.

“This is just the start of an exciting 12 months of cultural activities tapping into new, existing and community led events across the whole of the borough.”

Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, added: “Culture and creativity are integral to our vision of the city region as a prosperous, fair and exciting place to live, work and invest.  The Borough of Culture award and the Constellations project, which is taking place both in Sefton and our other five boroughs, are part of our efforts to boost involvement in culture and creativity across the whole of the city region. 

“Just as the Wirral is reaching the culmination of what has been a brilliant year as our Borough of Culture it is very exciting to see Sefton start the build up to their year in the spotlight.”

The Borough of Culture initiative is part of the Metro Mayor’s Culture programme for the Liverpool City Region which includes investment in key cultural projects such as £10.55m for the construction of the Shakespeare North Playhouse in Prescot and £5m support for the Liverpool 2018 celebrations, which brought the Giants back to the city region for the final time.

This investment is in addition to the activity around the annual Borough of Culture celebrations, and the 1% for Culture initiative, which saw Liverpool City Region become the first in the country to commit to spending the equivalent of 1% of its annual £30 million devolution funding from government to stimulate cultural and creative activities.

Activities will start in Crosby Coastal Park at 4pm on Friday, November 8 with the constellation switch on at about 6.15pm. The constellation display will be there until Sunday, November 10 with entertainment planned from 4pm-8pm on all three nights (November 8-10).

The event is free to attend although there are drop off points to welcome any foodbank donations on any day for South Sefton Foodbank. Please consider using public transport to attend as well.

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

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