What did councillors recommend Mersey Tunnel tolls should be for 2017-18?

What did councillors recommend Mersey Tunnel tolls should be for 2017-18?

What did councillors recommend Mersey Tunnel tolls should be for 2017-18?

                                     

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In the video footage above of the Merseytravel Committee (Liverpool City Region Combined Authority) Budget Meeting held on the 2nd February 2017 the Mersey Tunnel Tolls 2017-18 agenda item starts at the 1m 54s point

Cllr Jerry Williams (foreground, right) at the Merseytravel Committee meeting (Liverpool City Region Combined Authority) held on the 2nd February 2017 agenda item 5 Mersey Tunnel Tolls 2017-18
Cllr Jerry Williams (foreground, right) at the Merseytravel Committee meeting (Liverpool City Region Combined Authority) held on the 2nd February 2017 agenda item 5 Mersey Tunnel Tolls 2017-18

Councillors on the Merseytravel Committee of the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority today met and decided on their recommendation for Mersey Tunnels tolls for 2017-18. Mersey Tunnels is the name for the two tolled road tunnels between Wirral and Liverpool under the River Mersey known as the Kingsway (Wallasey) and Queensway (Birkenhead) tunnels.

Three of the four councillors appointed by Wirral Council (Cllr Steve Foulkes (Labour), Cllr Jerry Williams (Labour) and Cllr Ron Abbey (Labour)) were at the meeting and agreed to the recommendation for Mersey Tunnel tolls. Their recommendation was made to a meeting of the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority that meets tomorrow on the 3rd February 2017 to make a final decision.

The recommendation for tunnel tolls (subject to approval by the Mayor of Liverpool and Council Leaders tomorrow afternoon) will take effect from the 1st April 2017.

Tolls are agreed in four classes which are set out below.

Class 1
(a) Motor cycle with side car and 3 wheeled vehicle
(b) Motor car and goods vehicle up to 3.5 tonnes gross weight
(c) Passenger vehicle other than a motor car with seating capacity for under 9 persons

Class 2
(a) Motor car and goods vehicle up to 3.5 tonnes gross weight, with trailer
(b) Goods vehicle over 3.5 tonnes gross weight, with trailer
(c) Passenger vehicle with seating capacity for 9 or more persons, with two axles

Class 3
(a) Goods vehicle over 3.5 tonnes gross weight, with three axles
(b) Passenger vehicle with seating capacity for 9 or more persons, with three axles

Class 4
Goods vehicle over 3.5 tonnes gross weight, with 4 or more axles

Councillors recommended that all liveried emergency services vehicles (such as marked police cars, fire engines and ambulances) continue to be allowed free travel through the Mersey Tunnels in 2017-18.

Free travel for all classes of vehicle was also recommended from 10 pm on the 24th December 2016 to 6 am on the 26th December 2016.

Below is a table of the tolls recommended by councillors at the Merseytravel Committee meeting today from the 1st April 2017 to the 30th March 2018 for each class of vehicle for both the cash toll and Fast Tag toll.






 Vehicle Class  2017-18 Cash Toll  2017-18 Fast Tag Toll 
 1 £1.70£1.20
 2 £3.40£2.40
 3 £5.10£3.60
 4 £6.80£4.80

Further details of how to apply for a Fast Tag can be found on the Mersey Tunnel website.

There is also a concession scheme for Mersey Tunnel tolls for some people with a disability, again details of eligibility and how to apply can be found on the Mersey Tunnels website.

The tolls are opposed by the Mersey Tunnel Users Association who were also present at the public meeting to observe what was decided.

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Isle of Man company cancels plans for ICT College in Birkenhead

Isle of Man company cancels plans for ICT College in Birkenhead

                                                     

Wirral Council (15th December 2015) Cllr Adrian Jones announced plans that have now been cancelled for an ICT College in Birkenhead last month
Wirral Council (15th December 2015) Cllr Adrian Jones announced plans that have now been cancelled for an ICT College in Birkenhead last month

The Isle of Man Today website (which is the website for the three Manx newspapers such as the Isle of Man Courier) reported yesterday that the International Centre for Technology Ltd has "pulled the plug" on a plan to re-use the Conway Building and Hamilton Building (both in Birkenhead).

The Conway Building and the Hamilton Building are both owned by Wirral Council. Manx Education Foundation who had been behind the plans had a minority shareholding in the International Centre for Technology Ltd. However the International Centre for Technology Ltd have since bought out Manx Education Foundation’s shareholding which means the plan for a creative industry training college in Birkenhead will now not happen.

ICT Ltd are instead concentrating on developing a property on the Isle of Man called the Nunnery that they bought from the Tynwald (Isle of Man government) for £5 million that they hope to open later this year.

The now shelved plans for the Conway Building and Hamilton Building were previously reported on this blog and by the Liverpool Echo. News of the plans were first revealed in a report by Cllr Adrian Jones (Cabinet Member for Resources: Finance, Assets and Technology) to councillors last month.

It looks like Wirral Council will have to re-think what they will do with the Conway Building and the Hamilton Building in Birkenhead.

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A look back to a fictional Birkenhead in 1894 and how things hardly change!

A look back to a fictional Birkenhead in 1894 and how things hardly change!

                                                                  

Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson on a train
Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson on a train

As the Christmas special for Sherlock was set in Victorian times, I thought I would write a Christmas special for this blog also set in Victorian times.

INT. BRACE HOUSEHOLD – MORNING (1894)

Queen Victoria is still on the throne and in recent years a railway tunnel between Birkenhead and Liverpool opened in 1886. Mr and Mrs Brace live in the County Borough of Birkenhead in the township of Bidston which is in Cheshire, England.

Mrs Brace is a foreign princess from one of the British Empire’s colonies now called the Dominion of Canada. Mr Brace, a native of Birkenhead edits and owns a small newspaper.

Mr and Mrs Brace sit down to have breakfast together.

MRS BRACE: I hope you slept well, there is much talk in the town about you.

MR BRACE: I’m all ears, what have I done now?

MRS BRACE: Your request using the Public Health Act 1875 to see Birkenhead councillors’ expenses has caused much consternation amongst the political class. They do not approve of you using such modern laws and regard you as a nuisance, in fact Councillor Jones had written a strongly worded letter to a rival newspaper!

MR BRACE: Well dear, I predict that one day Europe will be at peace and the courts will be adjudicating on whether European politicians’ expenses should be revealed. However I fear that will take around a hundred and twenty years. Some things never change!

MRS BRACE: You do have some very fanciful notions my husband! The political class is most perturbed that you have asked for copies of their hackney carriage expenses, the hackney carriage drivers have horses to feed you know!

MR BRACE: Well the voters should know what politicians are doing with their money!

MRS BRACE: But I don’t even get a vote!

MR BRACE: True, true but one day that will change.

MRS BRACE: Do you think the new train to Liverpool will lead to the end of the Mersey Ferry at Woodside?

MR BRACE: Where do you get these strange ideas? No, the trains don’t have the capacity to take everyone who wants to go to Liverpool. The trains carry only 25,000 passengers a day, but the ferries 44,000 passengers a day. It would take at least two further underground tunnels between Wirral and Liverpool to change things! And who has the money to build those tunnels anyway?

If that does ever happen and anybody ever suggests ending the ferry at Woodside I’m sure my newspaper will still be around to report on it then!

(They both laugh).

MRS BRACE: Well that does sound fantastical. Another two tunnels under the River Mersey? It’s like a Jules Verne novel. I’m puzzled as to where the smoke from the trains go as it is.

MR BRACE: Indeed, anything else?

MRS BRACE: Yes, the new maid is working out well.

MR BRACE: I’m glad to hear that.

MRS BRACE: Oh and before I forget, my relatives in Canada have written to me and tell me that the Americans are experimenting with motion pictures.

MR BRACE: How intriguing, I wonder what the public would make of motion pictures of Birkenhead Council meetings?

MRS BRACE: It is only silent movies at the moment and it will be many years before it is perfected.

MR BRACE: I’m sure politicians would not want voters to see their meetings even as silent movies. They seem to spend a lot of the time shouting at each other and getting very cross!

MRS BRACE: Indeed. I just thought you might be interested in it.

MR BRACE: Anyway, I had better get back to writing. Thank you for your most interesting insights.


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EXCLUSIVE: Wirral Council plans revealed for Neptune to run Birkenhead Market

EXCLUSIVE: Wirral Council plans revealed for Neptune to run Birkenhead Market

                                                       

birkenhead-market-lease-birkenhead-market-limited-wirral-borough-council-plan-number-2-internal-floor-plan-thumbnail-min

While much of the news focus has been on the large petition in opposition to changes to Hamilton Square, a report by Cllr Adrian Jones to a meeting of Wirral’s councillors on Monday evening outlines further detail on Neptune’s plans for Birkenhead.

His report states:

A number of other major developments are ongoing, including:
 
  • Negotiations are ongoing with Neptune Developments for the sale of three sites at Europa Boulevard to provide a replacement swimming pool and fitness suite, Budget Hotel, Food court and Fast Food Drive-through. Allied to this as Phase 2 will be the grant of an intermediate lease of
    Birkenhead Market to Neptune to safeguard its continued operation, with a view to the eventual grant of a restructured lease to facilitate the development of a smaller market which will, in turn, release land for the reconfiguration of The Grange.

  • The proposal to establish the Isle of Mann University ICT Faculty in Birkenhead is still being worked on. This will utilise the Conway Building and Municipal Building in Cleveland Street. Proposed Heads of Term have been prepared in anticipation of confirmation from the University that funding is in place.

In other words, Wirral Council plan to grant Neptune an intermediate lease of Birkenhead Market, then "develop" a smaller market so that some (or all) of where Birkenhead Market is at present can be sold to become part of the Pyramids and Grange Shopping Centre.

There are further details on the rest of Neptune’s plans in a story I wrote earlier this year Will councillors tell the public what Neptune’s plans for Birkenhead Market are?

Will will the promised consultation with the public over Neptune’s plans for Birkenhead Town Centre happen?

Meanwhile across the road from Birkenhead Market, Wirral Council look set to lease the Conway Building to what’s down in the report as the "Isle of Man University", but is more likely to be the Isle of Man College at the University of Chester.

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Wirral Council consult on £1.1 million scheme to change Birkenhead’s Hamilton Square

Wirral Council consult on £1.1 million scheme to change Birkenhead’s Hamilton Square

Wirral Council consult on £1.1 million scheme to change Birkenhead’s Hamilton Square

                                                

Remembrance Day 2012 outside Birkenhead Town Hall. If the traffic scheme goes ahead then this area outside Birkenhead Town Hall won't be solely for pedestrians but will be open to two-way road traffic
Remembrance Day 2012 outside Birkenhead Town Hall. If the traffic scheme goes ahead then this area outside Birkenhead Town Hall won’t be solely for pedestrians but will be open to two-way road traffic

Councillor Pat Cleary (Green Party for Birkenhead and Tranmere ward) writes on his blog about a current consultation by Wirral Council proposing changes to Hamilton Square and the surrounding area.

If agreed the changes (you can view a plan of the proposals on the Wirral Green Party’s website it would mean:

  • The removal of the taxi rank outside Hamilton Square train station in Hamilton Street. The reason would be so there could be a puffin crossing outside Hamilton Square train station. This taxi rank would be relocated to two sections of Bridge Street (one for four taxis, one for five taxis).
  • A bus stop in Bridge Street would be relocated to Hamilton Street.
  • The existing bus stop outside Hamilton Square train station would be moved further down Hamilton Street.
  • The area in front of Birkenhead Town Hall which is now closed to road traffic, solely for pedestrians and protected by bollards would become part of the road and open to traffic.
  • The mini roundabout at the Hamilton Square/Hamilton Street junction (to the North-East of Birkenhead Town Hall) would be removed and replaced with a Give Way junction instead.
  • The mini roundabout at the Hamilton Square/Hamilton Street junction (to the South-West of Birkenhead Town Hall) would be removed and replaced with a Give Way junction.
  • The closure at this junction which prevents traffic going to Hamilton Square from the South-West along Hamilton Street would be removed.
  • Hinson Street (now one-way) would be made two-way between Hamilton Street and Henry Street.
  • Hamilton Street (now one-way between Hamilton Square and Conway Street) would be made two-way between Hamilton Square and Conway Street.
  • Conway Street will be closed at its junction with William Street.
  • Alterations to the traffic signals at the Bridge Street/Hamilton Street junction.

The deadline to respond to this consultation is Friday 13th November 2015.

You can respond to the consultation online by visiting this link to Wirral Council’s website (then click on “Comments and objections about new traffic schemes“).

Click Next.

Then enter your contact details and email address (twice).

Click Next again.

The Scheme name/details to enter on the next page are “Hamilton Square re-design“.

The Scheme number is “DC-STEP-1516-2

If you wish to comment or ask a question on the scheme select Comment/ask a question about the scheme from the drop down menu.

If you wish to object to the scheme select Object to the scheme and enter your reasons in the box below.

If you wish to do both select All of the above and enter your comments and objections separately.

Then click Next, followed by Submit.

There was a drop in session on Tuesday November 10th 2015 at Birkenhead Town Hall, Hamilton St, Birkenhead CH41 5EU, between 3pm and 7pm so people could view the plans.

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