Cllr McGlashan “before you even get out of the airport you’ve got to change money to get a pound to put the bloody..”

Cllr McGlashan “before you even get out of the airport you’ve got to change money to get a pound to put the bloody..”

Cllr McGlashan “before you even get out of the airport you’ve got to change money to get a pound to put the bloody..”


Merseytravel meeting of the 25th July 2014
Merseytravel meeting (25th July) Right Cllr Les Rowlands, centre background Cllr Steve Foulkes and Cllr Ron Abbey where councillors discussed Liverpool John Lennon Airport

Last Friday, as well as discussing the Open Golf and Mersey Gateway bridge tolls issue councillors on Merseytravel also discussed (which is rather topical as many people will be using Liverpool Airport at this time of year) a report titled “Liverpool John Lennon Airport Surface Access Delivery Plan July 2014” and its appendix which was a forty-three page draft plan.

In case the rather opaque title of the report means absolutely nothing to you (the officer who wrote it Peter Sandman summarised the report and draft plan for councillors at the meeting) it was about improving access to Liverpool John Lennon Airport by bus, improving marketing (which includes joint marketing of the airport by Merseytravel and the airport itself) and the customer experience (improved information & improved customer service as well as other areas). The review was started in September 2013 and the draft plan contains improvements to be carried out between now and 2016.

An example of some of the improvements in the plan are better signage to the bus stops at the airport, a cleaning regime for the bus stops and airport staff receiving WorldHost training (provided by Merseytravel). This is the same free training that was offered to Wirral’s taxi drivers ahead of the Open Golf Championship. The Northern Rail ticket machine has also been moved from the airport (which doesn’t have a rail connection and where there were poor ticket sales) to nearby Liverpool South Parkway train station.

Bus timetables are now available outside the main arrivals point and if Merseytravel get grant funding they plan to have an electronic departure board for buses in the airport’s arrivals hall and at the bus stops. Merseytravel is also in talks with bus operators that serve the airport to enhance the quality of the existing routes. Councillors will be receiving a quarterly report on progress. A number of councillors had things to say about the report and draft plan at Merseytravel’s meeting.

Cllr Ken McGlashan (Knowsley) said, “Thanks Chairman, thanks for that excellent report Pete, really good. It reports on the warts and all, if you look at 3.3, 3.3.1 “how to retain and grow local outbound marketing in the face of competition from other regional airports” and let’s be clear about it, if you’re not to go about it the wrong way, Liverpool John Lennon Airport have precisely done that.

I think from our house to Manchester is about twenty-eight minutes, it’s round about the same I know you’ve got to go to Huyton, it’s about the same to Liverpool Airport but then again if I was to go to Liverpool Airport now, I’ve got to pay to drop off! You know is this a good advert for anybody? I think also you’re charging for trollies as well, Manchester you don’t. You know it is a nonsense!

Imagine a transatlantic flight was diverted to Liverpool and some are trying to find quarters that don’t fit the pound machine. So before you even get out of the airport you’ve got to change money to get a pound to put the bloody… sorry about that, to put your luggage on, you know.

When they owned the airport, the authorities owned the airport, we sold it to Paul err Peel, because they were going to offer us a better service. They in turn put it onto these Canadians, who now seem to be doing everything they can to move everything to Manchester so you know I think the more influence we can have about this to get them to look at this the better.

The 500 service, Merseytravel initiated that, Arriva didn’t! Until it was making a profit, they just got in there and took it off us because it was making a profit.

Now, we’re travelling and I’ll say to them, that the officers have received complaints but they’re doing exactly the same with the trains. The train comes in on each side, the bus comes in at another time. You know, we’re talking about integration, meeting our people’s needs. I mean to do that, you say yourself, you put yourself out to meet passenger needs and unfortunately I don’t think they are at present. A bit of a rant Chair I’m sorry.”

Peter Sandman (Merseytravel’s Customer and Business Development Manager) said, “It’s a fair point, I think the point has been made to the Airport. I think one important thing we have done is started to have that regular dialogue to be perfectly honest with you.

I think the charging for parking, you could argue that it encourages use of the public transport network if I’m being honest with you. One thing the Airport have pledged to do is to really support basically not levy any parking charges to the bus operators who’ve actually started to think about how they are running the service commercially into and out of the airport to increase the provision of service and there is support there absolutely.

I think the other point is that with Peel now taking on the majority shareholding with the airports, the feedback from bodies it’s certainly they are much more focussed on strategic development and commercial development of the airport.

I mean that seems to travel my shift away from the way the previous owners, … felt towards the Airport. So hopefully through this process we have genuinely made those representations to answer your question, as you correctly say and then through this ongoing dialogue we’re starting to look at how those issues be resolved for the benefit of the customers who ultimately will sustain the Airport going forward.”

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EXCLUSIVE: Incredible £88,174 loss made by Merseytravel on sale of Liverpool pub (continued)

EXCLUSIVE: Incredible £88,174 loss made by Merseytravel on sale of Liverpool pub (continued)

EXCLUSIVE: Incredible £88,174 loss made by Merseytravel on sale of Liverpool pub (continued)


Continues from EXCLUSIVE: Incredible £88,174 loss made by Merseytravel on sale of Liverpool pub.

Tony (Merseytravel officer): Also the plot in front of you doesn’t have any access to the highway and fronts the street. There’s very little space in that it’s actually quite a small plot of land.

Cllr Liam Robinson (Liverpool City Council, Labour): Tony?

Cllr Anthony Carr (Sefton Council, Labour): Thanks Tony too. Do you have any details of the acquisition of the land neighbouring the land and when the current owners took possession of that land about the date that they purchased that land for? Whether it was because it was a big piece of land…about it was eighteen months.. the land valuation office about the land valuation office so it gives you a better guide as to not what they wanted, but what they already paid for the land that they’ve already got?

Tony (Merseytravel officer): I’m sorry I don’t have those details but I’ll see what I can find out.

Cllr Liam Robinson (Liverpool City Council, Labour): Again Steve?

Cllr Steve Foulkes (Wirral Council, Labour): I suggest progress Chair that I think this, now that it’s a public document which I think it should be, the land valuation is out there and in you know the public arena. We’re unlikely then, to get any more than this for this piece of land but can we ask officers to consider the options that Members have raised when parcels of land like this as a general policy that we go to auction or we use that methodology to see if we can get the best return we can on any piece of land or any asset that we sell?

Cllr Liam Robinson (Liverpool City Council, Labour): Yeah absolutely and I think that it’s central to the way that we deal with any asset I would sell in making sure that now the District Auditor and the District Valuer at all times for any disposal or acquisition with us in getting that relevant necessary advice at all times. Mary?

Cllr Mary Rasmussen (Liverpool City Council, Labour): Just a kind of an afterthought really Chair. It would be interesting to know what pieces of land we do own and where they are so that we can be forewarned if you like we know nothing just jump out of the ground and be flogged off rather cheaply in the future? Just to make as all aware.

Cllr Liam Robinson (Liverpool City Council, Labour): And I think fundamentally all these things are captured in our asset register and it would be useful to actually have a workshop for all Members to take Members through everything that remains within the asset register and what its strategic long-term how its potential is. Ken?

Cllr Ken McGlashan (Knowsley Council, Labour): Thanks Chairman. We used to have a New Deal for Communities earlier in across my area in Huyton and when we demolished about eleven hundred houses the price of the land then was at the maximum. Now we’re lucky to get a third of that price for that land and what we’re looking to do now is hold onto the land so we’ve got a development project. We already have developments there.

When they’ve finished one plot, hopefully that will sort of drive up the price of the next plot up. So the price of land at the moment is at an all time low and about ..%. The price has been advertised so nobody is going to pay more than the advertised price.

Cllr Liam Robinson (Liverpool City Council, Labour): Gordon?

Cllr Gordon Friel (Sefton Council, Labour): Just really a technical point on how we put this in the public domain. If we decided that we really wanted to seek an auction price for this meeting, we’d have declared our hand by it being a public document. Would we compromise ourselves? So I just wonder … that the information was regarding this, the mark down, but are we best advised putting this in the public arena with this being sold in anyway? Thank you very much Chair.

Cllr Liam Robinson (Liverpool City Council, Labour): Ok, if there’s no further contributions, if I can move the recommendation in paragraph seven of the report?

Councillors: Agreed.

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