What were Cllr Liam Robinson’s answers to 2 questions about vandalism to bus stops and bus shelters in Merseyside?
On Thursday afternoon, the councillors on the Transport Committee of the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority had a public meeting. As I was still on my way back from Merseyside Fire and Rescue Headquarters to Liverpool City Centre following a public meeting of the Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority, my two questions about vandalism involving bus stops and bus shelters were asked in my absence by Louise Outram.
A transcript of my two questions followed by the answers given are below and you can also watch video of that part of the public meeting by following this link.
LOUISE OUTRAM: Thank you, both of the errm individuals who’ve submitted the questions asked that they be read out at the meeting because they weren’t able to attend. So question one from Mr. Brace was, “How often do Merseytravel and the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority or its contractors carry out surveys of bus stops and shelters or if surveys are [not] carried out does it rely just rely on responding to reports from the public when there are problems?”
I think that means if surveys are not carried out.
CLLR LIAM ROBINSON (CHAIR): Yeah thanks Louise and obviously Mr Brace will get a full detailed response within the next ten days then I’m not going to read out what is appended to your Chair’s note, but I think it’s worthy to make the point that we are regularly out surveying errm the kind of bus stop infrastructure of the region.
When you bear in mind we’ve got more than a thousand of them across our region, it’s no mean feat to sort of keep our eye on them and because of that, because it’s such an expansive asset base and errm estate of types if you like because they’re based on the public highway but they are our assets.
Errm that will mean that on occasions unfortunately we’ve got some infrastructure that either is dirty or may be damaged so it is a case of how quickly we can turn that round but we do aim to do that err wherever possible within a forty-eight hour time period. But obviously we’ll give Mr Brace a more detailed errm response within the ten day time period.
So would you like to ask Mr Brace’s second question Louise?
LOUISE OUTRAM: Yes, “If a bus stop has been vandalised, does Merseytravel or the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority report this crime to the Merseyside Police and if so does it know of anyone arrested and charged with vandalising bus stops in the last twelve months as there are certain areas of Merseyside that appear to be hotspots?”
CLLR LIAM ROBINSON (CHAIR): Thanks Louise and again Mr Brace will get a full detailed response from us that is appended to your Chair’s notes but in simple err terms if we’ve got the evidence of the perpetrator we will always make sure we do report it to Merseyside Police or the British Transport Police. However if we don’t have that evidence we don’t, we’re not always in that position to obviously errm gain a prosecution.
I think the more proactive element is the work that we do with the TravelSafe Partnership that obviously Councillor Stockton chairs. Then how closely we work with Merseyside Police and the British Transport Police to provide errm the safest possible transport network.
Now that’s not to say that incidents don’t happen and I think obviously we’re all very concerned by for example the sort of err err very sort of errm bad event at Queens Square Bus Station early in the week.
However notwithstanding that I think we should be proud of the fact that we’ve got one of the safest if not the safest public transport network in the country. Errm and that’s something we’ve always got to aspire to because people need to be comfortable safe and secure when they’re travelling round the city region.
Errm so obviously we’ll get Mr Brace a more detailed response, but simplistically that is the response err that we’ll give.
Earlier in the same public meeting, the Transport Committee agreed to make Cllr John Stockton (from Halton Borough Council) the Lead Member for Bus. The previous Lead Member for Bus had been former Wirral Council Cllr Ron Abbey who ceased to be Lead Member for Bus when he left as a councillor in early May 2019 but the position has been vacant for the past month.
After the May elections on the Wirral of councillors, the representation from Wirral Council on the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority Transport Committee changed from 3 Labour councillors and 1 Conservative councillor to 2 Labour councillors, 1 Conservative councillor and 1 Green councillor.
The representatives from the Wirral are currently Cllr Steve Foulkes (Labour), Cllr Jerry Williams (Labour), Cllr Paul Hayes (Conservative) and Cllr Pat Cleary (Green).
Cllr Steve Foulkes was reappointed at the meeting on Thursday afternoon as Lead Member for Finance and Organisational Development.
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If you need to contact Merseytravel about a bus stop or shelter their contact details are on their website.
The details to do so are below:
“Report Damaged Stops or Shelters 0151 330 1571 (8:30am – 5:00pm, Monday to Friday)
Out of hour and bank holidays 0800 731 3699
You can help us by reporting damage to bus stops and shelters that could be a risk to personal safety by calling the emergency 24-hour hotline.
Please call 0800 731 3699 with the location of the stop or shelter, including the bus stop reference (you’ll find it on the Bus Stop name plate or bus timetable display) or the road name with nearest side road/landmark. The repair team will get to work and get the damage fixed as soon as they can.”
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