Posted by: John Brace | 7th April 2017

Why are taxpayers not Merseyrail paying £139,000+ for each day of Merseyrail strike?

Why are taxpayers not Merseyrail paying £139,000+ for each day of Merseyrail strike?


Cllr Steve Foulkes (middle) answers a question about the Merseyrail strike (L to R Cllr Chris Meaden, Cllr Steve Foulkes, Cllr Moira McLaughlin and Cllr Ann McLachlan) Birkenhead Constituency Committee 30th March 2017

Cllr Steve Foulkes (middle) answers a question about the Merseyrail strike (L to R Cllr Chris Meaden, Cllr Steve Foulkes, Cllr Moira McLaughlin and Cllr Ann McLachlan) Birkenhead Constituency Committee 30th March 2017

Further information has been supplied to this blog which shows new information about the Merseyrail strike planned tomorrow timed to coincide with the Grand National. For the background to this story please read Why are Merseyrail staff striking on the 8th April?

Last year I exclusively published the contract that councillors agreed to between Merseyrail and Merseytravel titled Deed to confirm the Consolidated Concession Agreement relating to the services for the carriage of passengers by railway to be provided by Merseyrail Electrics 2002 Limited.

That contract shows that the cost of the strike action tomorrow and the one day strike recently will not be met by Merseyrail but by Merseytravel.

It is estimated that just the one day strike tomorrow will cost the taxpayers of Merseyside at least £139,000 (plus the cost of any contingency arrangements).

Merseyrail is however required to use all reasonable endeavours to prevent a strike, which may explain Merseyrail’s recent unsuccessful court action to prevent a recent one day strike from happening.

However, financial considerations aside (pictured above is Merseytravel’s Lead Councillor for Finance and Strategy Cllr Steve Foulkes) the union also states that the public supports a guard on every train (as compared to the Merseytravel & Merseyrail view that a guard will not be required on every train once the new trains start running).

The public will have their say on who will decide the future direction of the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority and Merseytravel when a new Metro Mayor is elected next month.

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  1. £139,000… to whom? Who gets this money? What for?
    The train companies generally are already hugely subsidised by the taxpayer and the public must also meet the costs of private companies profiting from a chaotic and fragmented privatised system which has to be micro-regulated to provide some semblance of sanity and coherence.
    What the present system means is that we pay them billions in subsidies so that they can pay millions to shareholders.
    What we need is a national rail service. We had one once. It was called British Rail.

    • I’m not entirely sure of a detailed answer to all these questions, other than the obvious point of passengers receiving refunds for tickets they’d bought for the 8th April.

      You’re right about the large public subsidy that goes to the railways, essentially the franchises awarded to train companies are a monopoly.

    • Right, in answer to one of your points about the £139,000, from the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority to Merseyrail to cover lost revenue.

  2. G’day John

    If you bump into “The Shyster” “Sir Git” on your journeys around Brighton Street.

    You should buy a “Highbrow” high viz jacket like “Highbrow’s so you don’t collide with that massive timepiece.

    No no that’s not what I wanted to talk about.

    You know how when they ask him in the chamber a question he mumbles says he will get back to them and they all go away happy.

    “Highbrow” doesn’t work that way so if the said shamster needs to bone up on section 206 of the Insolvency Act “Highbrow’s” right on it like a car bonnet.

    Just sayin!



    Don’t these people have any decency?

    Another one “The Pretend Friend” will have an “audit trail” on his involvement BOYO.

    Well I say ASPIRE to you you little welsh goat.

    • Hi James,

      I think I’m distinctive enough without a hi vis jacket.

      As to businesses going insolvent, how many businesses do you think will end up relocating abroad or in financial difficulties over Brexit?

  3. Just want to wish Merseyrail staff all the best for today and any other day they strike,
    Just a question to Wirral and Merseyrail. When someone fall from the platform and dies under the wheels of a train, who gets the blame this time?

    • We’ve been discussing the guard issue here too. There are numerous answers to that one.

      A) Councillor on Merseytravel: The new trains will be safer with the driver operating the doors instead of the guards.

      B) The public: We’d prefer to keep the guard on the train.

      C) The unions: We’d prefer to keep the guard on the train.

      D) Merseyrail: Not our fault, the politicians on Merseytravel ordered the new trains!

      Personally I think they should all get round a table and talk because the alternative is three years of strikes while the new trains are being built!

  4. As per usual the taxpayers pick up the tab when it has nothing to do with us and if anyone should have to pay it should be the unions who are calling their staff out on strike.

    MerseyTravel is a dinosaur with dinosaurs running it, Cllr Steve Foulkes and his other Labour cronies who are on the board made sure only Labour counsellors go on the board as it pays very well and they’re all greedy corrupt spongers. They can’t be sacked from the board or voted off, nice work of you can get it.

    As with anything involving politicians they couldn’t give a rats ass how much it costs local taxpayers as long as they’re getting their bit out of it.

    So much for councillors working full time for their constituents, just like MPs they always find enough time to steal our money through other means.

    • Hi Steve,

      Out of the twenty councillors on the Merseytravel Committee, one is a Lib Dem, one is Conservative and the other eighteen are Labour.

      The Conservative and Lib Dem councillor have joined together as a Merseytravel Alliance group, see Merseytravel’s website.