Blog of @AndyKinsey,
Labour Candidate for Hyde Werneth.
Over the past year or two, talking the residents of Hyde Werneth, I’ve heard a lot of concerns in the area - and with the help of Cllr Raja Miah, have been able to help residents and improve their lives.
Hyde Werneth is not your typical area though, there is much less political apathy than the majority of areas in the North West. But although there is no shortage of opinion there are still a large number of residents who are not registered to vote.
Everyone wants their voice to be heard, and I’ve made every effort to ensure that happens - including talking to my political opponents to ensure their views are heard and considered. However, without voting your voice can only do so much.
By registering to vote you help guarantee your voice will be heard and your views considered during the decisions the council makes, and of course the EU and Parliament.
A vote may just appear to be a cross on a piece of paper, but in reality it is your ticket to issues being fixed - a vote for a person you believe can help is a vote for good (for you and your area).
So… Click the link, register to vote, and …
As someone who works with local communities around Tameside, and works for a living in Manchester, I travel across Greater Manchester by train almost everyday of the week. As such I know the good, the bad and the ugly stations across Manchester, I know that in Tameside we’ve got a few stations needing attention for reasons such as making them accessible for disabled or elderly residents. But I seldom would consider a train station to be unsafe, I don’t usually find myself thinking “I wouldn’t use that station”. So the words “unsafe station” don’t come easily, and I don’t use them lightly - but here is the story as to why I feel that Fairfield Station is today an Unsafe Station.
On 17th Oct I first noticed that the lights at Fairfield train station were not working on one platform - this just a few days after their newly installed cctv had been ripped out by vandals. - https://twitter.com/andykinsey/status/390897010246946816
A few days later I noticed the other side had gone out, leaving just one light on the platform toward guide bridge lighting the station. (21st) - http://twitter.com/5404092/statuses/392348963749527552.
Northern replied that evening saying it would be looked into.
A few days later (24th) the lights appeared fixed, i gave them applause on twitter for acting to make the station safe. On the 28th once again the lights were out at the station on both sides - http://twitter.com/5404092/statuses/394891191634132992
The next day they were back on … but then the following day lights again were out at the station. On the 1st Nov lights were still out and I declared the station to be an #unsafestation - I don’t get off there as i live in hyde, but i spoke to a few people who were regulars at the station and they said that it felt uncomfortable walking in the dark up the path “anyone could be hidden in the trees” and one elderly lady told me she would be getting off at guide bridge and getting a family member to drive them home when the lights were out they felt so unsafe.
I then tweeted again on the 6th with the lights still out at the station.
And again on the 12th, and again for the past few days.
Northern Rail tell me on twitter that they have had engineers out, which is good stuff but following a month of less light than light at the station, cctv ripped out and customers feeling unsafe - I now feel the need to reach out and ask for some help in pushing northern to not only fix the lights but make the station feel safe for all in the community.
So this evening I’ve reached out to ask for help in getting this station fixed once and for all.
If you would like to help us ensure the Northern Rail make Fairfield station safe for all of it’s users - simply tweet the message below.
”.@northernrailorg please make #fairfield a Safe Station by fixing the lights at the station // cc @andykinsey”
Fairfield Station c. 1905 - Today only the two central tracks remain. Photo by Disused Stations
After around a week of one side having lights back on (guide bridge bound) this evening both sides are yet again out of action. Dark nights are drawing in I have once again alerted Northern Rail of this - who in turn have let me know ISS (northerns engineers of choice) are no longer dealing with the issue and it’s now in the hands of Network Rail - hopefully this means there will soon be a solution.
The saga continues and it will be at least 30th December before the lights are fixed properly by Network Rail. I suggested Temporary lighting again and was told to email them, I have and as promised on twitter they will be public and can be found by clicking “northern rail fails" in the sidebar.
It isn’t often that you will find me supporting strikes from any train operator, but today I feel the need to speak out in support of the drivers of the First TransPennine Express franchise who backed by ASLEF are looking to strike on Tues 5 Nov and Sat 9 Nov.
Current status of RMT in this regard is unknown.
For me this is a matter of public safety and how public funds are spent… And no this isn’t a call to renationalise the railway.
When a TOC is given a franchise they obviously have to make some kind of profit (else why would they bother) and that I am fine with, but when that profit comes first priority instead of safety and the public purse I do have an issue.
TPE entered franchise agreements and rest day agreements which were designed to ensure that customers who travelled with the company were safe, they also ensured there was enough staff cover for the franchise to run every train expected of them. This strike is (to be simple) because TPE want to break the rest day agreements and tried to beg drivers to do so with a £1000 bonus.
Breaking this rest day agreement will risk customer safety - rest days are there for our safety. Imagine if your driver never had a rest day, they would be tired, become complacent and wouldn’t spot potential problems as quickly as they would otherwise. It’s a risk to everyones safety on those trains. Rest Days are Vital!
The reason they are doing this is to save a few quid, and bolster their profits because they (TPE) do not want to hire more drivers - it would cost more and yup eat into their profits. So all this moaning in press releases of “its not good for out customers” isn’t right, well it is but not for the reasons they think. It’s correct because ok some people won’t travel that day and it maybe bad for them and a business, but it could be worse and thats what they omit, what if someone dies because a driver has skipped too many rest days thanks to pressure from TPE - that would not be good for customers. A missed day at work is nothing compared with that.
Conclusion: TPE need to realise that as customers we do not care about their profits in any way shape or form. We care about getting between A and B safely and quickly. They need to realise this and if they fail to do so I hope that the franchise is stripped from them. They are a good operator in general but customer safety should always be the priority.