FARE HIKE: 2.5% increase in rail ticket prices

In this new year, rail passengers will pay 2.5 per cent more on tickets.
This includes regulated fares like season tickets, with average rise in fares of about 2.2 per cent.

fare hike During his visit today at the Birmingham New Street station, Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said:

“The work at Birmingham New Street is truly impressive and will make a real difference to passengers when it completes later this year. As we invest in projects like this, it is important that we recognise passengers’ concerns about the cost of rail fares. This is why we have frozen them for the second year in a row.”

His visit today was followed by a major signalling problems at the New Street Station leading to disruption in services earlier this morning. Delays were seen till 3pm and some replacement services were provided earlier in the day.

However, passengers reported delays and other problems till late this afternoon.

Unions and passenger groups have protested the hikes, comparing them to a corresponding lack of rise in wages.

Campaign for Better Transport have this interactive Fare v Wage calculator on their website :

fares v wages

While this 2.2 per cent is the lowest increase in the last 5 years, they have said passengers will struggle to get to work without substantial increase in salaries.

West Midlands to get £85m to fix potholes

potholes

  Image by Alan Stanton

 

The West Midlands Integrated Transport Authority will get a total of £85,055,000 to tackle its potholes.

 In the West Midlands region, the funds include the following local authorities:

  1. Coventry
  2. Dudley
  3. Sandwell
  4. Solihul
  5. Walsall
  6. Wolverhampton.

This is a part of the total £6 billion funds of announced today by the Department for Transport (DfT) for improving local roads between 2015 to 2021. It aims to help English local authorities fix 18 million potholes with these funds.

Over £4.7bn will be shared between 115 councils, while a further £575m will be available through a challenge fund for maintaining infrastructure such as junctions, bridges and street lighting.

Birmingham City Council is not included for these funds as:

“highways maintenance for this authority is provided through a Highways Maintenance Private Finance Initiative “

An interactive map on the DfT website gives more details of funds in each region.

2 Brum-London trains among top 10 most crowded

Two of the 10 most overcrowded trains in England and Wales are on the Birmingham New Street-London Euston lines.

The 20:17 and 20:03 trains were the most over crowded trains, spring 2013 data from the Department for Transport has revealed.

Main findings of the report for Birmingham said:

  • On an average 39,000 passengers arrive into Central Birmingham during the morning peak hours, the highest outside of London.
  • At the trains busiest points, 9.0% passengers were standing during the morning peak hours and 8.5% during the afternoon peak hours.

Passenger numbers have increased since 2012, when disruption of the London Midlands services had led to a reduced demand.

Rail passenger numbers and crowding on weekdays in England and Wales in 2013

Rail passenger numbers and crowding on weekdays in England and Wales in 2013. SOURCE: Department for Transport

AM peak arrivals is the number of passengers arriving into the city centre by national rail on a typical autumn weekday during the three hour morning peak (7 – 10am). 

Peak PiXC is the percentage of passengers in excess of capacity (PiXC) across the morning and evening peaks on a typical autumn weekday. It is the main measure of crowding in these statistics. A higher PiXCpercentage represents a worse crowding level.

Research: West Midlands among best in country for rail services

This post was originally published on the Transport Network. Shared here and on Eastside, are some more details on the data revealed from the research on regional rail performance

According to it, London, West Midlands and the North West are the best performing rail regions in terms of overall services, while the East of England and Wales remain low on accessibility.


Overall benchmarking scores put West Midlands and the North West at second place with 50%. London stood at first place here, with 59%.


In terms of growth and usage, London was the highest at 73%, followed by the South East at 56% and the West Midlands at 51%. Factors analysed were trips per head, 10-year growth rate and rail mode share.

The research – Benchmarking Rail Services Across Great Britain - was carried out by consultants, Credo, in association with Campaign for Better Transport.

DfT recommends industry and local government learn from the report.

Peter Wilkinson, director of franchising, Department for Transport said:

“There are challenges for all regions in improving performance. The industry and local government must consider how we best work together to tackle the issues this report raises.”


However, on the service quality front, both London and the West Midlands were quite low with 36% and 41% respectively, compared to the highest scores in Scotland at 55%.


Accessibility scores remain high for London at 68%, followed by the West Midlands at 57%, despite having low value for money scores. East of England emerged the lowest in this category at 17%.

Scottish rail services – which operate under a devolved management for the Scotrail franchise – showed high passenger satisfaction, while Welsh rail services had relatively low levels of usage, accessibility and satisfaction, including the second lowest level for accessibility at 22%.

The research recommends focus on passenger satisfaction around key themes of station cleanliness, security, investments on fleet modernisation and locally identified fare subsidies.

If you have more ideas or questions/comments on improving the presentation of this data, please get in touch @brumtransport

Changes needed in taxi licences, shared city spaces for greater accessibility?

“Why do I need to plan my life with military precision just because I’m on a wheelchair”

asked Zara Todd at the Moving On Accessible Transport 2013 round table discussion.

Many others like Zara shared their views as regular public transport and road users, and accessibility and transport experts and the challenges they face every day at the Coventry Transport Museum.

A roundup of the discussions:


More VIDEOS and AUDIOS soon on Brum Transport from Zara Todd, Sarah Rennie, Richard Rieser

Another cyclist dies in Brum after being hit by lorry

While various cycling groups continue to campaign for better safety of cyclists on the city streets, another fatal collision was reported on Friday morning.

55 year old mother of five, Muthumanaka Pinhamy died on Friday after a collision with a lorry on her way to work.

another cyclist hit by lorry

The  ‘Live in Hope’ group continues to campaign for the safety of cyclists and their demand to reduce HGVs on the roads:

VIDEO: What do cyclists do at traffic junctions for their safety?

Chris Lowe, a cyclist from the campaign group Push Bikes, explained to Brum Transport the problems cyclists face at traffic junctions while trying to cross the streets.

In the video here, Chris is at a traffic junction Great Charles Street Queensway. He crosses this junction everyday on his way to work.

He says,

“We either have to learn to cycle in traffic or get off the bike and push it across the street – and neither of them is the best solution. We want a solution that makes a cyclist feel safe.”

Chris feels the £24m grants that were recently announced for Birmingham as a part of the cycle city ambition bid need to focus on buidling cycling infrastructure around traffic junctions.

Earlier on Brum Transport: AUDIO – Mum stops traffic in Kings Heath to make streets safer for cyclists.

Soon to follow: Graham Lennard from the Birmingham City Council on what are the next steps with the £24m cycling funds. 

AUDIO: Mum stops traffic in Kings Heath to make streets safer for cyclists

Protest for Hope

Demanding stronger action against careless drivers, Nazan Fennell has decided continue her campaign for making streets safer for cyclists.

Last weekend what started as a memorial bike ride turned into a protest, and led to tailbacks of vehicles on the Kings Heath High Street, after she heard a first hand account of her daughter’s accident.

Nazan lost her 13 year old daughter Hope in November 2011 to an accident on the Kings Heath High Street.

Hope was on her way back from school and was trying to cross the street on her bike, when she was trapped under the wheels of an 18 ton lorry.

Talking about the protest held in Kings Heath last Saturday, she said,

“I had never heard a first hand account of last few minutes of my daughter’s life. That’s when I sat down on the street”

In a conversation with Brum Transport, she further explains:

Nazan Fennell is running the ‘Live in Hope’ campaign to push for proximity sensors to be made mandatory for heavy goods vehicles so that drivers can deal with blind spots better.

Earlier on Brum Transport: Will cyclists be at a greater risk if DfT allows longer lorries on streets?

Soon to follow: Cyclist Chris Lowe explains the problems cyclists face while trying to cross a traffic junction and why investments from £24m funds for cycling should also be made to deal with this problem.

VIDEO: Birmingham entrepreneur kayaks to work

To get away from noisy streets and enjoy the canals, Mike Bandar, a 23 year old entrepreneur from Birmingham now kayaks to work every day.

Mike began kayaking as a 30 day challenge, but now plans to continue for as long as possible.

Describing his commute to work he says it  is probably one of the best ways to travel in the city and utilise the vast canal network.

“Initially I was nervous I would flip over and fall into the water, but now I seem to be doing fine. I really enjoy my journey to work and the tranquillity of the water”

Every day he kayaks from his house in the Jewellery Quarters to his office in the Birmingham Science Park and has been able to cut down his journey time significantly.

 

AUDIO: Will cyclists be at greater risks if DfT allows longer lorries on city roads?

Lorries causing chaos

The Department for Transport (DfT) might soon allow lorries longer by about 1.0 – 2.5m on urban road networks.

While the DfT claims that these will not pose any greater risks than the already existing 13.6m long lorries, these claims have been contested by various experts and advisory groups.

Martin Sachs, honorary secretary, Technical Advisory Group, said, in an interview to Brum Transport that vulnerable road users like cyclists are likely to be at greater risks.

“The longer lorries will have an increased tail swing of the vehicles, and drivers will be completely unaware of having knocked off cyclists”

More from him in this interview below:

Soon to follow: Mum holds up traffic in Kings Heath in memory of daughter’s cycling accident