Exposed: Salford Labour Council plans for even more busways!

Cllr Iain Lindley on Walkden RoadNot content with the chaos caused by Labour’s misguided busway, the Council and Transport for Greater Manchester are now planning to cause even more congestion by introducing additional busways on the A6 between Swinton and Walkden, including most of the length of Manchester Road, and also on Walkden Road near to the junction with the A580.

The misguided busway works have already caused huge disruption in our area, with an unacceptable impact on people trying to get to work or school.

I’m also now receiving a huge number of complaints about rat-running through residential streets, particularly in the Walkden area on roads like Carlton Road, Parr Fold Avenue, Broadway, Kingsway and Edge Fold Road – with heavy vehicles like double-decker buses and plant hire trucks cutting through. This is a big problem but so far the Council have refused to act.

I’m flabbergasted by these new proposals for even more bus lanes and even more disruption, especially when other Councils are reviewing and scrapping their busways to ease congestion (including for bus passengers). We’re also now facing a real risk that community bus services such as the number 12 will be under threat when the busway opens.

I’ve created a short survey and petition to gauge the views of local people on the proposed new bus lanes. Click here to take the survey and to sign the petition.

Extra trains for Walkden station with new franchise

This morning the Government published details of the new Northern rail franchise, and there’s good news for rail users across Salford and particularly for those using Walkden station.

The new franchise will be required to replace outdated “Pacer” trains and introduce new carriages. Background documents also show that from 2017 the number of services to Walkden is set to double, with four trains per hour in the peak and daytime periods, and an improved evening service.

There is more good news at the weekend as the current limited Sunday service to Walkden, Swinton and Moorside (which was introduced in 2010 following a strong campaign led by the Friends of Walkden Station) will be doubled in frequency to half-hourly and expanded much later into the evening, with services running until 10pm.

As a rail commuter from Walkden station myself, I know that the current service does not meet the demand from the local community, with trains that are frequently over capacity. I’m delighted that the Government has recognised this and we are set to see a much improved service when the new franchise starts, even if it means we have to wait a little bit for the new services – great news for commuters and for leisure travellers!

Former St George’s pupils deserve a presentation evening

I’m still angry and disappointed about learning from upset parents that last year’s Year 11 pupils from St George’s RC High School in Walkden have been denied the opportunity to celebrate their achievements at their own presentation evening, instead receiving their certificates in the post. These young people have worked hard through a period of great upheaval for their school and deserve the opportunity to take pride in their efforts and their success.

I have written to the Diocese, the Council and St Ambrose Barlow school to ask that this decision is reconsidered. I’ve received a positive but non-committal response from the diocese. I am still waiting to hear from the school and from the Council.

One of the young people affected by this, Matthew Kay, has now set up an online petition asking the school to reverse the decision. I’ve signed the petition and would urge as many local residents as possible to sign up as well.

On a related note, I was flabbergasted to see that the local Labour Party team had the gall to pose for a photograph last week outside the empty St George’s buildings. Salford Labour ran a vile and vindictive campaign against the school in an attempt to shut it down, eventually starving a good school at the heart of the local community into submission through lack of funding. It beggars belief that they can stand there smiling in front of the St George’s sign. It’s sickening.

Salford Conservatives Welcome Sajjad Karim MEP

iainsajIt was a great pleasure to meet up with fellow Conservative members for a fundraising brunch this lunchtime. I’m very grateful to everyone who helped to make the event a success and especially to our special guest, Sajjad Karim MEP.

Saj has always been a great friend to Salford Consrvatives and as our MEP he is a fantastic advocate and ambassador for the City as a whole. We know he always speaks up for Salford and we really appreciate his time this afternoon.

Good news as employment figures are released

The latest employment figures, released on Wednesday 21st January, showed more good news for local residents in our area.

Unemployment has fallen again, and the claimant count for Worsley & Eccles South is now down to just 1.9% from a 2010 peak under Labour of 5.4%. The figures also show that unemployment is falling faster here in Salford than anywhere else in Greater Manchester.

This is excellent news but there is much more still to do.