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Wednesday, 26 November 2008

James Purnell's False TIF Claims

James Purnell was in the Tameside Advertiser last week posing in a cramped train brought on by a constituent challenging him "to see for himself" over the poor condidtions commuters face by having to travel from Stalybridge Railway Station. The Advertiser states that James was "astonished at the crammed carriages and agreed it was ‘unacceptable’".

Poor James forced himself to take the First TransPennine Express service where he had to stand next to a toilet in Standard Class like most people do. The Tameside Andrex spouted that the experience for James was "claustrophobic and uncomfortable" - Diddums! Luckily for James, there was no red box lost this time.

So after seven years of being an MP, James is waking up to the problems that his constituents have to put up with to travel to work. But it isn't the first time James Purnell has brought up the issue of overcrowded trains and poor service in general at Stalybridge Railway Station. He did a petition in 2002 and again (notice the same picture was used) in 2003. So twice Purnell has appeared in the press to "express his concerns", but what has he actually done to solve the problem? Sod all by the looks of things.

Moving on, James Purnell uses the opportunity before the TIF Referendum to promote his support for a "yes vote" by saying:

"We need billions of pounds to improve these services. We need more carriages and more services. That is why the TIF proposals and the congestion charge are so important"

However, as one reader pointed out in the comments of the article on the Tameside Advertiser website, there are no extra carriages or services promised for Stalybridge Railway Station. If you look at the TIF Map [PDF Link], you will see that there is no mention at all for extra carriages or services at Stalybridge Railway Station, just a Park and Ride - & the land on which it will be built just so happens to be owned by the GMPF!

1 comment:

Christine said...

What the advertiser failed to mention was that the train in that photograph, the 8;03 I believe, was cancelled at Stalybridge. Lets say there were 50 people waiting to get on it, and 120 already on it, (it was 4 carriages so that's fairly conservative I think), that's an extra 170 people on the next service, the one James got on. Any train at peak times would struggle to cope with that level of additional pasengers.
Between 7.45 and 8.30, there are 6/7 trains to Manchester from Stalybridge, that's a pretty good service I think, certainly better than Ashton. Ok sometimes they're late or get cancelled or you might have to stand, but you're only on it for 12-18 mins depending which station you're going to. How do I know all this? That's me on the otherside of the platform.