Chamber Comments on Transport Disruption (8th November)

Wed, November 8th, 2017

Liverpool & Sefton Chamber are aware that today’s industrial action will disrupt

Liverpool & Sefton Chambers of Commerce are aware that today’s industrial action affecting bus services operated by Arriva and train services operated by Merseyrail and Northern will have a hugely disruptive and negative impact upon our local businesses and the employees who work within them.

We do not comment upon the specific terms of the dispute – that is for the operators and unions to come to an agreement – however, we strongly urge the relevant parties to return to the negotiating table at the earliest possible opportunity to resolve this impasse.

The impasse severely impedes the opportunities our citizens have to attend work, school, college, university, hospital, doctors and the multitude of other destinations that people reliant upon public transport to reach.

The quality of our bus operations have improved substantially in recent times. The advent of environmentally-friendly electric vehicles and amenities such as free WIFI and charge sockets have revolutionised the fleet and created a far greater quality of journey for those who travel by bus. Indeed, the Chamber awarded the Liverpool Bus Partnership – comprising Arriva, Stagecoach and Merseytravel – the environmental impact award at our annual dinner last week.

With regard to rail, the disruption upon both the local Merseyrail network and the wider Northern network is hugely regrettable.

The railway is vital to the UK economy, delivering growth across the country, connecting British businesses, strengthening communities and creating job opportunities.

Locally, we have an exceptional rail network that consistently tops the customer satisfaction ‘league table’ of operators and has an exciting opportunity to further improve the quality, efficiency and reliability of local train journeys.

Further afield, last week the rail operators launched their plan for Britain’s prosperity, backed by businesses and passenger groups, to secure nearly £85bn of extra economic benefits for the country. The plan included four commitments to bring these additional economic benefits, deliver improved services for customers, better connect communities and deliver more jobs, more diversity and more rewarding careers in rail.

It is reassuring that the local railway in the North is working together to make sure that local commuters, local businesses and communities are faced with as little disruption as possible during the industrial action, keeping negative impacts on our businesses, high streets and schools to a minimum.

The Chamber urges a swift and amicable resolution to this dispute so that we can ensure that Liverpool City Region remains open for business.

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