Northern Nationalised: Franchise Transfers from Arriva Rail North to DfT

Northern franchise taken over by DfT as Operator of Last Resort from the 01 March After several rumours and persistent lobbying by Northern English political figures in the last six months, it was announced today that Arriva lost its Northern rail franchise. Under the Anglo-German company’s tenure, the rail franchise was dogged by poor service,…

Why This Year's General Election Is Our Most Critical One To Date

Why you MUST vote in the 2019 General Election In the last century, there has been two General Elections that have changed the course of British society forever. One of them led to the creation of our Welfare State – most notably our National Health Service. The other one led to the privatisation of our…

Should Northern Rail Be Nationalised? Be Careful What You Wish For

Or: is the Grayling Curse to blame for Northern’s woes? The rail franchising system is dead. Long live the rail franchising system. In the last year, we have seen a recasting of the rail franchising system in favour of management contracts. Since 1994, rail franchises in Great Britain have mirrored former British Rail profit centres,…

Bus Regulation The Musical: The Review

How Ellie Harrison’s show brought us fifty years of Greater Manchester transport history on wheels Bus Regulation The Musical. Manchester Art Gallery, 28 September 2019 (2pm and 3pm). Produced by Ellie Harrison. I could think of several ways of spending half an hour of my leisure time. One is listening to the entire ‘B’ side…

Stalybridge Old Band at The Den: The 200th Anniversary of Peterloo Concert

How Stalybridge Old Band wowed a full house at the Royal Exchange’s pop-up theatre In the last few days, the Royal Exchange’s Den pop-up theatre has taken up residence in Stalybridge Civic Hall. It has played host to a number of original productions which reflect the borough’s rich history with encouraging support. There has been…

Our Network: Tameside’s Future Transport Network in Greater Manchester

Why Andy Burnham has moved one step closer to bus franchising and how this affects Tameside Greater Manchester is one step closer to seeing off Nicholas Ridley’s free market experiment. A free market experiment that has seen a 45% drop in bus patronage in Greater Manchester. An experiment which has seen swingeing cuts to the…

TV Licences: Another Tory Promise Down the Tubes

Non-means tested free TV licence plan for over-75s binned We’ve been here before, haven’t we? Anyone with half a brain would know that a Conservative Party election promise has the longevity of a Primark suit. As we age, our brain power begins to wane unless we exercise our mind with sudokus, quizzes or other creative…

It’s Up the Poll! 2019: Tameside’s Local Election Results

East of the M60‘s look at 2019’s local election results Lee Huntbach becomes Tameside’s first ever Green Party councillor; Shibley Alam gains Hyde Werneth seat from Conservatives – with a slender majority of five; So near yet so far for Stalybridge Town Party candidates; Plus details of the Mossley Town Council parish election results. In…

It’s Up the Poll! 2019: Tameside’s Local Elections

East of the M60‘s preview of 2019’s local elections Yes, folks, it is that time again: local election time. At this time of writing, one of two elections taking place this month. The other elections are the European Elections which the Tories have tried to wriggle out of due to their Brexit negotiations.

Building Bridges With Sentences: A Take on The ‘Persistent Scandal’

Why are 25% of primary school children starting school without stringing a sentence? Here’s another take on this subject. In terms of economic prowess, the United Kingdom may be at Champions League or Europa League level. In terms of early years communication, English Football League Championship level with 25% of primary school children. This was…

It’s Up the Poll! 2018: Tameside’s Local Election Results

East of the M60‘s look at 2018’s local election results Business as usual in Tameside as Labour retains hold on borough; National picture of UKIP vote going to Tories echoed in Tameside; Stalybridge Town Party challenges main two parties in the town’s three wards. If you followed the BBC’s Local Election coverage, you would have…

What’s Eating Into Greater Manchester’s Bus Network?

Why has Greater Manchester’s bus patronage fallen by 15 million since 2014? East of the M60 wonders why we’re all missing the bus “The Free Market Experiment” – officially known as The Transport Act 1985 – stated that competition would benefit all bus passengers. This was based on the precedent set by The Transport Act…