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DISRUPTION ON THE DAY GREATER MANCHESTER'S "INTEGRATED TRANSPORT PROJECT" WAS SIGNED
IT WAS THE DAWN OF A NEW AGE, an age of unified tickets for buses trams and trains, but all around, commuters were being delayed by widespread transport disruption. Junior transport minister Dr John Reid came to Victoria Station this morning to sign Greater Manchester's "Integrated Transport Project", and was greeted by Councillor Joe Clarke, Chairman of the Greater Manchester Transport Authority. Dr Reid used two words we hear a lot these days to describe the project: "Quality Partnerships". I assume the partnership will be between the various transport services. But as the signing took place at Victoria Station, there were disruptions to trains into that very station, and Metrolink services were also suspended for two hours. But there was a good excuse - the delays were caused by improvement work.
MANY MANY YEARS AGO, in Germany, where I've just returned from, they came up with a novel idea - An Integrated Transport Policy. Unified tickets on buses, trams and trains were introduced. They haven't looked back since, and last Friday, I purchased a ticket entitling me to unlimited travel on the vast non-suburban zone of Berlin's transport network, all for 7 Marks 80, about the same price as three short journeys on a Manchester Stagecoach bus at 85p each. OK, you can buy a weekly Manchester Megarider at £6, but this is only valid on Stagecoach. See more from Berlin, my home from home in Europe, in EYEWITNESS IN BERLIN, coming shortly.
SUMMER BLUES AND RECORD-BREAKING SMILES IN BLACKPOOL
MANCUNIANS' FAVOURITE seaside resort? Well, I always used to think it was, but this year tourism officials in Blackpool have admitted they've had the worst season in thirty years, and it's all because of the current spell of bad weather. They're hoping for an August Indian summer. But it's been better news for American record breaker Richard Rodriguez, who has spent just over 1,013 hours over a period of 47 days riding Blackpool's Big Dipper. He's been featured in the press and on BBC's Northwest Tonight. He had originally completed 700 hours, but decided to go for a thousand, making him the world record holder for "endurance" roller coaster riding.
GRIM CRIME HEADLINES
PATRICIA STEWART, aged 26, a single mother, was found in the street near her home in Hulme with a gaping throat wound, after being attacked in her home. She collapsed and died on the way to the hospital. Her seven year old son is said to be "traumatised" by the attack. Police have asked for witnesses to come forward.
AND IN OLDHAM, a 17 year old was tied up and threatened with a gun, as thieves ransacked a house in Beal Lane. They fled with cash and jewellery.
ANOTHER STABBING has occurred in Manchester city centre - two 19 year old men were walking down Charlotte St, when they were attacked and stabbed by a youth. Luckily, neither of the two sustained life-threatening injuries.
HOPE AGAINST ADVERSITY IN SALFORD
TWELVE YEAR OLD Vicky Stanley has been called a heroine by firefighters after rescuing 18 month old Danny Hooton from a blazing house in Eccles. She also rescued the family's 14 year old babysitter, Carly Jones, who has having a bath when the fire broke out in the kitchen.
AND ANOTHER FIRE VICTIM, 74 year old Paddy Smith has been shown the sort of support and kindness some people say is lacking in our society. The popular Higher Broughton resident from Ireland was devastated when a fire destroyed his home, including his cash life savings - he didn't have insurance. Local residents have organised a collection at the Horseshoe pub and DHS officials are trying to arrange back-payment of his state pension - he'd only been claiming his employers' pension from Lewis's, where he worked for 30 years. The story attracted the attention of the MEN leader writer on Friday, who praised the kindness of his neighbours. Who says community spirit is dead?
SUNSHINE YESTERDAY, RAIN TODAY
I THOUGHT I'D BROUGHT the good weather back with me, when I arrived back in Manchester yesterday after a 21 hour drive from Chemnitz, Manchester's twin city EYEWITNESS IN CHEMNITZ coming soon, but this morning, I had to reach for the umbrella. Steady drizzle fell throughout the day, and this is what I saw on Market Street this afternoon. They say there's going to be an Indian summer towards the end of this week, I'll believe it when I see it. Current EWM temperature is 58/14.5 degrees
From: Dave and Diane Mees
Hi love the set up ..what a great page ..we love it :)
But can you get some pics of Debdale park (boy we had some great times there) My mate Peter Davenport lived there back in 78,79 before I came to Oz. His dad lived in the house in the park ..I have tried too find Peter on the net ...but had no luck, ah well. But what I would like if I can show my little one where I used to play as a kid. Boy I miss Manchester (Gorton) and that park ..and the time on the fairgound ..
Would love to get some feed back.. may be I can send you on Oz ..
All the best, you do a great job
Thanks for your wonderful message. I've driven past Debdale Park many times recently. When there's good weather again, I'll go in there and take some pictures. So hopefully they should be ready by the Millennium - No, the weather forecast says it'll be an Indian Summer this week. Anybody out there know Peter Davenport? All the very best, and keep reading Eyewitness in Manchester and Manchester Online.