Posts in Transport

It may have gone unnoticed yesterday, but in Mark Dowd's resignation statement from Merseytravel he sounded a big warning about the rail network.

As reported last month Merseytravel is in the process of starting to buy new trains for Merseyrail.

But tucked away in Cllr Dowd's resignation statement was this paragraph: "The future of the local Merseyrail electric system will depend on being able to deliver modern trains which will have a shelf line of at least 30 years and which are controlled at a local level. If the purchase of these new trains is not concluded successfully and handled carefully and skilfully, the system is in danger of grinding to a halt."

The transport authority can rightly be proud of the improvements in Merseyrail, but this must not be allowed to slip away.

mark_dowd_hs.jpgTHE EMBATTLED chairman of Merseytravel Mark Dowd today quit saying his position had become untenable.

Cllr Dowd has been under sustained pressure to resign since last week when eight of the 16 ruling Labour group on the transport authority demanded his resignation.

They want his head claiming he has failed to deal with a catalogue of revelations rocking the organisation.

Today he said their demand had meant he could no longer carry on and would not been seeking re-election to be chairman at Merseytravel's annual general meeting later this month.

Here is his full statement:

WITH the current crisis consuming Merseytravel, could it be the end of the line for chairman Cllr Mark Dowd?

The Liverpool Labour faction on the passenger transport authority has effectively accused Cllr Dowd of putting his feet up (though not on the seats, of course) while the brakes were taken off scrutiny of corporate governance of the body.

Cllr Dowd is steaming, and has hit out at city Merseytravel member Cllr Joe Hanson for revealing himself as the author of the "anonymous nonsense" contained within a dossier about alleged failures to make sure payments to consultants were properly tendered, amongst other things.

chris_blakeley.jpgIn happier times: Cllr Chris Blakeley, Bart Schmeink, ex-Merseyrail chief executive, Cllr Mark Dowd and Merseytravel ex-chief executive Neil Scales.

The former leader of the Conservatives on Merseytravel Chris Blakeley has now added his voice to those calling for Labour chairman Mark Dowd to resign.

Cllr Blakeley, who recently stood down as Tory leader on the transport authority, has become the latest player to publicly demand Cllr Dowd's head.

Here is his statement in full:

Stuart_Kelly_hs.jpgTHE CRISIS engulfing the political leadership of the chairman of Merseytravel Mark Dowd shows no sign of subsiding tonight.

Senior Wirral Liberal Democrat Stuart Kelly has now waded in and says the situation is evidence that the troubled transport authority should be disbanded.

Rarely has a political crisis on Merseyside been played out in the public eye like this, with senior members of the main three parties lining up to take a shot at the Labour chairman of Merseytravel Mark Dowd.

Here is what Cllr Kelly has to say:

John_Dodd_and_Les_Rowlands.bmpLabour chairman of Merseytravel Mark Dowd is now facing calls from the Liberal Democrats and the Conservatives to resign.

In a joint statement Cllr John Dodd, Lib Dem rep, and Cllr Les Rowlands, Conservative rep (pictured above) have added their voices to those of the eight of the 16 Labour councillors that want Cllr Dowd to resign.

Here is their statement:

joe_hanson_hs.jpgJoe Hanson, the man who wrote the damning report into Merseytravel, has explained why half the Labour party on the transport authority believe their colleague and chairman Mark Dowd needs to resign.

He said: "It was with great disappointment that I had to come to a position were I had no alternate other than to sign a letter of this nature to Cllr Mark Dowd Chairman of Merseytravel.

"Every organisation has a defining moment in its history and I believe that Merseytravel has now reached that moment.

mark_dowd_hs.jpgMerseytravel chairman Mark Dowd has released a four page statement defending his record.

As revealed earlier this afternoon on Dale Street Associates, eight of the 16 Labour councillors on Merseytravel have demanded his resignation.

In his statement he rounds on his critics and defends his own record.

He doesn't actually say he is not resigning, but it is pretty clear from the tone of the statement.

Here it is in full:

Merseytravel chairman Mark Dowd is now facing a sustained attack on his leadership - in the face of a resign now letter from eight of his own Labour colleagues.

The letter was delivered this afternoon to his office in the new HQ in Mann Island.

Click HERE for a previous post with all the relevant links, and here is the full letter:

Sefton Lib Dems accused the ruling Labour party of trying to silence the Merseytravel row at a heated Cabinet meeting.

The newly-appointed Lib Dem leader Cllr Iain Brodie Browne interrupted the meeting yesterday as the seven-strong all Labour Cabinet were agreeing on appointments to the joint fire and transport authorities.

He wanted Labour's choice of appointments to the fire service authority to be called in for further scrutiny in the wake of the scandal engulfing Merseytravel.

Dale Street Associates

David Bartlett

David Bartlett

City editor of the Post and Echo covering politics, regeneration, and urban affairs.
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