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suitable chairman of the Co-op. That is all from the BBC News at six
Good evening. Welcome to North West Tonight with Roger Johnson `and
Annabel Tiffin. Our top story: He died when a 19`year`old coach tyre
blew out. Now Michael Molloy's mother asks a
Government Minister to change the law.
The simple change of a certificate means we would have safer vehicles
and there can't be an argument against that.
Michael Molloy was one of three people killed in the crash last
year. Also tonight: Hitting the buffers ` an investigation is
launched after a train ploughs into the platform at Chester Station
Back on track ` but passengers are angry about wintry delays on
Manchester's Metrolink. If the first hint of frost can cause
such major delays, how will it cope when winter sets in properly?
The seal of friendship ` how a teenager's debut dive brought him a
closer encounter than he expected. And I am in Salford where they are
rolling out a red carpet for a special cause.
The mother of a Merseyside musician killed in a coach crash when a
19`year`old tyre blew out says she's very hopeful there will now be a
change in the law. Michael Molloy's mother, Frances, today met with the
Transport Secretary Patrick McClaughlin, and urged him to ban
the use of old tyres by commercial operators. Her son was one of three
people who died when a Merseypride coach crashed on its way to last
year's Bestival music event. Michael Molloy was one of 53 coach
passengers returning to the North West from the Bestival music
festival when it crashed on the A3 in Surrey. Michael was killed, along
with 23`year`old Kerry Ogden from Maghull in Merseyside, and driver
Colin Daulbey from Warrington. After an inquest found that a 19`year`old
tyre caused the crash Frances Molloy has been campaigning for changes to
the law. There is no age limit so you can
have a tire of any age. The consequences are catastrophic. I
can't sit back and just say, this could happen to someone else. In
fact, it will happen again. The Surrey Coroner recorded a
verdict of accidental death, telling the inquest that the age of the tyre
didn't make it illegal. A report with recommendations based on his
findings sent to the Department for Transport, which says, "The
Department is investigating the age of tyres in the UK's bus and coach
fleet and is keen to understand what action, if any, should be taken "
I think the Secretary of State was also concerned about what he heard.
We need to see them take action which I hope they will come to the
conclusion they are going to do The fact they have asked for an
extension to consider what we have said today, I am trying to see that
as something positive. Meanwhile an online petition calling
for changes to laws on using old tyres, set up by Frances and Kerry
Ogden's father Rob Ogden now has nearly 4,500 signatures.
I wouldn't wish this on anybody else and this is totally preventable It
is a simple change and an MOT certificate which means we will have
safer vehicles. Francis says the campaign will
continue until the law changes An investigation is
I think he would say that he is proud of me.
An investigation is to be carried out after a passenger train crashed
into the buffers at Chester railway station. A Virgin Trains service
from London ploughed through the end of a platform shortly after midday.
A 64`year`old man was taken to hospital with injuries to his back
but Virgin says no`one was seriously hurt. Our reporter Andy Gill is at
Chester Station now. From the research you have been able
to do, what more do we know about what happens happened? This was the
service from London to just just after Mick J and it came into
platform one that just after Mick J. The passenger treated a picture of
the train. You can see the damage there. Virgin Trains say it was a
very low speed impact. Despite that, the emergency services were called
and we understand they treated to people on the platform `1 was a
64`year`old man who was taken to hospital as a precaution but nobody
really seriously hurt. We can see the station is still busy
tonight. What happens now? Despite derailing, the carriages all
remained upright and the platform was dead`end so it is not affecting
services in and out of the station. Part of the station is taped off as
British transport police work out how to get the train working again.
There will also be a detailed investigation and the office of rail
regulation will also investigate. What we don't know is when the train
will be moved and we don't know why this happened.
Thank you very much. Greater Manchester's Metrolink tram system
is envied around the country. 2 million journeys were made on the
network last year. But is it still fit for purpose?
This week we were bombarded with emails and tweets after huge
disruption because of ice. Bad enough, but many complained that
delays, cancellations and overcrowding are now a permanent
feature. Some called for the resignation of Metrolink's director
Peter Cushing. We'll hear from Mr Cushing in a minute, but first,
here's our chief reporter Dave Guest.
It was business as usual on the Metrolink system today compared to
the havoc caused by ice on the lines yesterday when, despite deploying
ice busting equipment, many services were disrupted.
I waited and waited. It said ten minutes until the next one and ten
minutes later it said it would be another ten minutes. We were there
half an hour before the tram came in and then we were told it was out of
service. Yesterday's ice problems promoted a
flurry of complaints about general dissatisfaction with Metrolink.
Aaron Noone has set up an online petition calling for improvements.
If it isn't nice it might be leaves or signal failures, a tram broken
down... They are pulling it out there hat every day.
He's not alone in his concerns. The Twittersphere has been buzzing with
comments."The people of Greater Manchester are starting to regard it
as something of a joke," Tweeted one disgruntled passenger. While another
added, "They're either on time and you're squashed like sardines, or
late and you're double sardine squashed." But among other
passengers we spoke to today there was satisfaction with the service.
I think it is excellent. I think it's reliable.
A very good service. It's fine. Yesterday was a bit bad
but that was it. Things are running relatively
smoothly today but the problems yesterday have caused some to ask if
the first hint of frost can cause such major delays, how will it cope
when winter sets in? Metrolink insist they are tackling the issues
but Aaron Noone is one of the passengers who remain to be
convinced. Joining me now is the director of
Metrolink, Peter Cushing. I wonder if you can convince
passengers like that? Winter has barely begun. Can you guarantee to
passengers they won't be putting up with this every day?
Nobody in public transport can never guarantee anything but we work very
hard on our winter procedures. They worked well last year and two years
ago when we were the virtually only travel network operating in deep
snow. Want went wrong this time is we ran icebreaking trams overnight
and it didn't work on one particular route, which we have to go back and
look at now. Some of these trends are relatively
new and were only introduced a few years ago. Does it mean you bought
expensive trams that are not fit for purpose?
They are amongst the most reliable in Europe. We have a tram that is
technically very competent but it does suffer problems when it has
vaulted reductions caused by the ice. We are now improving the
software reaction so we keep them running.
We have places like Sweden which have much worse winters than we
which can run successful trams systems so why can't we overnight?
They had similar problems in Stockholm. We have a Swedish guy who
works for us and he said they had similar problems.
So what are the lessons? We have to improve the software of
the trams and we are looking at new procedures to put a coating on the
overhead to prevent ice build`up. We are trying to get over these
problems on a daily basis. Do you use the tram system as
peak`time yourself? I was stuck on one yesterday
morning. We have had so may people writing
in, saying they are sick of it. I can empathise with their views and
we are working hard to make sure we have fewer problems. When it happens
that peak`time, it gets magnified because of the volume of people
So you think it is a good system? 364 days a year and the number of
problems we have are relatively small. When they happen at peak
they do look politically serious. `` relatively serious.
David Cameron's apologised after joking a Greater Manchester MP may
have taken drugs on a night out with the former Co`Op bank chairman. The
Prime Minister made the gag when Oldham West and Royton's Michael
Meacher asked him a question in the commons. Throughout the session the
PM sought to link Labour policies with drugs allegations facing
ex`Co`op Bank boss and Labour councillor Paul Flowers.
I made a light`hearted remark. If it caused any offence, I will happily
withdraw it. I think it's very important we can have a little bit
of light`hearted banter and a sense of humour on all sides stopped stop
Building workers have demonstrated against a construction firm at the
site of the new Alder Hey Hospital in Liverpool.
It's part of a campaign to get more compensation for people illegally
blacklisted because of their trade union activity. The workers say the
employers' offer of a minimum of ?1,000 doesn't reflect the hardship
many of them suffered when they couldn't find work.
I know people who have committed suicide. I know people who have
attempted suicide and I know people who have been bankrupted by yet I
also know people whose families and marriages have open up. `` woken up.
A former Everton and Manchester City footballer has been ordered to repay
thousands of pounds he made through drug dealing. Michael Branch was
jailed for seven years last November. He's been given six months
to pay back ?31,000 or he'll get 14 months added to his sentence.
Volunteers from the north`west have risked their lives taking medical
aid and food to war`torn Syria. A humanitarian group which set off
from Manchester drove five ambulances through an area of Aleppo
where rifle snipers regularly open fire. They reached hospitals where a
doctor travelling with them was able to perform minor surgery.
The team from an organisation called Al`Fatiha Global all returned
safely, and the leader of the mission, Kas Jameel joins us now.
He joins us now. Thank you for coming in. Why do you want to go to
Syria and put your life on the line?
There are numerous reasons. I can't sit in the comfort of my own home
doing nothing while millions are suffering. At the end of the day, it
is our moral obligation to help these people.
Are you from Syria? Now. I am British born and
Pakistani. As we can see from the pictures you
have to go through sniper fire on occasions. How does it feel?
Knowing the end result, you know, I have been there on numerous
occasions and you know you are going to be getting medical aid to the
needy and helping the infrastructure so it makes it worthwhile. You
forget while you are in doubt the dangers it did `` you go through.
Give us a flavour of the end result because you are able to help
humanitarian aid and toys to children who don't have them?
We have been in Syria and not with my family. The smiles on these
children's faces when you give them teddy bears and sweets that we would
disregard here because they are not normal quality suites, it is
amazing. It is an amazing feeling. We have some pictures of the doctors
that travel with you performing surgery. What sort of things can you
treat? The doctors are obviously from
England and what they have done if they have specific things such as
suturing so they have specific things they can do. They went to
operations but it is just basic things that they do.
You get checked at the border when you leave and you get checked when
you get to Syria and yet insinuations persist that perhaps
arms are going out somehow through, boys and perhaps `` through convoys
and perhaps jihadis are getting out there. How can you stop that from
happening? Interesting question but I don't
know why anyone would want to smuggle arms out of England anyway.
It would have to be through Turkey and into Syria. As for jihadis, we
have a strict policy, a vetting policy, where people are seen in
face`to`face interviews and we have certain people who check out
people's social networking profiles so if somebody has got something on
there which may seem a little bit radical, and that is it. They are
not accepted. Nothing is 100% foolproof but we do what we can
Thank you for coming in. Still to come on North West Tonight:
The seal of friendship ` how a teenager's debut dive brought him a
closer encounter than he expected. And War Horse gallops onto stage in
Salford. We'll be live on the red carpet
The stars of the show are the horses and you have to see them to believe
them. Liverpool City Council, like all
councils, has tough decisions ahead. It has to cut ?156 million in the
next three years. That's on top of cuts already made. In three years
time the council will have cut almost a third of a billion pounds
off its pre`austerity budget. Big numbers. Difficult decisions to
make. So, think you can balance the books? The council's created an app,
for you to do just that. Here's Jayne McCubbin.
Meet Val, who runs a time bank for volunteers. Elaine, a tour guide.
Mathew, who's just opened a salad bar. OK, folks.
You know what you've got to do. Balance the books.
With the app they can access every council department. With the slider
` they can make the cuts. But the app shows what those cuts will do in
terms of services lost and the bottom line.
I've started by trying to be fair and I've cut 10% off everything
We're still over budget. Where did you make cuts? The
library. Libraries do cost. That is 50%. A big one.
Why are you shaking your head? As I know the impact tourism has on
the city. Any easy fixes?
I believe in privatisation of the public sector if there is a
possibility. Sport and regulation, `` sport and
recreation. But does it make a big impact on the bottom line?
Now. One thing you all agree on?
We don't want your job! Do you think Joe's been soft? Are
there cuts he could make? No, I don't think so.
I agree with Val. I really tried to come in on budget. I just couldn't
do it. How much did this cost?
?5,000. But it's important. We need to understand why we are doing
things and get them away from this dependency that the council can do
everything. Even the things they are obliged to do by law they could cut
back and nothing else could disappear.
A 15`year`old boy on the Isle of Man who has only just learnt to scuba
dive had a very unexpected visitor join him on his first dive off a
boat. A wild grey seal befriended Jamie Gallacher underwater near the
Calf of Man and hung around to play. It's not the usual place for
introductions but this seal made sure it was going to be ignored The
wild grey seal wrapped its fins around 15`year`old Jamie's legs
crawling up him to say hello! He began tugging on his fins and he
began to climb up, staying very close all the time. You don't expect
to see a seal like that but once I got to knew him, he wasn't that
scary or intimidating. When Jamie gently tapped the seal
away, it kept on coming back for more.
It stayed with us for a good ten or 15 minutes. He was playful like a
big dog. There was a guy diving with those
who had died 300 times that he hadn't got the experience and it was
my first time of a boat. His diving instructor filmed the
encounter and it's unusual to see a wild seal be so friendly. Normally
you don't even know a seal is there. Often you're busy and your
friend will have noticed it but you won't see it. This one decided it
was going to stay and play and once it had got Jamie to stop swimming,
he tried to climb up his leg. Jamie says he's keen to get back
underwater and see what or who else he meets.
Who needs expensive holidays in exotic locations when you get that?
Exactly. It's one of the biggest shows around
at the moment and it's thrilling audiences with some of the largest
puppets. War Horse makes its north`west stage debut tonight.
There's a glittering red carpet reception before it opens at the
Lowry theatre in Salford. Who else would we send but Mark
Edwardson? Are the great, the good and the glamorous there, too?
I am a low here! You can probably see the theatre from outside at the
moment, looking resplendent in this cold November evening. Taking
shelter inside the Lowry are hundreds of people who have come to
see the first night of War Horse. They have come to see Jerry and of
course the rest of the cast. War Horse was turned into a film by
Stephen Spielberg in 2011 but it has been a stage play since 2007. It has
one lots of prizes and tonight it is here in Salford. I got a look behind
the scenes. I am trying to get a laugh with the
audience... The two main cast members getting to
know each other in the National Theatre's production of War Horse.
Lee Armstrong plays Albert, the owner of Joey the horse, in a tale
of love, loss and loyalty set before and during the First World War.
Albert is basically a young boy who doesn't have much as a child and his
dad gets drunk at an auction so he ends up with Jerry. Tim Mack `` War
Horse begins this evening at the Lowry. Emily Aston from Bacup plays
Paulette. They throw new stuff in every time
and you have to tell the horse to calm down. It is amazing.
Joey is just one of the animated characters in the stage version of
War Horse. For his operators it can be a demanding yet fun role.
The actors are told to treat the puppets and real horses from day one
and they are excellent at doing so. You wouldn't stand behind it because
it might take you. I have never done a job of this
scale or even any publicly before. `` the trade.
David Fleeshman is a renowned actor and director. His credits include
Coronation Street, Heartbeat and Eastenders. But he says he's
realistic about who are the true crowd pullers in War Horse.
The stars of the show aren't as mere actors, we are supporting artists.
We play loads of roles as an ensemble. These are all my costumes.
The stars of the horses. You have to see them do believe them because
they are just amazing. With me are two of the people
responsible for War Horse, the director and the man in charge of
Jerry. This has won awards and you have one and award as well.
It is amazing to be here in Manchester because I was brought up
in Manchester but I started my career here. I have since moved away
to London and I'm part of the National Theatre, where we started
ten M. `` where we started War Horse.
It is a homecoming for you because your dad was part of establishing
the Royal exchange in Manchester. He was part of a group in Manchester
who came together to start the Royal exchange when I was a baby.
Have you worked with puppets before?
I haven't but I have worked with them a lot since. I am working on a
show about a phantom elephant at the moment.
You are Joey's keeper. What is he like to work with?
He is brilliant. Joey is operated by three artists and we spend a lot of
time in rehearsal and, as you would with any character, looking at what
Jerry would want as a horse. He likes food and he is a bit frisky
but he has been very well`behaved so far.
The show is on until January the 18th and returns for another run in
the summer. You know it's not real and you know
you can see the men doing it but you still think it's real, don't you?
A good night to be indoors? I met the War Horse earlier this
year and I was really scared! It has been a mixture of everything today.
We have had all four seasons in one day. We started off wet and windy
and then conditions improved this afternoon and reefs had `` and we
have had showers. We have got a weather warning for snow but
luckily, this is not for everybody. It is mostly for the trans`Pennine
route tonight. The warning is valid until midnight. You might need to
watch out for snowfall for and the snow coming in from the other side
of the Pennines. With it comes some rain, hail, sleet and some snow
Heading into dawn we see the showers becoming fewer but lots of clouds
around tonight. Still quite breezy. It should hopefully be frost free.
Temperatures staying above freezing and conditions are better tomorrow.
Drier and brighter. We are going to start off with showers for a time
but less windy tomorrow. You should see some sunshine in between
showers. Seven or eight Celsius but it will feel like that. Heading into
the weekend, high pressure begins to build on Saturday and that will
settle things down as we head into the weekend. We should see a little
sunshine and some wintry flurries from time to time. Fog or frost
overnight but for the next 12 hours, ABC radio Manchester, Lancashire and
Cumbria is the place to go for updates `` BBC radio.
Remember the story about the Egyptian statue spinning round
inside the Manchester museum for apparently no reason?
Well it appears the mystery's been solved. An investigation's found
traffic vibrations and footsteps caused the stone statue to rotate
inside its glass case. I don't know.
I want to believe it's spooky! Me to! Good night.
I'm Nigel Slater, a cook. And I'm Adam Henson, a farmer.
all back in touch with where our food really comes from.
You asked me to grow some durum wheat to produce your pasta.
Our own eggs, our own flour - couldn't ask for more, really.