20/11/2013 North West Tonight


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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.


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