Secure transport route - Manchester to Clitheroe pilot

Section 2: Analysis of the Route

Chapter 1: Analysis of the Route

1.1 The Transport Route

The route selected for this study runs from Manchester Victoria to Clitheroe. It is operated by First North Western who market the line as the Clitheroe line.

Map of Route - Manchester Victoria to Clitheroe

The line covers both urban and rural environments and a range of local authorities. The section of the line between Blackburn and Clitheroe was re-opened in May 1994. The local authorities that the route runs through are:

  • Manchester
  • Salford
  • Bolton
  • Blackburn with Darwen
  • Ribble Valley/Lancashire

1.2 Demography of the Route

To provide background to the area that the route runs through demographic data has been obtained of the local authority areas. Table 1 outlines this information.

Table 1: Selected Demographic Information for Local Authorities on the Pilot Route


Total Population

Ethnic Minority
Population (%)

Male (%)

Female (%)

0-15 (%)

16-60 (%)

60+ (%)

























Blackburn with Darwen








Ribble Valley








Source: 1991 Census

As can be seen there are noticeable ethnic minority communities in Manchester, Bolton and Blackburn with Darwen. Blackburn with Darwen also has the highest proportion of residents aged under 15; both Ribble Valley and Salford have the highest proportions of residents aged over 60.

1.3 Route Facilities

Information is presented below on the facilities in place on the route and the condition of the route. This has been obtained from GMPTEs database on facilities on the stations in their area, information from a report completed by KPMG for the then North West Regional Railways on station facilities, opinions obtained from local practitioners about the route and finally from a visit made to the route. This visit took place in April 2000 when all stations were visited using the train. The route was travelled during the daytime and early evening. This period covered both morning and evening rush hours, although the route was not covered in the dark. In addition the route was travelled on in the school holidays.

All of these pieces of information give, by their nature, a snapshot of the facilities at any one period of time but do provide context to the study. Three specific elements of the route are described:

  • Information relating to the on-vehicle journey
  • Information on the state of the lineside environment. This information splits the route into four sections
  • Information on the stations

1.4 On-Vehicle Information

Generally the trains are refurbished Sprinters that are in the First North Western livery. The trains are generally clean. There are some other trains operating on the route such as older Sprinters and Pacers. There are other services aside from the Clitheroe line that also run on this route including local services that stop at additional stations in the Bolton area. There was some rubbish on the trains, for example free newspapers and discarded drinks cartons; however staff at Clitheroe cleared the rubbish. The public address announcements were often muffled.

1.5 Lineside Information

(A) Manchester Victoria Salford

Generally this part of the route runs through inner-city areas and Manchester City Centre. There is a mix of land-use along this section of the route including industry, derelict land and housing. There are some disused rails and sleepers on the approach to Salford Crescent and also on this section of the route there had been tree-clearance, but the trees had not been removed.

(B) Salford Bolton

Again this section of the line has mixed land-use, but also includes open space and woods in the Irwell Valley. There is also a large area in Salford, the former Agecroft site, which has undergone land clearance. There was rubbish on the lineside in various locations, for example outside Salford Crescent, Kearsley, Farnworth, Moses Gate and Bolton Interchange stations. There was also some graffiti on lineside equipment, for example outside Bolton Interchange station.

(C) Bolton Blackburn

This section of the route runs through the outskirts of Bolton and Blackburn as well as through Darwen. In addition it runs through the rural environment of the West Pennine Moors. Again trees had been cut back, but not removed, and there was rubbish on the lineside in various locations, for instance outside Bolton, Hall I Th Wood and Darwen stations. Additionally there was some debris from building works on the lineside around Darwen station and graffiti on bridges and lineside equipment, particularly outside Darwen and Blackburn stations.

(D) Blackburn Clitheroe

This section of the line runs through areas that are predominantly rural in nature and was the section re-opened in 1994. There is housing and some small industrial units in the towns on the route and further building was taking place between Langho and Whalley. There was rubbish on the lineside, particularly outside of Blackburn and Clitheroe stations. Some graffiti was on bridges, particularly on the route to Ramsgreave and Wilpshire and outside Blackburn station.

1.6 Description of the Route

A number of agency representatives were asked to outline a range of typical passengers. These included the following groups: commuters, shoppers (especially older people and young mothers), students, people accessing Manchester for nightlife and leisure, young people without access to a car, people taking leisure trips to other parts of the region and people travelling to more distant destinations including links to the airport connections for Salford Crescent.

These representatives were also asked to outline a range of items that could potentially affect personal security. In relation to station facilities these include a lack of real-time information and passenger information systems on the route; some of the rural stations are remote and are not staffed, and lack of natural surveillance either by staff or from other passengers. In relation to lineside conditions they mentioned sections of the route where vandalism was felt to occur, where there are overhanging trees, where objects are thrown at trains and where lighting is insufficient. There were also concerns that the current redevelopment at Blackburn station may present a threatening environment for passengers during its construction.

1.7 Station Facilities

The stations on the route vary in their size and the facilities that they possess. Some of the design features of these stations include the following:

  • They range from Manchester Victoria with Metrolink interchange and situated within Manchester City Centre, to stations with bus interchanges such as Bolton Interchange, Blackburn and Clitheroe, to Entwistle station that has single track running past it and has a brick-built shelter
  • All the stations have some sort of covered shelter, ranging from covered platforms and waiting rooms to brick and glass shelters
  • Most stations have cycle racks although these were not being used to any great extent when the route was visited
  • The links to buses also range between the stations from the interchanges at Bolton Interchange, Blackburn and Clitheroe, through to stops at or near stations, to those stations that do not have bus stops nearby.

Some of the features of the stations relating to personal security include the following:

  • Some of the stations on the route have got CCTV cameras and Help Points in place
  • Many of the stations do not have a staff presence either as ticket office staff or other rail staff
  • All the stations have information about timetables and links to other facilities, such as local shops and other transport forms, in the form of a noticeboard
  • Some of the stations have some form of passenger information screens or tannoy systems

1.8 Crime-Related Data

The following range of data has been obtained about the route:

  • British Transport Police Crime Data for the stations on the route
  • Station usage data from First North Western
  • Crime data from Greater Manchester and Lancashire Police for crimes occurring in the surrounds of the stations on the route
  • Reported damage to bus shelters
  • Data on reported incidents on bus routes serving the area of the route
  • Range of information about station facilities on the route, along with more detailed information from the Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Executive (GMPTE) on the maintenance schedule for stations

1.9 British Transport Police Crime Data

Data has been supplied by the British Transport Police (BTP) of all reported crimes for the stations on this route for the period 1.4.99 to 31.3.00. In total there were 691 crimes reported in this 12-month period. Of these there were 164 (23.7%) reported incidents of trespass on the railway line, 92 (13.3)% reported incidents of theft, and 75 (10.9%) reported stone-throwing incidents.

Table 2 outlines the breakdown of incidents by each individual station on the route. This table also contains a rate by utilising the usage data from the operator which is a more meaningful measure of potential problems as it takes into account the varying levels of passengers that flow through the stations. This usage data outlines the total number of tickets sold to the destination station over the same time period as the crime data. Some of these tickets will cover more than one journey, for instance season tickets and some return tickets. The actual usage of these stations in terms of passenger numbers is thus likely to be higher. First North Western suggest that the tickets issued could be multiplied for most stations by approximately 1.5 times to get the number of passengers, although for stations such as Manchester Victoria the number of passes and ranger tickets available would mean an even higher passenger usage figure. For comparing the crime data, however, the tickets issued will be used as a denominator.

Table 2: Recorded Crimes for Stations on Pilot Route for Period 1.4.99 to 31.3.00

Station Name

Recorded Crimes

Tickets Issued to Destination

Rate/100000 Passengers

Percentage of total

Manchester Victoria





Salford Central





Salford Crescent





Bolton Interchange





Hall I Th Wood





Bromley Cross




















Ramsgreave and Wilpshire




















Sources: British Transport Police and First North Western Trains

As can be seen the highest rate of reported crimes by the number of tickets issued for that station is at Hall I Th Wood station followed by Darwen station. A reason expressed for the high rate of crimes at Hall I Th Wood station is that the rail track splits a housing estate and the line acts as an unofficial footpath between the two halves of the estate. The proportion of incidents of track trespass or failing to shut the gate at this station is 61%. In terms of the absolute numbers the highest figures are seen at Manchester Victoria, Blackburn and Bolton Interchange, which is not surprising given that these stations also have the highest numbers of passengers.

1.10 Crime Data from Greater Manchester and Lancashire Police

Information has also been supplied by the two geographically based police forces of reported crimes for the same time period 1.4.99 to 31.3.00. This data covers the beat or incident location in which the individual stations lie and was provided by North Manchester, Salford and Bolton divisions of Greater Manchester Police and Lancashire Police. The information shows all crimes that occurred within the beat or incident location in order to build up a picture of the type of area that potential users may have to travel through to the stations. Additionally data was specifically requested on incidents of youth nuisance in these beats. This information is presented in table 3.

Table 3: Reported Crime Incidents for Police Beats Surrounding Railway Stations on the Route

Station Name

Recorded Crimes

Percentage of total Destination

Juvenile Nuisance

Percentage of all Crimes

Manchester Victoria





Salford Central





Salford Crescent





Bolton Interchange





Hall I Th Wood





Bromley Cross




















Ramsgreave and Wilpshire

























Sources: Greater Manchester Police and Lancashire Constabulary

The data was requested to be split into age, sex and ethnicity of the victims. Unfortunately not all the police divisions were able to split the data in this way and out of those that could, many incidents had these fields left blank thus this data is not presented here.

The highest number of crimes reported is in the area surrounding Blackburn station, followed by Hall I Th Wood and Salford Central stations. Blackburn station is surrounded by the town centre and Salford Central lies on the border of Salford and Manchester, with Hall I Th Wood situated in the middle of a housing estate.

The highest reported incidents of juvenile nuisance are in the area surrounding Darwen station, followed by Clitheroe and Hall I Th Wood. Darwen station is situated near to the town centre of Darwen and Clitheroe is within that towns centre. The levels of juvenile nuisance around Darwen station were also identified by agency representatives as a hotspot.

1.11 Reported Incidents on Route

First North Western have provided details of incidents that drivers have reported to them of objects left on the line, objects thrown at trains and track trespass.

In the twelve-month period up until July 2000 drivers reported 3 incidents of objects left on the line, 30 incidents of objects thrown at the train and 7 incidents of trespass. Out of these incidents none of the objects left on the line, 10 of the incidents of objects thrown at trains and 1 of the incidents of trespass were reported by drivers of the Manchester Victoria to Clitheroe service. The remainder of the incidents occurred on trains that were operating other routes on the line.

1.12 Reported Damage to Bus Shelters

Figures have been provided by JC Decaux, the bus shelter operator for Greater Manchester, GMPTE, Blackburn with Darwen and Ribble Valley councils, on incidents of damage to bus shelters serving the stations on the route over the last 12 months. Not all the stations have bus shelters.

Table 4: Reported Incidents of Damage due to Vandalism of Bus Shelters


Number of Incidents

Manchester Victoria


Salford Central


Salford Crescent


Bolton Interchange


Hall I Th Wood


Bromley Cross








Ramsgreave and Wilpshire








Sources: JC Decaux, GMPTE, Blackburn with Darwen and Ribble Valley Councils

It can be seen that the most incidents occurred at the interchange in Bolton and then at Manchester Victoria. This may be expected due to the larger number of bus shelters at these locations. However the interchanges at Blackburn and Clitheroe both have not had any reports of vandalism in this period. The number of incidents at Bromley Cross is also relatively high considering that there are only two bus shelters at this station.

The types of incidents reported included: smashing of glass, damage to timetable holders, damage to lights, damage to CCTV cameras and graffiti.

1.13 Data of Reported Incidents on Bus Routes

Data was requested from GMPTE and Stagecoach Ribble on reported incidents of disorder on buses that serve the railway stations on the route. The data was for the 12-month period prior to May 2000.

Table 5: Reported Incidents on Buses


Number of Incidents

Number of Incidents on School Run













Sources: GMPTE, Stagecoach Ribble

The types of incident reported included: assaults on passengers and staff, spitting at staff, theft of fares, criminal damage to seats and windows, throwing of food around the bus, and missiles thrown from the bus. As is shown in table 5, 15.8% of reported incidents occurred on the school run.

1.14 GMPTE Station Data

GMPTE undertake checks on rail stations in their area that cover a range of facets of the station. The inspection regime is common across all the PTEs in the country and is called Service Quality Incentive Regime (SQUIRE). They have provided information for the checks that were undertaken between 6.2.00 and 31.3.00. Where the station does not have a particular facility this is indicated by n/a. The criteria for failing a station varies for each facility. For example inspectors should fail a station on passenger information screens showing departures if:

  • the times of all services departing the station in the next 60 minutes are not shown
  • the final destination station of those services are not shown
  • information about whether services are or are expected to be delayed is not shown
  • information on service cancellations is not shown

(Melton, 2000, Pg. 25)

Table 6: Percentage of Passes for Selected Facets of Stations




Retail and Info. Services

Toilets and Washing Facilities


Passenger Info. Systems

Public Address Systems

Printed Rail Info.

Manchester Victoria









Salford Central









Salford Crescent









Bolton Interchange









Hall I Th Wood









Bromley Cross









Source: GMPTE

As can be seen the information provided by these checks show that the standards vary between the stations. For example, on the cleaning of stations at Salford Central 62.5% of the checks in this period reached the pass standard, but only 31.25% of checks at Bolton Interchange passed. Additionally when considering the general maintenance of the stations Bromley Cross passed on 61.36% of occasions whereas Salford Central only passed on 18.75% of occasions.

Chapter 2: Information Relevant to the Study

Information covering a range of potential areas, such as other schemes and initiatives already in place and funding streams that could be utilised, has been obtained from a range of agencies and individuals. This information covers:

  • Crime and Disorder Strategies
  • Potential Funding Streams
  • Local Existing Projects

2.1 Crime and Disorder Strategies

There are a number of local authorities that the route passes through. All of these had to complete a Crime and Disorder Audit and Strategy in April 1999 under the Crime and Disorder Act 1998. None of these have identified public transport related crime as a key issue. Indeed there are very few mentions at all of public transport related issues throughout the audits or strategies. The following, however, provides a summary of potentially relevant schemes from the strategies.

  • Manchester: the strategy mentions tackling city centre flashpoints under the action list for Street Violence and Robbery. This aim includes producing a position statement on enhancing late-night city centre transport, including a reference to women's safety. Secondly is the aim to prioritise street-lighting resources to hotspots including potential transport related hot-spots (Manchester City Council, 1999, Pg. 9)
  • Salford: there are no mentions of public transport, but schemes are mentioned around community mobilisation, environmental resistance (for example, improving the physical environment and improving street-lighting) and targeting high crime and repeat victimisation. The area that the station lies in, Blackfriars/Broughton, had the highest incidence of vehicle crime, juvenile nuisance and criminal damage compared to the rest of Salford (City of Salford, 1999)
  • Bolton: there is no mention in the strategy of any relevant schemes (Bolton Crime and Disorder Partnership Group, 1999)
  • Blackburn with Darwen: again there are no mentions of public transport. There is the aim to reduce crime by 8% and anti-social behaviour by 4% in Blackburn town centre, where the station is located (Blackburn with Darwen, 1999)
  • Ribble Valley: there are no mentions of public transport in the strategy (Ribble Valley, 1999)

2.2 Potential Funding Streams

(A) Single Regeneration Budget (SRB) schemes

Along the route there are various SRB schemes that have received funding. These could potentially be linked to any projects or schemes that flow out of this study. The schemes already in place are:

  • Integrating and Sustaining Communities Salford
  • Blackburn Regeneration Partnership Blackburn
  • Cheetham and Broughton Initiative Higher Broughton, Salford
  • The Learning Town Bolton
  • Farnworth/Little Hulton Bolton
  • The Hyndburn Partnership Accrington

(B) European funding

The areas within the UK that are eligible for European Funding have recently been changed. Objective 2 funding is available for areas that have particular structural problems in relation to industrial and service sectors, declining rural areas, urban areas in difficulty and depressed areas dependent on fisheries. This funding is available on an electoral ward basis and there are wards within all of the local authorities on the route that are eligible for such funding (Department of Trade and Industry, 1999).

2.3 Rail Station Redevelopment Schemes

Various stations on the route have either been redeveloped or there are plans for their redevelopment. Clitheroe station was completed in March 2000 and was officially opened in September 2000. Blackburn station is currently being redeveloped and is due for completion in March 2001. There are plans to redevelop both Bolton Interchange and Salford Central stations with work starting in 2001. Additionally works will be undertaken at Bromley Cross station that are specifically aimed at improving the safety of passengers who currently have to access platforms by crossing the track.

2.4 Local Transport Plans

Local authorities have drawn up their Local Transport Plans that will shape the future priorities for an areas local transport needs and prioritise schemes for funding. Capital programmes that are outlined in the Plans provide the greatest opportunity to ensure that personal security considerations are addressed and funding made available. The Blackburn with Darwen Provisional Local Transport Plan contains the sum of £100,000 to extend Secure Station concepts to Darwen and Entwistle (Blackburn with Darwen, 1999, Pg. 113).

2.5 Conditions of Franchise

First North Western currently holds the franchise for the route. This franchise is due to be re-tendered in January 2004. There is the possibility that in the re-tendered contract specific improvements to security could be included as a condition of contract. Similarly, improvements to station facilities can be included in this process.

2.6 Existing Local Projects

There are a range of projects and schemes that are already in place across the area covered by the route. These projects could inform the action planning for the route and provide a focus for future action.

(A) Local transport plans

The provisional Local Transport Plan for the Greater Manchester Authorities stresses the aim of achieving modal shift and within this utilising all transport modes. The Plan also mentions the aim to improve safety of travellers (Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Authority, 2000). Blackburn with Darwens Provisional Local Transport Plan has the aim of supporting sustainable development whilst reducing the need to travel. It has a range of specific objectives and one section of the draft Plan is concerned with integration. Within this theme is a specific section focussing upon security (Blackburn with Darwen, 1999).

(B) Alternative transport

There is much activity at present in the development of alternative forms of transport to the car. Some projects and initiatives of relevance locally are:

  • Workplace travel plans: there is work being undertaken by local authorities in liaison with large employers in developing workplace transport plans. Leading on from this potentially is the linking to quality corridors where schemes could be developed to link improvements in workplace transport to the quality corridor concept. This scheme is entitled Charge and Development partnership funding. In order to obtain this funding the employer must have a transport problem and be on a quality corridor
  • Local Transport Plans: including strategies for alternative transport modes to the car
  • Travelwise: Travelwise is a national scheme that aims to promote alternatives to the car. Local authorities in the project area support the aims of Travelwise
  • Cycling strategies: there are in existence cycling strategies for each local authority. There is also a Greater Manchester cycling strategy. The general aims of these strategies are to set out the policy framework for cycling, set targets for increasing usage, and identification of additional cycling networks that link to other forms of transport (Greater Manchester Local Authorities, 1999)
  • Ring and Ride: across Greater Manchester there is in place the Ring and Ride scheme for elderly and disabled people. Under the scheme people can become members and bookings are then taken (a day in advance) for door-to-door journeys. The journeys cost 40p each if the customer has a bus pass and 70p if they do not. In 1998/99 there were 145,000 journeys undertaken on this service

(C) First North Western initiatives

There are two initiatives that First North Western have developed that are of interest for this project:

  • A route manager for the Manchester Victoria to Clitheroe line was appointed in February 2000. The route manager has the responsibility for responding to problems and issues that develop on the route. Since being appointed the manager has made contacts with many groups and individuals, and also responds to customer complaints. The route managers photograph and contact details are displayed at every station on the route. The route manager for this line is the only such post across First Group.
  • Staff within First North Western are being encouraged to adopt a station and examine all aspects of that station including security. The station adopted should be one that they do not usually encounter in their daily work.

(D) GMPTE safety and security group

This group has been established to investigate all aspects of safety and security on public transport. Meetings previously occurred, but the group has only met in its current format once. The members of the group are:

  • GMPTE including service planning, safety and security co-ordinator and infrastructure
  • Railtrack
  • Train and bus operators
  • British Transport and Greater Manchester Police
  • User Group representative
  • An elected member

At future meetings the group will also be broadened to include both a youth representative and a representative from the education service.

(E) University of Salford security projects

Under the Chapel Street Regeneration Scheme, a planned scheme to redevelop areas of Salford, there is a specific group that addresses issues of security and safety at the University of Salford. A range of actions and projects are emerging from this group and from the University itself. These include:

  • Signing improvements at Salford Crescent: there is a project to have coloured signs along routes to and from the University and the station. These signs would allow people to follow a given coloured route to the required destination
  • Environmental improvements: agencies are working together to remove potential safety hazards such as overhanging trees and improving street lighting
  • Provision of timetable information: students will have bus and rail timetables provided for them that are most relevant to their needs
  • Travel co-ordinator: the University, local hospital trust and Salford City Council will be employing a travel co-ordinator who will be looking not only at travel congestion and services at these institutions but will also explore safety issues
  • Freshers information: the Student Union and local police are involved in a scheme to produce a brochure highlighting issues with improving personal safety

(F) Youth consultation

In May 1999 an event was organised by Salford City Council, Greater Manchester Police and GMPTE that was designed to consult high school pupils on safety for young people using public transport (Greater Manchester Police Authority, 1999).

The day allowed young people to give their opinions on public transport, allowed for debate of issues surrounding public transport and had the end result of producing a youth charter. This youth charter was expressed in terms of responsibilities of young people, such as being honest about their age and not engaging in criminal damage, as well as rights such as the right to complain and being treated with respect by drivers (Greater Manchester Police Authority, 1999).

A further consultation was held in May 2000 with young people in relation to the development of the Salford Unitary Development Plan of which a session also focussed upon public transport issues (City of Salford, 2000).

(G) Crimestoppers campaign

Crimestoppers are currently developing a campaign specifically looking at addressing public transport related crime. This scheme is being piloted in Greater Manchester and initially there is a competition in schools to design posters publicising the scheme. This competition has a prize for the winners family in both secondary and primary school categories.

(H) Public transport contacts

Currently the Public Transport Safety and Security Co-ordinator at GMPTE is developing specific public transport contacts within all 24 divisions of Greater Manchester Police. These officers will be the first point of call for agencies responding to public transport issues and so far all divisions have at least nominated a contact officer.

(I) Grouping services

Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Authority has recently promoted the grouping of bus services together at night. This means that services will depart from a similar location in a bus station so that these facilities feel less isolated to users.

Chapter 3: Strengths, Weaknesses Opportunities and Threats - SWOT Analysis

3.1 Summary of the SWOT Analysis

This analysis informed the development of the action plan process, and the basis of issues and concerns needing to be addressed at this stage of the project. The items contained in the SWOT analysis were generally agreed by the agencies represented on the Steering Group. A number of the weaknesses concern potential difficulties in relating to different agencies in different areas. These agencies will have a range of priorities and pressures upon them. These weaknesses need to be addressed when compiling the Action Plan. Similarly threats outlined, such as the need to relate to the wider public transport agenda, also need to be explored as the project progresses. However the steering group felt that the strengths of the process and the potential opportunities were plentiful and provided optimism for the success of the project. The full SWOT analysis is in Appendix 1.

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