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City news in 250 words

<b>Wednesday 1 April:</b> Tram trouble, Cheshire divided and fake police uniforms in Salford

Published on April 1st 2009.

CITY CENTRE TRAMS will stop running from Monday as part of a five month replacement scheme. Stops at Piccadilly Gardens, Piccadilly railway station and Mosley Street will be closed. Passengers will have to leave at Victoria or St Peter's Square. Passengers can get more information about Metrolink services at www.metrolink.co.uk or by calling Metrolink customer services on 0161 205 2000. Tracks are being replaced as part of a £100 million upgrade

AFTER 120 YEARS, Cheshire County Council has become two unitary authorities- Cheshire West and Chester and Cheshire East. Three district councils, Ellesmere Port and Neston, Vale Royal and Chester City have been merged to form Cheshire West and Chester. Congleton, Crewe and Nantwich and Macclesfield now make up Cheshire East. Both authorities are Conservative-led.

A STASH OF FAKE POLICE UNIFORMS have been found in Salford. More than 100 PCSO uniforms, batons, body armour, handcuffs and CS spray holders were found in Lower Broughton just hours after a robbery by bogus officers at the Royal British Legion club in Walkden. The uniforms have old Metropolitan Police badges sewn onto them. Greater Manchester Police believe the uniforms were being sold for £100.

THE STATUE OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN on Brazennose Street, which has been dressed up as a hip-hop fan, is not an April fools joke, it's part of Urbis' exhibiton of New York's contemporary art scene. The artist is Leon Reid IV. The State of the Art: New York exhibition will be running from 9 April – September 16 at Urbis.

This 'n' that wisdom*: fFear defeats more men than any other one thing in the world

*Taken from the free calendar available at This 'n' That, Soap Street, Northern Quarter. Those curry meisters are so very very sagacious. How does this wisdom rate? Confidential rating: 6/10

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16 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

DescartesApril 1st 2009.

There are few things worse, and in my opinion very few people less pleasant, then those using phones on public transport. I don't care if you're closing a deal, talking to loved ones or blasting out crappy rnb, I hate you and I wish you'd hang up and turn your f*cking phone off.

BeeApril 1st 2009.

Credit where it's due - was expecting getting on a Metrolink to be hellish last night because of the Porto game but actually, it was surprisingly well organised! Although United fans deserved the loss - bunch of noisy hooligans!

TJ HaleApril 1st 2009.

Regardless of the much advanced planning they claim to have provided us with, this morning was predictably and unnecessarily chaotic. I have put a number of issues in writing to Metrolink over a period from conduct of staff to ticketing faciities. Theres nothing to be gained by complaints but wasted breath. Apart from extorting maximum cash they don't give a toss about passengers.

foolish apeApril 1st 2009.

It takes all of 10 minutes - max - to walk from Victoria to Market St. With the sun bullying its way through the clouds, is this not a fine opportunity to integrate some exercise into our daily lives? Saying that; I hate mornings and could imagine doing so in pouring rain would see me re-enacting Douglas in Falling Down...

emma graceApril 1st 2009.

I have to say this morning wasn't too bad for me...got off at Victoria and although the inspectors were pointing us all in the direction of the buses, I didn't bother and just walked to St Peter's Square. It's been so badly organized though. Firstly I was told (via letter AND over the phone) that the service would terminate at Market St, but it's actually Victoria. Then I was told there would only be a bus to Piccadilly Gardens, but today a friend of mine has been told there will be one to St Peter's Square??? Yes it's great that they are ploughing so much money into the system; in 5 months we'll all benefit... but they dont' seem to know their arse from their elbow do they?!

AnonymousApril 1st 2009.

Today was a bit of a shambles... I arrived at St Peter's Square in the morning to catch an Eccles line tram to work. The tram was already there but we had to wait 20 minutes for it to leave because an Altrincham tram had to come into the stop first and depart again. Normally when I catch the tram in the morning it's half empty, not so today due to the length of time people had been waiting. Going home was ridiculous - I waited and waited for a tram, it finally came and dumped everyone at GMex with no explanation. I called customer services when I got home and they said trams were terminating at GMex due to a cracked line on Oxford Road. Excuse me? Since when did the trams go down Oxford Road? I said this made no sense and the response was "[long confused silence] ......well that's our official statement". Oh, that's that cleared up then. So getting to and from work takes three times longer, I'm only being taken half the number of stops compared to normal, and I still have to pay full price for all this?! Hopefully tomorrow will be better!

emma graceApril 1st 2009.

I know, makes no sense does it. I was on the metrolink website yesterday pricing up a few different fares and how about this for a load of rubbish: Radcliffe to Victoria - Peak - £3.50. Radcliffe to Victoria - Off Peak - £3.50. WTF??? Surely off peak it should be cheaper??

BeeApril 1st 2009.

Yes as predicted this morning was hellish - just sat between stations for total of 30 minutes with no explanation. Rubbish. Walking past Mosely Street on my way to work i did my citizens duty and informed those waiting for a Met that it wouldn't be coming, for 5 months....

BeeApril 1st 2009.

It's not that i have an aversion to walking in the sunshine but i really don't think it's fair. Especially the way it's been sprung on us (we are a city centre office - no letter!). Plus, if every S.Mancunian in town is getting on the tram at St Pete's to get home at rush hour, it's going to be hell on earth. I hope they get some staff to in place organise our angry mob.

emma graceApril 1st 2009.

Bee we got a letter sent to our office about 3 weeks ago I think explaining what was going on. Tell you what's annoyed me though...in the letter it says that the Bury line would be stopping at Market St. They've now changed their minds and decided to stop it at Victoria. They are putting on replacement bus services but from past experience, I wouldn't rely on those too much. I wouldn't mind if they were reducing the fares a bit, but I've now got to trek from Victoria to St Peter's square every day, and I've still got to pay a fiver a day!!! Bloody joke

foolish apeApril 1st 2009.

Ah right. Well the Metro charging zones have never really seemed well thought-through. Why is it pretty much the same to travel on a single from G-Mex to Alti, as it is for a return from Cornbrook to Alti? Baffling stuff. I agree, it should work along the same lines as bus or train fares. Then again (rambling on), train fairs are ridiculous; £1.20ish single from Oxford Rd to Salford Cres, or £1.30ish return. Hrm...

Formerly HerdedApril 1st 2009.

Hah! This makes me glad I don't use it anymore. To be fair, Cornbrook-Alti was always decent for me; just overpriced. Coming into town was always a different story. I wouldn't wish that on anybody... and now it sounds a lot, lot worse.My deepest sympathies to all you cattle!

AnonymousApril 1st 2009.

Has anyone actually seen any work being done on the tracks yet or are they just fencing everything off for a couple of months before they can be bothered to start?!

Claret ExileApril 1st 2009.

Took 35 minutes this morning to get from Stretford to St Peter's Square. To make the journey worse I was stood next to a bloke shouting down his mobile the whole time!! Be even more fun tonight as there are currently no services to Altrincham due to a broken down vechile!!!!

BeeApril 1st 2009.

FIVE MONTHS?!? WTF. This information is not published anywhere on the system itself and there's a tiny poster explaining what's happening. Absolute disgrace. As usual.

emma graceApril 1st 2009.

No it's not the walking I'm bothered about...it'll be lovely in the summer. It's the fact that I'm travelling 4 fewer stops and will still be paying the same fare that's a bit of a p*sstake...

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