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Thursday 10 September 2015

Simon Danczuk’s Rochdale Fail

Yesterday, local news bulletins across the North West all ran with one top story: there had been a serious accident involving a bus close to Rochdale railway station. The double decker vehicle, working a First Manchester Route 17 service, had for some reason wandered off its normal route and had been driven at rather more than walking pace into a low railway overbridge, instantly shearing off the top deck bodywork.
Two passengers suffered significant injuries; many others escaped with cuts and bruises. Most, including the driver, were in a state of shock. Almost immediately, questions were asked: how did the driver manage to apparently lose her way? Was it true that the driver had only been with First Manchester since June, and had been driving unaccompanied for only a week? Why didn’t the driver see the low bridge warning sign?

Double deck buses have a height warning visible to the driver, and routes worked by them obviously avoid bridges with inadequate clearance. There are clear training issues for First Manchester, and the company was keeping as low a profile as it could manage after the incident. But the one person who could have leveraged his own profile to turn up the heat on the bus operator was notable by his silence.

Yes, Rochdale’s nominally Labour MP Simon Danczuk was away in London - understandable as Parliament is sitting this week - but, had he really been bothered about what was happening on his patch, he could have made himself aware of the crash. From there, he could have asked the necessary questions and at least made some kind of statement. So what was occupying his time instead?

One look at Danczuk’s Twitter feed tells you all you need to know: there was last-minute plugging of his preferred leadership candidate Liz Kendall, kicking Andy Burnham, whose candidature he doesn’t favour, telling his followers that he’d had a morning run around Battersea Park, the news that he went to see Rae Morris perform yesterday evening, and that he had sushi for lunch. But of the bus crash there was nothing.

Simon Danczuk is the first to call out anyone who disagrees with him as “Liberal” and “Metropolitan”. He’s equally fast to slag off Burnham for claiming not to be a typical Westminster politician, suggesting that he (Danczuk) is the one who isn’t part of the Westminster village. He incessantly plugs Rochdale’s pubs, restaurants and even pie shops, but in reality he’s all wind and piss.

Several of his constituents experienced the shock and trauma of a traffic accident yesterday, in circumstances where one might have expected the local MP to pitch in and hold First Manchester’s feet to the nearest fire until they come clean about what gives the appearance of being an inadequate driver training régime. Instead, Simon Danczuk, the great champion of all things Rochdale, was swanning around in London.

But the voters do know he’s exercising and eating healthily, so that’s all right, then.


rob said...

Let's hope he is not claiming expenses for a constituency office who should have naturally kept him informed of any such incident on his patch.

SteveB said...

The cause of the crash may be more than First Group training (although it shouldn't need any training at all to read a sign on a bridge). According to BBC there were 25 passengers, you have to assume a fair proportion were locals who knew the route. The bus was half a mile OFF ROUTE and there is no report of anyone questioning that. Was anything happening on the route that may have caused ad hoc diversions to be set up?

Anonymous said...

It would be appropriate if Danksuck took his ugly mug off to join the non-liberal far right tories.

Which is where he and people like Frank Field belong.

Arnold said...

SteveB. I had the same thought. In my experience passengers shout at the driver immediately after he/she deviates from the route. Sometimes before, if it's obvious that the bus hasn't slowed down to turn right.
These accidents are common. How hard could it be for bridges to broadcast their height and receivers in tall vehicles take appropriate action if it won't fit?

Mark Hollinrake. said...



I would not be surprised if she did not actually work these so called actual hours. I bet she worked far less in her role than she was paid for, just like her Cllrs job in which she did very little.
Usually in such a job, overtime is not paid, instead it is counted as time in lieu, so one would "bank" hours, to take at other times. I sense a rip off to the tax payer here, and this is the problem when family members are employed in such jobs, often, like in this case not even qualified for the role.
If so many hours of overtime were required, then DAnczuk should have employed an extra person. But it suited this greedy couple to have her paid a lot of money on top of his very high salary, as well as "earnings" from anti working class papers