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Heritage railways passengers numbers


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58 minutes ago, Andy Onchan said:

What MNH Kiosk? Or do you mean the main Welcome Centre?

To add to Numbnuts answer, there was a written question from Barber (#41) for last week's Tynwald that gave some background:

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Pursuant to his Answer of 23rd October 2018, what the outcome of the formal review into the MNH kiosk at the Sea Terminal was and if he will publish it in full; what the costs and profits associated with its running over the 2 year operation period to date were; and what his future plans for it are?

The Department has been advised that Manx National Heritage (MNH) keeps its retail and trading operations under review through monthly monitoring of statistics and regular reports to the Board. There is no single review document available to be published. Costs and income are aggregated within the organisation’s overall accounts published for 2018/19. The kiosk was placed at the Sea Terminal in order to trial an enhanced presence at the Sea Terminal. This coincided with changes in opening times and the provision of retail at the Welcome Centre.

The review of the first year trial of operation at the Sea Terminal highlighted that:

 retail sales were stronger than expected;

 different product lines were needed at different times and for different customers;

 admission and ticket sales were below expectations;  cruise ships were not engaged as expected as passengers did not generally enter or leave via the Sea Terminal;

 managing operation of the kiosk on a temporary basis had taken up higher than expected resources, in particular to ensure staff availability;

 the indirect benefits of promoting MNH and providing a positive visitor experience were significant but at a net cost of circa £15k (including the full cost of staff, VAT, cost of sales and commission to suppliers) this was not sustainable.

During 2019 MNH reduced the opening hours of the kiosk to cover peak periods only. Retail sales and customer engagement for TT and Festival of Motorcycling were identified as key areas for delivery and the kiosk closed after the Festival of Motorcycling.

The current licence with the Department of Infrastructure for the kiosk ends on 31 March 2020 and is unlikely to be renewed.

As with other things I suspect pressure from the DfE for their beloved cruise passengers forced MNH into this waste of money and effort (previous answers have hinted at this) and they are now saying "Told you so!".  Of course the real shock is an area of government bothering to actually work out the numbers.

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The sooner all of the Heritage transport systems are moved over to the 3rd/volunteer sector the better.

I think the Welcome Centre comes under the Cabinet Office and was transferred from the DfE (or rather its predecessor the DED) which may mean there is little love lost there.  They don't seem to sell

Increasing or reinstalling train services is a no no as lots of the previous land has been sold or moved on .. Bridges demolished and the likes .And you'd still be up against the 'have to have my car'

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1 hour ago, thesultanofsheight said:

No but strangely they can start ripping the DHSC and Noble’s up for millions of cost savings when at the same time we piss money away on this old junk and that’s ok. 

Trouble is Sultan, this lot are so inept at most things, they have completely lost track of where savings can be made quite easily without being detrimental to us all.

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32 minutes ago, Max Power said:

It would appear that the promenade disruption has been the cause of the sharp decline in MER numbers. Who is going to try and find their way across that lot without the horse tram link. 

Well that's what they'd like you to believe:

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The Manx Electric Railway marked its 125th anniversary in 2018. A number of events were held throughout the season, leading to an unusually busy year for passengers and reflecting a similar pattern to the centenary celebrations in 1993.

A reduction in numbers was anticipated in 2019 and this was exacerbated by a fall in passengers arriving from the horse tramway. Numbers are not expected to recover fully until the horse tram service is restored, as up to half of passengers transfer to the MER.

But if you look at the numbers:

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Even if every lost horse tram journey was feeding into the MER (and how did they get back?) it would only account for 60% of the loss on the MER. 

It's actually quite difficult to find yearly passenger numbers in the past as they normally just issue press releases only highlighting the most favourable spin, but luckily Rob Callister asked a Keys question in May, which gives us the numbers on each from 2012.  This shows that while the 125 Anniversary did increase numbers by about 17,000 there had been similar rises in previous years.  So where much of the drop actually comes from remains a mystery.  People could still get to Derby Castle by other means (notably buses), so if they were being put off by the disaster zone,  it shows a failure on the part of the Railways to make alternative arrangements and advertise them.

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4 hours ago, Non-Believer said:

Well, given that Skelly's just announced that the MNH Kiosk at the Sea Terminal is to close in March partly due to a lack of interest from cruise passengers.....

I could never quite understand why we had a welcome Centre, then someone else was employed to sit outside of there is a draughty box.

surely there can’t be that big a disconnect?

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18 minutes ago, Derek Flint said:

I could never quite understand why we had a welcome Centre, then someone else was employed to sit outside of there is a draughty box.

surely there can’t be that big a disconnect?

:rolleyes::whistling:

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23 minutes ago, Derek Flint said:

I could never quite understand why we had a welcome Centre, then someone else was employed to sit outside of there is a draughty box.

surely there can’t be that big a disconnect?

I think the Welcome Centre comes under the Cabinet Office and was transferred from the DfE (or rather its predecessor the DED) which may mean there is little love lost there.  They don't seem to sell MNH stuff at the moment (even when the kiosk is shut).  So it could have been that the DfE arm-twisted MNH to set up this wholly unnecessary  kiosk so they had their 'own' facility so as to get back at them.  And to service the cruise passengers - who it turns out never go anywhere near it.

Petty turf wars that end up costing the taxpayer money - who could imagine such a thing.

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5 hours ago, Neil Down said:

His shops were a waste of time?

No haha his shops are very successful but going down to try and entice cruise passengers to go to them was. After time , printing leaflets and the likes it didn't bring him any extra business ...sorry Neil for confusion and thanks for being gentle on me . My education suffered sadly  

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2 hours ago, Derek Flint said:

I could never quite understand why we had a welcome Centre, then someone else was employed to sit outside of there is a draughty box.

surely there can’t be that big a disconnect?

How long have you lived on the Island, Derek?

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33 minutes ago, MrPB said:

It’s not manned by volunteers it [was] manned by employed MNH personnel. You can only assume there was a Harry Hill style fight, fight, fight between MHN and the other government department which staffs the welcome centre to warrant two welcome facilities existing within literally 10 feet of each other. It’s what you get with a silo mentality. At MHN they probably said those welcome centre people are shit as they never sell MNH tickets to cruise people so we need to set up a stand 10 feet in front of them to capture people before they walk to another government department and spend money on the services they push instead. 

I'm sure there was cruise ship volunteers down there ..I'll check with my friend later 

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Fighting over the 6 cruise passengers a year (probably) who actually passed through the Sea Terminal on their way to trip the light fantastic?

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5 minutes ago, Numbnuts said:

I'm sure there was cruise ship volunteers down there ..I'll check with my friend later 

I think you’ll find it wasn’t. 

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4 minutes ago, Non-Believer said:

Fighting over the 6 cruise passengers a year (probably) who actually passed through the Sea Terminal on their way to trip the light fantastic?

The trips and visits are all booked and paid for on board. The cruise companies have a huge mark up, 100-200%, and probably get a discount from IMR and MNH,.

A few, very few, do go solo and book their own.

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3 minutes ago, John Wright said:

The trips and visits are all booked and paid for on board. The cruise companies have a huge mark up, 100-200%, and probably get a discount from IMR and MNH,.

A few, very few, do go solo and book their own.

I spoke to a couple from Canada and they showed me the cruise ships list of trips. Omg really expensive from memory around £75 for a trip to Laxey Wheel 

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