BBC News makes basic error shock!

I know I shouldn’t be surprised, but the BBC has managed to produce not one but two incorrect maps of where Manchester is situated in relation to the West Coast Main Line.

The one they used for the TV news had the line making an outrageous detour in order to go through Manchester; the one from the website, reproduced here, has the line in the right place but Manchester in the wrong one: the box on the map is probably meant to show Warrington, which is indeed served by the West Coast Main Line.

In short: the WCML goes around Manchester to the West, via Warrington: there are lines off the WCML into Manchester and out again, but Manchester is not on the West Coast Main Line! It’s a complicated route – some would argue the network in and out of Manchester should count as the WCML, in which case I would have grown up less than ten minutes’ walk from the thing, which I definitely did not – but the test is a simple one: if you wanted to travel from one end of the WCML to the other, no sane choice of route would take you through Manchester, any more than you’d go via Cambridge to get from one end of the East Coast Main Line to the other: you’d by-pass it. The same goes for Birmingham New Street: it’s not on the West Coast Main Line.

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One comment

  1. Auntie must have read Wikipedia; that has the Manchester diversionary route as being WCML. But you and I know that, really, the north-west’s hottest WCML destination is Warrington Bank Quay.

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