Stagecoach Merseyside and South Lancashire has increased the capacity of its X8 service ensuring customers enjoy a relaxing and enjoyable commute from Liverpool to Ellesmere Port and Chester.
The X8 express bus service operates at a half-hourly frequency between Liverpool City Centre and the new bus interchange in Chester City Centre. It was launched by Stagecoach in early September 2014 as a quicker way to get from Liverpool to Ellesmere Port and Chester than its premium Stagecoach Gold service 1.
Initially, the route used a batch of five dedicated Alexander Dennis Enviro300 integral saloons which were transferred from the company’s Gillmoss depot. They were previously deployed on service 53 between Liverpool City Centre and Crosby. All five vehicles were given dedicated route branding and were fitted with complimentary WiFi.
Three years on, Stagecoach have decided to upgrade capacity on the popular express route. Double deck buses are now commonplace on the route from as early as January 2017, as part of the capacity boost provided for the closure of the Merseyrail Loop Line in the early part of this year.
Even though the rail replacement scheme finished in mid-June, four integral Alexander Dennis Enviro400s have remained on loan to Chester from Gillmoss depot to bolster capacity on the X8.
In October 2017, four integral Alexander Dennis Enviro400s transferred to Stagecoach Merseyside from Stagecoach South West. Initially purchased for Exeter depot, they were deployed on the “Red” Park and Ride service which operates between Exeter City Centre and the Park & Ride facility on Honiton Road, replacing a batch of former Stagecoach London Alexander ALX400 bodied Dennis Trident 2s.
Fitted with dual purpose e-leather seating and with capacity for 75 seated passengers, they also sported a distinctive red and yellow livery. In late 2015, they were replaced by brand new integral Alexander Dennis Enviro400s and transferred to Torquay depot, where they were repainted into Stagecoach’s standard livery.
Now, these well-travelled Alexander Dennis Enviro400s have arrived at their new home in Chester, they are to receive dedicated route branding for the X8 in the not too distant future.
For those interested, the details of the Alexander Dennis Enviro400s are: WA59 FWR (19569), WA59 FWS (19570), WA59 FWT (19571) and WA59 FWU (19572).
In exchange for these four Enviro400s, five integral Alexander Dennis Enviro200s (numbered 37440-4) dating from 2016 have been transferred from Chester to Stagecoach South West’s Plymouth depot.