Wirral’s Quality Bus Partnerships

Wirral’s Quality Bus Partnerships

Today Arriva North West, Arriva Buses Wales and First Chester & Wirral have joined forces with Merseytravel, Wirral Council and Cheshire West and Chester Council to improve and integrate services on routes 1, 3 and 401 to provide a better service between Liverpool, Ellesmere Port and Chester.

They’ve done the same on routes 71/72/171/172/472 which run between Liverpool and Heswall. Service numbers 71, 72, 171 172 and 472 will be combined to become the 471 and 472, and the 1, 3 and 401 will become the 1, 2 and X2.

In what is termed a Quality Partnership there will be combined and co-ordinated timetables. This means on both routes a daytime bus every ten minutes throughout Monday to Saturdays daytimes with 30 minute services in the evenings and either 15 minute (471/472) or 30 minute (1,2,X2) frequency on Sundays.

The Quality Partnership also allows tickets issued by either bus company to be used on both companies’ buses on these routes.

As previously posted in the post Quality Bus Partnership for the Wirral, this was a long time in the making for all parties involved making sure that the facilities along each of the routes are to the standard they ought to be, as well as enlisting infrastructure improvements to the local councils to rectify where things need to be altered such as the installation of raised kerbs and so on.

First Chester & Wirral Volvo B7TL with Wright Eclipse Gemini
body registered YJ04 FZF with the fleet number of 32458.

In order for the Quality Partnership to work effectively, the operators Arriva North West, Arriva Buses Wales, and the local councils and PTE’s Cheshire West & Chester Council as well as Merseytravel have all signed a singular contract in a bid to improve the quality of the service provided between the corridors in which the contract ties them to. For more on the other Quality Bus Partnership schemes throughout Merseyside see my Merseyside Quality Partnerships post.

The services involved are :

Service 1 which was previously solely run by First Chester & Wirral which runs between Chester Bus Exchange to Liverpool City Centre via Chester Zoo, Blue Planet Aquarium, Cheshire Oaks, Ellesmere Port Bus Station, Great Sutton, Hooton Crossroads, Bromborough Village and Birkenhead.

Service 71 which was previously solely run by First Chester & Wirral has been re-numbered 471 and now runs jointly to a combined timetable with Arriva North West, it runs from Liverpool City Centre to Heswall Bus Station via Birkenhead Bus Station, Prenton, Arrowe Park Hospital, and Irby. All Merseytravel tendered services 171 operated by A2B Travel have been withdrawn and been replaced by additional 471 services.

Service 72 which was previously solely run by First Chester & Wirral has been re-numbered 471 and now runs jointly to a combined timetable with Arriva North West, it runs from Liverpool City Centre to Heswall Bus Station via Birkenhead Bus Station, Prenton, Arrowe Park Hospital, and Pensby. All Merseytravel tendered services 172 operated by A2B Travel have been withdrawn and been replaced by additional 472 services.

Service 401 which was previously solely run by Arriva North West has been re-numbered service number 2 and also replaces former First Chester & Wirral service number 3 which ran from Chester Bus Exchange to Rivacre, the number 2 service is run jointly by Arriva North West and First Chester and Wirral and runs via Chester Bus Exchange to Liverpool City Centre via Strawberry Fields (previously on service 3 route), Ellesmere Port Bus Station, Little Sutton, Hooton Crossroads, Bromborough Village and Birkenhead.

Service X2 a new service that has been also introduced by Arriva Buses Wales and First Chester & Wirral which runs from Chester Bus Exchange to Ellesmere Port Bus Station via Liverpool Road.

First Chester & Wirral responded to the introduction of the Quality Partnerships by transferring six former First West Yorkshire Volvo B7TL’s with Wright Eclipse Gemini bodies registered YJ04 FZA (32453), YJ04 FZB (32454), YJ04 FZC (32455), YJ04 FZD (32456), YJ04 FZE (32457) and YJ04 FZF (32458).

First West Yorkshire Scania L113CRL with Wright Axcess
Ultralow body S104 CSG after arriving in Leeds.
Picture by James Bromptn

Transferred to First West Yorkshire’s Leeds depot are Scania L113CRL with Wright Ultralow body passing to Leeds depot including S103 CSG (61138) and S104 CSG (61139) and Scania L94UB’s with Wright Floline bodies V138 DND (60190), X271 USH (60200) and T562 BSS (60216) in return.

Tom Harrison
ADMINISTRATOR
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