Some bus services in Wirral have resumed this week after the sad demise of Wirral bus company Avon Buses last month. A total of 18 bus routes have been saved, one new service has been introduced while 15 services have been withdrawn.
Merseytravel has acted to introduce a number of bus services into Wirral, including an improved provision to two hospitals, which replace services lost following the closure of Avon Buses earlier last month.
Merseytravel has stepped in to address this private sector operator failure in line with the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority Transport Committee’s approved policy for the provision of bus services. These supported bus services are funded publicly and aim to fill gaps in the network of commercial bus services across Merseyside so that as many people as possible have access to a bus service.
All the replacement services started on Monday 5th November. A full list of the new services and operators can be found on the Merseytravel webpage at merseytravel.gov.uk/avon.
Services which are being operated by Stagecoach on behalf of Merseytravel (with the exception of the 628 and 652 school services) will operate with Stagecoach tickets and fares, meaning that customers can take advantage of operator-specific daily, weekly and monthly tickets in addition to Merseytravel’s ticketing products such as Solo. The services operated by Eazibus and Hattons, will have Merseytravel supported fare structures applied.
Timetables for each service are now online with printed copies due to be delivered out to information outlets from the week commencing 12th November 2018 onwards. The online journey planner is currently in the process of being updated to reflect the new services.
Due to the quick turnaround in establishing these new services, some information at bus stops will not be updated in time for the start of the new services – Merseytravel is aiming to have these all updated as soon as possible. We thank all bus users for their patience and understanding while this work is completed.
Liverpool City Region Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram said: “We know how much people rely on bus services for all of their day-to-day activities, from going to school or work, shopping, or visiting the hospital or their GP.
“This swift action, to ensure that people can still get around following the collapse of a private sector operator, demonstrates the importance of the Combined Authority’s role in overseeing public transport across the city region. It is also a timely reminder of why we are examining the devolved powers we have around bus services to see how we might further improve bus services in the future.”
Cllr Liam Robinson, Liverpool City Region Combined Authority Transport Portfolio Holder, said: “While some areas in the country outside our city region are being left with no services due to the financial challenges being faced by local authorities, we have continued our commitment to bus services across the city region.
“The closure of a bus operator at such short notice presented us with a huge challenge but, within the frameworks, we have to follow and budget restrictions we have, our staff have done an excellent job to turn around these new services so quickly.”
For those who are interested in the recent arrival of Alexander Dennis Enviro200s to Stagecoach Wirral from Stagecoach London, the registrations are as follows; LX58 CAU (36314), LX58 CAV (36315), LX58 CBF (36316), LX58 CBO (36317), LX58 CBU (36318) and LX58 CBV (36319).