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Publication date:- 2017-21-04

user-generated Headlines and reports on this page = 2 news items.    Page - 1.

Sefton bus network changes set to be implemented

CHANGES to Sefton bus services as part of the on going bus network reviews, aimed at creating a simpler, clearer network across the City region, are set to be introduced on Sunday, 23 April 2017. Improvements to services in Sefton include:-

Improved link between Maghull and Aintree University Hospital.
Improved evenings and Sundays provision linking South and East Maghull to Maghull Station.
Evenings and Sundays service introduced on Service 58.
Evenings and Sundays service introduced on Service 144.
Evenings and Sundays service introduced on Service 159.
Extended hours of operation of service 300 between Liverpool and Lydiate and 310 between Liverpool and Maghull.
300 and 310 timetable better co-ordinated in Maghull.

Full details of the changes can be found on the Merseytravel website.

Sefton is the latest area to be reviewed as part of a wider review of the whole Liverpool City Region bus network. The reviews are 1 of the key work areas of the Bus Alliance which is seeing Merseytravel, Arriva and Stagecoach work together to transform bus services to encourage more people to take the bus. However, network reviews involve all bus operators in the area that is under review.

Historically bus routes have been considered on a piecemeal basis and the idea is to consider the commercial network and the supported network; that which relies on public subsidy via Merseytravel; as a whole for the first time, to ensure it best reflects current working and living patterns and new developments and how they are served.

Part of the review has been looking at the current supported bus network and considering how increasingly limited public resources can be focused where there is most need. A consultation process involving members of the public and key stakeholders, which saw a number of drop in events across Sefton and an online survey, has helped to shape the review.

As has been in the case with the other reviews, Impacts of changes have been mitigated by re-routing some existing commercial services where possible to negate the need for a service supported by public funding. The proposals endeavour to ensure that everyone is within reasonable distance of a bus service.

The consultation for Sefton has resulted in adaptations to routes and services beyond those that were originally proposed, including adjustments to the Maghull circular services.

Frank Rogers, Chief Executive of Merseytravel said:- "The review of the Sefton bus network has resulted in some significant improvements, which have resulted in better links for part of the area than were previously available. We've worked hard with operators to devise this new simpler, clearer network and have listened to people who live and work in Sefton, making some changes to our initial proposals as a result. In some cases, people may have to walk slightly further to a bus stop or make a connection to complete their journeys, but we've ensured that everyone can access bus services. This is another example of us working innovatively through the Bus Alliance at a time when, as a result of budget cuts, some areas outside our City Region have communities left without any services at all."

The Bus Alliance is an agreement between Merseytravel, Arriva and Stagecoach to improve bus travel for people across the Liverpool City Region. In time, it is hoped that other bus operators will join the Alliance. The Alliance's ambition is for a thriving, affordable and sustainable bus network that offers the customer a value for money and hassle free journey experience; leading to an increase in fare paying passengers. It will look at creating simpler networks and fare structures to more investment in the buses themselves. Encouraging more people to travel by bus drives investment and means less reliance on the public purse.

Key work areas of the Bus Alliance will include:-

A review of the City Region bus network.
Investment in new and greener vehicles.
On board Wi-Fi and at seat USB charging points on all new vehicles.
► Improved bus links to and from John Lennon Airport.
► Streamlined service changes to make bus services more stable.
► Simpler ticketing and a review of zonal structures and pricing.
► Review of all customer information including more Real Time Information.
► Better integration of bus and rail services.
► Improved Customer Service training for all bus drivers.

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