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"All aboard" as Liverpool City Region's Mayor announces return of the Night Bus

CHRISTMAS has come early for passengers travelling between Liverpool and the Wirral after Mayor Steve Rotheram announced that the highly anticipated Night Bus will return from next week.

Late night revellers and shift workers will soon be able to travel across the Mersey into the early hours of the morning as part of a new trial being launched in the Liverpool City Region.

The N1, which will be operated by Stagecoach, will enter service just before half midnight, on:- Friday, 8 December 2023, with buses running every hour until around:- 5am, every:- Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Mayor Rotheram has worked with local campaign groups, students and the hospitality industry to reinstate the service, which had previously been removed by private operators during the COVID-19 Pandemic and associated lockdowns.

Steve Rotheram, Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, said:- "We're about to enter the busiest time of the year for our visitor economy and, while we want everyone to have a great time celebrating in our Region, we also want them to get home safely. We've worked closely with local campaigners, students, late night workers and our hospitality industry to bring back late bus services between Liverpool and the Wirral to make it safer, cheaper and easier for people to travel home; without having to cut the party short. This a massive result for local people, many who have been campaigning for this moment for 3 years. Following our decision to take back control of the Region's buses and move towards a franchised system, this is another positive step on the journey to putting the public back at the heart of public transport."

The new Night Bus service will run between Birkenhead and Allerton with stops across Liverpool City Centre. The route also includes dozens of stops serving Toxteth, Wavertree and Mossley Hill.

Tickets will cost £2, in line with the reduced adult single fare introduced by the Mayor in September 2022.

Matt Davies, Managing Director of Stagecoach Merseyside, said:- "We are pleased to be working with the Mayor and are excited to relaunch this much-anticipated commercial Night Bus Service, creating new links and better coverage than what we have had previously and with a much lower fare, addressing the need for accessible and affordable transportation during late-night hours."

It's hoped that the late-night service will provide a boost to the Region's vital night time economy, allowing visitors to enjoy the areas:-  bars, clubs, live music venues and theatres; as well as those who work in them; to travel more easily and cheaply after hours.

LCR Music Board member and Senior Lecturer in Music Industries, Dr Mathew Flynn, said:- "Following LCR Music Board's music venues consultation event in March 2022, which highlighted the critical need for improved nighttime transport, our collective efforts; from both music board members, colleagues at the University of Liverpool, and the Civic Data Cooperative; have been tirelessly dedicated to advocating for and developing a business plan to support the revival of the Night Bus. We are thrilled to see the campaign materialise. We anticipate that this development will significantly enhance music venue footfall, bolster ticket sales, and crucially, ensure the provision of safe late-night transport options for both gig-goers, the invaluable staff at these venues and the wider student and nighttime worker communities."

Weekly and monthly passes, as well as Saveaway and day rider tickets, will not be accepted on the service. Full N1 timetables will be available soon at:- Merseytravel.Gov.UK and StagecoachBus.Com.

What are your thoughts on this development? Let us know your thoughts on this news topic... Email our Newsroom at:- News24@SouthportReporter.Com or send us a message on:- Mastodon, Facebook, or Twitter.

Letter to Editor:- "Freshfields Animal Rescue launches our Christmas Appeal; Hope for the Hopeless."

"WE are facing unprecedented demand for spaces in our rescue centres. Sadly people are struggling financially to care for their animals more than ever before, due to the cost of living crisis and there is a massive overpopulation of pets across the whole country. We also face issues as breeding is completely out of control, with opportunist and illegal breeders, poor law enforcement and lack of political interest to support grassroots animal rescue centres Many more animals are dying. Too many of the animals that can't secure a rescue space are being abandoned on the streets, picked up by dog wardens, and then, commonly, put to sleep. Tragically, 99% of vets are still being asked to euthanise unwanted or unaffordable pets, and are doing so, for fear of a worse end for the animal. It's heartbreaking to see animals suffering because of the actions of irresponsible humans. It may seem like there is no hope; but after 45 years of rescue and rehoming, we know that we can change lives together! You are their hope. Together, we are their hope. This is Mabel. She was found tied to a railing, shivering and frightened. When she was brought to Freshfields, we scanned her for a microchip, to see if we could locate an owner. The result came back; 'Puppy Number 9.' She didn't even have a name. She had clearly been used for breeding, then dumped when she was no longer of any use. She had clearly given birth very recently. Our staff and volunteers got to work. With love, compassion, patience and excellent medical care, Mabel now lives a life of love and joy. She was adopted by a member of staff, and she now has a forever home where she can enjoy life as a beloved pet. It's the happy ending we want for ALL our rescued animals. We are still living through the 'perfect storm' of threats to our services: donations are down, costs are rising steeply, and demand is soaring. This has intensified rather than reduced. Our efforts must do the same. Our appeal is simple; Help us to continue our vital rescue work.  You can keep open the doors to safety for hundreds of animals every year. If you can, please donate to our Hope for the Hopeless Appeal. A small donation can make a BIG difference.  You can donate at the link here:- Freshfields.Org.UK... Alternatively you can also call Freshfields on:- 01519311604. Thank you for your fantastic support. Together, we can change the future for abandoned, abused and unwanted animals." Freshfields Animal Rescue

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