Free bus journeys

Buses on selected services throughout Merseyside will be free next week.

To mark national Catch the Bus Week (April 29 to May 5) – which aims to get infrequent users out of cars and onto buses – Merseytravel and service operators will be making some journeys completely free.

“We have decided to support Catch the Bus Week in this way because we are conscious that many people aren’t aware that the bus really can be the best way to travel. Making some services free gives people who might not otherwise consider the bus a chance to see what it has to offer,” said Cllr Liam Robinson, Chair of Merseytravel.

Merseytravel-supported services which will be free all week include the distinctive yellow city centre circular C1, C2, C3, C4, C5 services in Liverpool, as well as services in Wirral (181 Heswall – Leasowe), Knowsley (249 Huyton – Longview Leisure Centre), St Helens (265 Halewood – Bold Heath) and Sefton (159 Aintree University Hospital – Walton Park).

Bus operators Arriva and Stagecoach are offering their own promotions.

Stagecoach local managing director Elisabeth Tasker said: “As the campaign aims to promote the bus as an option for certain trips, we thought the best way to get involved was to offer free travel on the bus so people can try it for themselves. During Catch the Bus Week, our promotions team will be out and about in key locations across the area, offering free day tickets and travel advice to people who want to try the bus. More information about our offer will be available from our website www.stagecoachbus.com/liverpool.”

Arriva regional managing director Phil Stone added: “We are offering free day or family tickets to people to experience the buses that operate in their area. All people have to do to take advantage of our offer is to register for the Arriva m-ticketing service and use our Catch the Bus Week promotional code – 4343, when purchasing a day or family ticket.”

Phil added: “Arriva is constantly investing in services and technology as we look to evolve our offer to customers. Catch the Bus Week will hopefully encourage people who have forgotten about bus travel to review us as an option when travelling, and experience developments, such as our m-ticketing service, which allows people to use their mobile to purchase tickets wherever, whenever.”

People looking to take up the Arriva free ticket offer and find out more about Arriva’s services should visit www.arrivabus.co.uk/catchthebus. The free ticket offer will end on Sunday, 5th May.

Merseytravel’s Councillor Robinson added: “While the majority of journeys on public transport in the city region are made by bus, there are still many thousands of people who could be experiencing the benefits of bus travel – convenience, the potential to save money compared with car use, and environmental benefits – and these are the people we are hoping to reach next week.”

Catch the Bus Week is promoted by Greener Journeys, a sustainable transport group. Its Chief Executive, Claire Haigh, said: “Since 2010 Greener Journeys has been striving to take one billion car journeys off the road and Catch the Bus Week will help us reach this aim. Buses play a crucial role in our society from getting children to school, carrying people to work, the shops or to their local park or swimming pool day in day out. Buses support the economy.

“Buses also help reduce congestion on the roads, promote social inclusion by providing a vital link to those without other means and reduce all our carbon footprints and travel’s effect on the environment.”

Pictured: Councillor Liam Robinson with one of the city centre buses which will be providing a free service.