Residents have the chance to give their views on bus services in Liverpool as part of an on-going review of the whole Liverpool City Region bus network.
Working as part of the Bus Alliance, a formal partnership with operators Arriva and Stagecoach, Merseytravel is looking to create a simpler, clearer, and where possible, more direct network that can help encourage more people to take the bus.
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
As part of this review, we are looking for people to tell us how they use the bus network in the area, particularly any supported bus service.
A series of drop-in events are being held, starting a week on Monday, where members of the public will have the opportunity to speak to representatives from Merseytravel about bus services across the area. Previous events in Sefton and St Helens provided useful feedback which helped to inform the changes to the bus network.
There are currently six drop-in events taking place across Liverpool over the next few weeks, with more events potentially being added later:
• Monday 28th November, 10am – 3pm – Liverpool South Parkway
• Wednesday 30th November, 10am – 3pm – Liverpool One Bus Station
There will also be an opportunity to provide feedback on bus services in Liverpool via an online survey on the bus review pages on the Merseytravel website at www.merseytravel.gov.uk/busreview
With help from the feedback received from these events and via the Merseytravel website, proposed changes to the network will be drafted and additional drop-in events and online consultation scheduled to give the public an opportunity to comment on them, details of which will be published on the Merseytravel website.
As in other areas where we’ve already undertaken these reviews, it is anticipated that we will work with the operators to extend or re-route some commercial services (i.e. those without public subsidy) to cover areas previously served by publicly supported services.
To make the network easier to understand we are also planning for services on the same routes to operate under the same number whatever the time of day where possible.
We will be working with all operators, to ensure that passengers will have alternative provision available within their area if a service is removed or changed. Any changes will come into effect in July 2017.
Further details of the bus network reviews can be found on the Merseytravel website at www.merseytravel.gov.uk/busreview
Councillor Liam Robinson, Chair of Merseytravel said:”We’re aiming to create a simpler, clearer and easy to understand network as part of broader plans to encourage more people to take the bus and the latest stage in doing this is now taking place with the Liverpool bus network review.
“Through our close working with the bus operators as part of the Bus Alliance we are able to work innovatively at a time when budget pressures are causing other areas across the country to significantly reduce or even remove all their supported bus services leaving some communities without services altogether.
“Speaking to bus users, both existing and potential, is important as it helps us to find out how we can meet their needs best within budget constraints – something not all areas do.”
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.
Key work areas 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 at set times of year;
• 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.