St Helens residents have the opportunity to comment on proposals to make the area’s bus network simpler and clearer from today (Tuesday)
Proposals will be available for view and comment on via an online survey from Tuesday, February 12 to Thursday, February 21.
There will also be a drop-in event where members of the public can speak to Merseytravel staff about the proposals and give their feedback.
This will take place on February 15 from 10am to 3pm at Hardshaw Shopping Centre.
St Helens is the latest area to be reviewed as part of a wider review of the whole Liverpool City Region bus network which began in May last year and has already covered Wirral, Sefton and Liverpool.
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, new developments and how they are served.
This is an undertaking of the Bus Alliance, a formal partnership with operators Arriva and Stagecoach, with the aim of transforming bus services to encourage more people to take the bus. However, the bus reviews involve all bus operators.
The proposed changes mean for the majority of services there will be no change, with current links and frequencies maintained for both daytime and evening services.
The proposed changes include:
Service 603 is to be replaced with an extended 22 service which will now operate to a more direct route to Ashton via Earlestown, Haydock Industrial Estate and Garswood, reinstating the link to Newton Community Hospital. It will also provide through links to Warrington.
Service 156 will be revised to operate Lea Green to Garswood. It will continue to serve Haydock Industrial Estate and will also serve St Helens Hospital and Liverpool Road (Haydock), reinstating a direct link to St Helens Town Centre for those residents.
NEW Service 39 will be introduced to replace part of the withdrawn 140 daytime service between St Helens Town Centre and St Helens Junction, covering areas currently without a bus (Aston’s Green Drive/Moss Nook/Reginald Road). The evening service 140, still currently operating, will be renumbered 39A but route and times will not change.
Service 141 will have its frequency reduced to two-hourly. This was a commercial decision taken by the operator (Hattons).
The final agreed changes would come into effect from 28th April 2019.
Cloun Liam Robinson, Chair of Merseytravel said: “The information we received during the initial consultation from St Helens residents on their patterns of bus use and what would get them to use it more has been extremely helpful and insightful whilst drafting these prosed changes to the network.
“We now want comments on these detailed proposals before we finalise the plans. We’ve worked hard with all the bus operators in re-scoping the network and believe these proposals will offer a network that is clearer, simpler and with some real benefits for the people of St Helens.
“This is us continuing to work innovatively through the Bus Alliance when other areas outside the Liverpool City Region, due to budget pressures, are seeing more and more communities left without any bus services at all.”
To view the survey click here.