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 Public views and opinions sought as Knowsley bus network review begins

Public views and opinions sought as Knowsley bus network review begins

Published on 17/11/2017
​Knowsley residents are being given the chance to give their views on bus services in the area 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. Reviews have already taken place in Kirkby, St Helens, Sefton, Liverpool and Wirral.
 
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. The first stage of the Knowsley bus network review consultation takes place from Friday 17th November to Monday 18th December at 10am, with opportunities to give feedback at drop-in events and online.
 
No changes to services have been confirmed at this time, as this stage of consultation is solely to gather feedback and thoughts from the public which will help inform any changes that are made.
 
There are currently three drop-in events planned to take place for this phase of the review where you will be able to speak to representatives from Merseytravel about bus services across the area, how you use them and what might encourage you to use them more.
 
Previous events in other areas including Sefton and St Helens provided useful feedback which helped to inform the changes to the bus network. The confirmed drop-in events are listed below:
 
  • Monday 27th November – Halewood One Stop Shop (10am - 3pm)
  • Monday 4th December – Huyton Bus Station (10am - 3pm)
  • Friday 8th December – Prescot Town Hall (10am - 3pm)
 
There is also the opportunity to provide feedback via an online survey on the bus review pages on the Merseytravel website, details of which can be found 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.
 
As in other areas where we’ve already undertaken these reviews, it is anticipated that we will work with the operators to 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 endeavour 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 2018.
Further details of the bus network reviews can be found on the Merseytravel website at www.merseytravel.gov.uk/busreview
 
Cllr Liam Robinson, chair of The Combined Authority Transport Committee, which oversees the work 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 Knowsley bus network review.
 
“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 previous consultations we have done for the bus network reviews have been extremely useful and we would encourage members of the public to give us their views to help inform our decisions.”
 
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.

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