There are two ways in which service changes are consulted on. One of these is through Network Reviews - regular reviews of district networks which take place roughly every six months. On average each district is reviewed every three years. A key part of these network reviews is the consultation process that helps develop the final network with valued input from stakeholders, bus users and the wider public. However, while these reviews look at the all services across each district, there are occasions where operators may look to make changes to their commercial services on a route-by-route basis, as well as any changes to individual supported routes outside of the network review process.
As part of the Liverpool City Region Bus Alliance, through the network review process, Stagecoach, Arriva and Merseytravel have recognised the value of consultation and have pledged to consult in advance on any significant changes to services, where possible.
In the Merseyside Region, operators have committed to limit changes to four key dates, where possible, throughout the year to stabilise the network and build confidence in bus services. In advance of these dates, consultation on any proposed changes will take place to help inform operators and Merseytravel of the potential impact they will have.
Arriva has received and examined all responses from the X1 bus service consultation held between 13/11/19 and 27/11/19.
Arriva initiated the consultation due to their intention to withdraw the service due to it not being commercially viable. The consultation held in November has given Arriva time to examine the responses and following on from the feedback they will retain the service and operate it on a new timetable as of 19th January 2020. The timetable will generally be every 40 minutes Monday – Saturday. Arriva would like to thank all participants of the consultation.
Many comments were received as part of the consultation, and they summarised below:
1.) The speed and directness of the service makes the X1 more attractive vs the alternatives
2.) There is a core of customers who use the service to commute to work
3.) The service could be diverted to other areas to improve its performance.
4.) The X1 is often busy - why are we consulting on its withdrawal.
The responses to these comments are below.
1.) Arriva will continue operating the service under a new timetable as of 19th January 2020. The timetable will generally be every 40 minutes Monday – Saturday and will retain the fast, direct link between Liverpool and Runcorn. 2.) We have retained the service and have maintained the same numbers of arrivals into Liverpool between 8am-9am and the same number departures from Liverpool between 5pm-6.15pm to cater to the commuter traffic.
3.) We have considered the various options to divert the service, but due to the amount of feedback which appreciated the current service's directness and speed we have not diverted the service from its current route.
4.) Whilst the service can be busy the fares are low considering the length of time customers spend on the service and there is limited opportunity to pick up additional customers on route due to its express nature. As a part of the review of the service we will be looking to review the fare structure in January
We were notified by Arriva that they intended to withdraw their commercially operated 30 Sunday daytime service.
Sunday daytime journeys are operated commercially by Arriva and the evening journeys are operated by Huyton Travel under contract to Merseytravel. In order to understand the impact that the withdrawal of the daytime journeys would have a consultation process was undertaken.
Merseytravel and Arriva held a consultation on the proposed withdrawal from Wednesday 16th October 2019 to Wednesday 30th October 2019 to give the public the opportunity to comment about how they use the service and/or may be affected by this change.
The comments showed there is a need for a Sunday daytime service even at a reduced frequency and that the services are essential for residents in the area.
The consultation regarding the future of Arriva’s 30 service on a Sunday (St Helens – Laffak) generated a limited response. Arriva considered this feedback but unfortunately do not believe this action would lead to a viable service in the future. The last day of operation will be Sunday 12th January 2020. However using existing resource available to us from 19th January 2020 Merseytravel will introduce an hourly service on route 30. The current evening provision will remain unchanged.The evening frequency will be higher than the daytime frequency because the buses used to operate this contract are required to operate service 37 of a Sunday daytime.The new timetable information booklet will be available soon on this website.