Metro Mayor issues important advice for key workers using public transport

Publish date

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

  • Revised Merseyrail services in place from Thursday 2 April
  • Rail users should consider changing travel times if possible
  • Check timetables and consider your options

Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram is issuing important information and travel advice for key workers who need to travel to deliver vital services to communities.

Whilst all non-essential travel should currently be avoided, Merseytravel and transport operators are working hard to provide resilient, dedicated services so that all those who have to make essential journeys are able to do so.

Services and timetables are under constant review and changes are being introduced this week in light of a number of key factors including large reductions in passenger numbers, as people adhere to the national advice regarding non-essential travel, working from home wherever possible and social distancing to help reduce the spread of the coronavirus.

Like all sections of the community, the crisis is having an impact on transport staff, meaning reduced staffing levels.

From Thursday 2 April, Merseyrail services will be running between 7am and 7pm, every 30 minutes on all lines. This decision takes into account reduction in passenger numbers, currently down by around 70% on weekday journeys, and to help ensure a reliable service can be maintained.

From Monday 6 April Mersey Ferries will temporarily suspend the current morning and evening commuter service due to a reduction in demand as current figures show there are less that 20 passengers per day using the service.

Bus services are also seeing a decline in passenger numbers and operators are continuing to provide services with revised timetables across the network.

The following advice is for those key workers using public transport for essential journeys:

  • Check timetables before you travel each day
  • Go to websites, journey apps and social media for the latest information
  • Merseyrail users should consider changing your times of travel to meet the network availability
  • If this is not possible, consider other modes of transport such as bus to make your journey.
  • Mersey Ferries customers should look for cross river rail and bus services
  • For cross river travel, Liverpool City Region Combined Authority has suspended tunnel tolls allowing for reduced cross river travel costs.
  • Maintain social distancing, there remains sufficient capacity to meet demand and allow this.
  • Use contactless payments if you can

“Everyone knows that, other than for essential journeys, you should stay at home and our transport figures reflect that so thank you to people for following that crucial advice to help stop the spread of the coronavirus.

“I also know how important it is for our key workers to be able to use public transport, so they can get to and from work to carry out essential services in our communities.

“That is why we are working with transport operators to do everything we can to provide the best and most reliable services possible, against a backdrop of extremely challenging circumstances, whilst protecting both people who have to travel and transport staff.

“I must commend our customers who continue to be extremely understanding and I know you will appreciate that some decisions are currently being made to ensure that we can continue to provide a resilient transport network and options rather than have no services at all.

“I strongly urge everyone to continue to follow the latest official advice, stay safe and thank you.”

Steve Rotheram

Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region

For the latest travel and timetable information customers should check the Merseytravel and transport operators’ webpages and social media platforms in the first instance and on a daily basis as there are likely to be more changes ahead.


From Thursday 2 April services will be running between 7am and 7pm, Monday to Saturday, with services every 30 minutes across all lines.

Sunday services will operate between the hours of 8am and 7pm and are as follows:

Northern line

Hourly service

Chester line

Hourly service

Ellesmere Port line

Hourly service operating calling at all stations between Ellesmere Port and Hooton. Passengers can change at Hooton to continue their onward journeys.

New Brighton & West Kirby lines

45-minute service

Merseyrail  @merseyrail

Other rail operators

Rail services are running to revised timetables – please check before you travel.

Northern    @northernassist

Transpennine Express @TPEassist

Avanti West Coast @avantiwestcoast

London Northwestern Railway @LNRailway

Transport for Wales @tfwrail

East Midlands Railway @EastMidRailway

Bus services

Bus services are running but the frequency of some services has been reduced – please check before you travel.

Stagecoach @stagecoachMCSL

Arriva @arrivanorthwest

Mersey Ferries

From Monday 6 April the morning and evening commuter services will be temporarily suspended. This is due to an unprecedented fall in demand but this will be monitored on a regular basis.

Please keep checking the Mersey Ferries website and @merseytravel for the latest information.

Mersey Tunnels

The Queensway (Birkenhead) and Kingsway (Wallasey) Mersey Tunnels are currently open.

For the latest national information and guidance in relation to the Coronavirus please visit and Public Health England websites.