Final confirmed changes to Knowsley bus network revealed after review

Following on from the recent public consultation period, changes to bus services in Knowsley as part of the on-going bus network reviews, aimed at creating a simpler, clearer network across the city region, have been finalised.

The changes will be implemented on Sunday 22nd July 2018. Changes and improvements to services, some of which are the result of the public consultation, in Knowsley include:-

  • Improved links to Manor Farm Primary Care Resource Centre (Manor Farm Road)
  • Renumbering of Merseytravel 892 & 290 journeys
  • Improved early morning links to Knowsley Industrial Park
  • Enhanced provision for 217/227 service on a Saturday & Sunday. Evening & Sunday journeys via Longview Drive renumbered 217A

Large sections of the Knowsley area were previously reviewed in the Kirkby bus network review in 2016. For future reviews, Knowsley and Kirkby will be covered in a single review process.

Full details of the changes can be found on the Merseytravel website at www.merseytravel.gov.uk/busreview.

Knowsley is the final area to be reviewed as part of a wider review of the whole Liverpool City Region bus network, following reviews in Kirkby, St Helens, Sefton, Liverpool and Wirral.

The reviews are one of the key work areas of the Bus Alliance which is seeing Merseytravel, Arriva and Stagecoach work together to transform bus services to encourage more people to take the bus. However, network reviews involve all bus operators in the area that is under review.

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, those services publically subsidised through Merseytravel as they aren’t considered viable to run on a commercial basis, and considering how increasingly limited public resources can be focused where there is most need.

A consultation process involving members of the public and key stakeholders, which saw a number of drop-in events across Wirral and an online survey, has helped to shape the review.

As has been in the case with the other reviews, Impacts of changes have been mitigated by re-routing some existing commercial services where possible to negate the need for a service supported by public funding. The proposals endeavour to ensure that everyone living in a built-up area is within reasonable distance of a bus service.

Cllr Liam Robinson, Liverpool City Region Combined Authority Transport Portfolio Holder, said:

“The review of the Knowsley bus network has resulted in a number of changes which we believe will help to make a clearer, simple bus network for the area.

“We’ve worked hard with operators to devise the new network and have listened to people who live and work in the area during the consultations, making some changes to our initial proposals as a result.

“This is another example of us working innovatively through the Bus Alliance to provide cost-effective services, at a time when some areas outside our City Region have communities left with no services at all.

“We do appreciate that in some cases, people may have to walk slightly further to a bus stop or make a connection to complete their journeys, but where possible we’ve ensured that everyone can access bus services.”

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.

The Alliance’s ambition is for a thriving, affordable and sustainable bus network that offers the customer a value for money and hassle-free journey experience – leading to an increase in fare paying passengers. It will look at creating simpler networks and fare structures to more investment in the buses themselves. Encouraging more people to travel by bus drives investment and means less reliance on the public purse.

Key work areas of the Bus Alliance 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 to make bus services more stable;
  • 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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