All-night buses linking Liverpool with Wirral via the Mersey tunnel will make a return from December – but passengers will not be able to use their travel passes. Tony McDonough reports
Night buses linking Liverpool and Wirral will make a return in December after being cancelled during the COVID-19 pandemic.
A new trial beginning on Friday, December 8 will see the N1 service, operated by Stagecoach, starting at 12.30am and running through the Mersey Tunnel hourly until 5am every Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
It will run between Birkenhead and Allerton with stops across Liverpool city centre. The route also includes dozens of stops serving Toxteth, Wavertree and Mossley Hill.
Fares will be capped at £2 in line with all other local bus services. However, weekly and monthly passes, as well as Saveaway and day rider tickets, will not be accepted on the service.
Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram has worked with local campaign groups, students and the hospitality industry to reinstate the service. It had been removed by private operators during the COVID-19 pandemic and associated lockdowns.
“We’re about to enter the busiest time of the year for our visitor economy and, while we want everyone to have a great time celebrating in our region, we also want them to get home safely,” said Mr Rotheram
“We’ve worked closely with local campaigners, students, late night workers and our hospitality industry to bring back late bus services between Liverpool and the Wirral to make it safer, cheaper and easier for people to travel home.
“This a massive result for local people, many who have been campaigning for this moment for three years.
“Following our decision to take back control of the region’s buses and move towards a franchised system, this is another positive step on the journey to putting the public back at the heart of public transport.”
LCR Music Board member and senior lecturer in music industries, Dr Mathew Flynn, said LCR Music Board’s music venues consultation event in March 2022 highlighted the “critical need” for improved nighttime transport.
He added: Our collective efforts — from both music board members, colleagues at the University of Liverpool, and the Civic Data Cooperative – have been tirelessly dedicated to advocating for and developing a business plan to support the revival of the night bus.
“We are thrilled to see the campaign materialise. We anticipate that this development will significantly enhance music venue footfall, bolster ticket sales, and crucially, ensure the provision of safe late-night transport options.”