Have your say on the withdrawal of Soccerbus and other changes to the Liverpool bus network

Merseytravel is looking to to make the city’s bus network simpler and clearer and is giving people the opportunity to offer their views on the proposed changes. Tony McDonough reports.

Merseytravel is looking to streamline Liverpool’s bus network

Ending of the Soccerbus service on Liverpool and Everton matchdays is one of the proposals being put forward by Merseytravel to revamp the city’s bus network.

People in Liverpool will have the opportunity to comment on the proposals from this week

They will be available for view and comment on via an online survey at www.merseytravel.gov.uk/busreview from 9am on Monday, March 6, until 5pm on Thursday, March 16.

There will also be three drop-in events where members of the public can speak to Merseytravel staff about the proposals and give their feedback. These will take place on the following days:

  • Friday, March 10, 9am to 3:30pm – Belle Vale Shopping Centre
  • Monday, March 13, 10am to 3pm – Queen Square Bus Station
  • Tuesday, March 14, 10am to 3pm – Tesco Park Road, Toxteth

This follows events across Liverpool in November and December which saw more than 500 people attend and offer their feedback on their frequency and pattern of bus use, including those services publically funded by Merseytravel, and what might make them use buses more.

Among the proposed changes there are improvements to services at Sefton Park and better connectivity between Huyton and Belle Vale. The C4, C5 and 101 services will be withdrawn, with alternative provision available along each route.

It is also proposed that the Soccerbus, a matchday service for football fans which runs from Sandhills station and is currently subsidised by Merseytravel, will be withdrawn after the end of the current football season.

Merseytravel intends to work with Everton FC and Liverpool FC to look at options to retain the service.

Liverpool is the latest area to be reviewed as part of a wider review of the whole Liverpool city region bus network which began in May last year and has already covered St Helens and Sefton.

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, new developments and how they are served.

Soccerbus is under threat in a Merseytravel review of the Liverpool bus network

This is one of the first undertakings of the Bus Alliance, a formal partnership with operators Arriva and Stagecoach, with the aim of transforming bus services to encourage more people to take the bus.

However, bus reviews involve all bus operators.

Cllr Liam Robinson, chair of Merseytravel said:  “As has been the case throughout this city region-wide bus network review, the input we had from Liverpool residents on their patterns of bus use and what would get them to use it more has been extremely helpful and insightful.

“We now want comments on these detailed proposals before we finalise the plans.

“We’ve worked hard with bus operators in re-scoping the network and believe these proposals will offer a network that is clearer, simpler and with some real benefits for the people of Liverpool.”

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