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Sefton residents are invited to give their views on bus services in the area

Residents in Sefton have the chance to give their views on bus services in the area in the first consultation phase of a new bus network review in the borough.

This initial consultation phase of the review will run from Wednesday, February 27 until 5pm on Tuesday, March 26.

Members of the public will be able to give their thoughts and feedback via an online survey which can be access from the Bus Network Review webpage at www.merseytravel.gov.uk/busreview.

There will also be two drop-in events taking place in where residents can speak to representatives from Merseytravel about bus services across the area, how they  use them and what might encourage residents to use them more. The two events are listed below:

  • Southport Chapel Street – Wednesday, March 6, 10 to 3pm
  • Bootle New Strand – Thursday, March 7, 10 to 3pm

Merseytravel, as part of its Bus Strategy, is committed to carrying out regular bus network reviews across the Merseyside bus network, with the aim of creating an improved and simpler network.

The first set of reviews took place from 2016 to 2018. Going forward, there will now be a regular cycle of network reviews, ensuring that the bus network delivers the aspirations of the Liverpool City Region.

Historically bus routes were considered on a piecemeal basis. The idea of these network reviews is to consider the commercial network and the supported network – that which relies on public subsidy via Merseytravel – as a whole. This will ensure that the network best reflects the needs of the public and adapts to plans for future housing, leisure and employments developments.

As part of the Bus Alliance with Arriva and Stagecoach, and with support from other operators, Merseytravel is working through these network reviews with the aim of getting more people using the bus by creating a better bus experience.

Part of the review will look at the current supported bus network and consider how increasingly limited public resources can be focused where there is most need.

To help this, we are looking for feedback and information from the public about how they use the bus network in the area, particularly any supported bus service. The first stage of review is to gather feedback on bus services in the area, which will help inform any potential changes.

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

“The original set of bus network reviews helped us to begin to shape the bus network in Merseyside to better fit the needs of residents and businesses, while facing up the challenges we face in trying to fund supported services.

“By listening to the feedback gained in those reviews, we were able to work with commercial operators as part of the Bus Alliance to see where existing routes could be adapted to cover any changes. This has not been the case across the country, where some local authorities have taken the tough decision to withdraw all supported services.

“This latest cycle of bus network reviews will help us to continue to adapt the bus network so that it reflects the aspirations of the Liverpool City Region and we would encourage everyone to give their feedback through the appropriate channels to help shape the network in the best way possible.”

New Apprentice Travelcard could save LCR apprentices more than £400 a year

Liverpool City Region Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram has officially launched one of the country’s best discounted travel schemes for young people in training.

The Apprentice Travelcard will give all those on apprenticeships aged 19-24 half-price bus travel across Merseyside, in line with the great affordable fares 16-19 year olds already enjoy.

Announced earlier this year by Liverpool City Region Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram alongside Bus Alliance partners Stagecoach, Arriva and other Merseyside bus operators, the Apprentice Travelcard is aimed at removing one of the main barriers to entry for young people wanting to start apprenticeships – access to affordable transport.

The Apprentice Travelcard will allow holders to purchase weekly and four-weekly passes in line with great value Solo fares for under-19s, allowing unlimited travel across the Merseyside bus network and potentially saving users more than £400 a year.

The roll-out comes just a month after the Metro Mayor launched a ‘Big Bus Debate’, a large-scale public conversation about the bus system in the Liverpool City Region and how new devolved powers could be used to drive improvements in service and give greater control to passengers.

Holders of the Apprentice Travelcard must be enrolled participants on registered apprenticeship schemes.

Application packs are available from training providers and at Merseytravel Travel Centres, further details are available at merseytravel.gov.uk/apprentice

Liverpool City Region Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram said: “Apprenticeships are a vital pathway to work for young people across the Liverpool City Region, leading to skilled and well-paid jobs.

“But we know that the cost of travel has been putting some off taking-up apprenticeship opportunities. That’s why I’m so pleased that we’ve been able to introduce this scheme which could save hundreds of pounds a year for apprentices under the age of 25.”

Phase 2 of a programme of platform upgrades starts in November

A programme of platform upgrades to prepare the Merseyrail network for the arrival of new, state of the art trains in 2020 has begun. Phase 1 is underway and progressing well as Network Rail makes vital upgrades to platforms and realigns track on the Ormskirk Line.

Phase 2 will take place between 12 November and 16 December with the closure of Bank Hall station.

Train services will not be disrupted on this line as they will continue running through the station, although they will not stop there. High quality rail replacement buses will be in operation between Bank Hall and Sandhills stations to keep passengers moving to/from Liverpool, Kirkby, Ormskirk and Southport.

Alternatively passengers may prefer to make their own way straight to Bootle Oriel Road or Sandhills stations to start their journey.

These vital works need to happen to ensure that station platforms across the Merseyrail network are compatible with the new trains and their ground breaking, sliding step technology that will provide unassisted access for all.

This will mean that wheelchair users can board the train without a ramp and passengers with prams and cycles can get on and off the train with ease. This technology represents a pioneering approach for the UK.

There are 11 phases of work scheduled between October 2018 and June 2019. More information about each phase, rail replacement services and alternative travel options will be made available nearer the time.

Merseytravel, Merseyrail and Network Rail have worked collaboratively on this project and significant planning work has been carried out to minimise the time needed to complete these important works and reduce disruption to passengers.

Businesses and organisations are advised to think about what they may need to put in place to support staff and customers.

Get a first look: full-size replica of new Merseyrail trains on public display

People from across the Liverpool City Region are being invited to come and experience the new trains coming to the Merseyrail network.

A realistic, full-scale mock-up of one of the train carriages will be on public view on the Wirral and in Liverpool City Centre.

The detailed and lifelike replica train is fully interactive, with working doors and an automatic sliding step which will bridge the gap between the train and platform edge, making the network more accessible to all users – including wheelchairs users.

Visitors will be able to walk along the open and spacious aisles, try the new wider seats and even take a look at the state-of-the-art technology inside the driver’s cab.

Staff will be on hand to talk through the features of the new trains, designed and built by Swiss company Stadler.

These features – chosen with the input and guidance of Liverpool City Region residents and rail network users – include phone charging points and bike racks.

The mock-up trains will be on display
• Pacific Road, Birkenhead, CH41 1LJ: 1-14 October, Mon-Sun 8.00 to 17.30, Tues 8.00-19.30
• Liverpool Lime Street, L1 1JD: 5-18 November, Mon-Sun 7.00 to 18.30

More information can be found at the following link: merseytravel.gov.uk/newtrains

Important transport information ahead of the Giant Spectacular

Check timetables and plan your journeys a few days before the event – don’t leave it until the last minute.

These are important messages from transport leaders as the Liverpool City Region gears up to welcome back the Giants for Liverpool’s Dream – their third and final visit to the streets of Liverpool and, for the first time, Wirral.

Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to join the event, taking place between 4th and 7th October, placing a significant increase in demand on public transport services during the four days – as well as closing many major road routes.

City Region transport providers have worked together to put plans in place to help keep people moving and there will be changes to some services and timetables as a result of the event.

Whether they travel by rail, bus, ferry or car, anyone travelling to, from and around the city region during this time to either enjoy the events or for other purposes is strongly advised to check timetables, plan their journeys and allow extra travelling time to avoid disappointment.

For the latest information about services, customers should check with the relevant transport operator in the run up to and on their day of travel. Information will also be available online and via social media.

There will be extra staff from a variety of transport providers deployed at key locations during the four days to provide information and support people with their journeys.

Thursday 4th Oct – Normal Thursday timetables apply – there will be no additional late night services so please check last train and bus times

Friday 5th Oct – Commuters are advised to check for any changes to their usual timetable and need to be prepared to make changes to their journey.

Sunday 7th Oct – Fans travelling to and from Anfield for the Liverpool FC vs Manchester City game which kicks off at 16:30 are advised to allow extra travelling time and be aware of these key changes to our services – especially in and around Liverpool City Centre.

Key information

Merseyrail

Thursday services will run as normal, passengers are advised to check their last train times before they travel.

There will be changes to services on Friday 5th, Saturday 6th and Sunday 7th Oct.

A special events timetable will run and passengers are encouraged to visit the Merseyrail website or pick up a leaflet from any staffed station.

The following applies to all three days:
•Trains will not stop at all stations to allow for additional and more frequent services.
•James Street and Lime Street lower level (underground) will be closed to aid crowd control and movement
•Wirral line services will start and end at Liverpool Central station and will not be stopping at Moorfields.
•Northern line passengers travelling to the city centre should use Moorfields as trains will not be stopping at Liverpool Central.

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