Stagecoach to trial Liverpool to Wirral night bus

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Stagecoach has agreed to trial a cross-river night bus service from Liverpool to Wirral, six months after the last night service was cut due to falling passenger numbers, the Liverpool Echo has reported.

The operator agreed to run a night service from Liverpool to Chester on its 1 route on November 28 and December 5, 12, and 19. Passengers will pay a flat fare of £2.

The previous service on the 500 and 501 buses, which ran from the city centre to Hamilton Square and New Brighton, was withdrawn in April. It came less than a year after Arriva scrapped its own weekend cross-river night services, which it said were too costly to run.

Birkenhead MP Frank Field  said: “Stagecoach has come to the rescue of Birkenhead’s weekend night workers. We are thrilled that Stagecoach has thrown a lifeline.”

Stagecoach said it will decide on the back of the trial whether to establish the weekend service on a permanent basis.

In a letter to Frank Field, the firm’s Operations Director, Rob Jones, said: “Clearly a commercial service seven nights a week would not be a viable proposal, but such service at weekends could work.

“I really hope this can be seen as a positive step, and allow both our current customers and those experiencing the night time economy a great value way of travelling home.”

The 500 and 501 buses were run by Ace Travel until the company went into liquidation on March 1. The route was then subsidised by Merseytravel and operated by Stagecoach until being withdrawn on April 18.

Merseytravel said there were fewer than four people per service during the week and fewer than six at weekends.