Arriva is to run a dedicated fleet of up to 30 new hybrid buses to take Merseyrail passengers cross-river during the Wirral Loop Line track renewal operation. The works take place between January and June 2017 and are part of a £340m investment in the Liverpool City Region’s railways. Arriva’s new hybrids will have Wi-Fi, USB charging points and E-Leather seats. Buses will meet people at Birkenhead North and Birkenhead Central and take them on a direct, express service to Moorfields and Lime Street for Liverpool Central. A dedicated social media team will be keeping passengers up to date with the latest travel information and timetables.
Once the track renewal works are complete, the new buses will go into service on Arriva bus routes across the Liverpool City Region, joining a further 50 new ‘Eco’ buses from Arriva. This investment by Arriva of over £21m (including £5m of OLEV funding) for 51 hybrid, 12 electric and nine gas buses has been made possible through the Liverpool City Region Bus Alliance, a formal partnership between Merseytravel, Arriva and Stagecoach. The partnership is designed to provide local people with improved, more efficient and better value services for the benefit of existing passengers and to attract new ones. The signing of the Bus Alliance agreement in September released Government (OLEV) funding for new, greener buses.
Arriva Merseyside’s MD, Howard Farrall, said, ‘We are very proud to be a part of the renewal project and our main aim during this time is to offer passengers a seamless travel experience. We appreciate this may be a frustrating time for rail travellers, which is why we will be running brand new environmentally efficient buses to keep people on the move.’