Bus Alliance agreement will deliver improved services for Liverpool City Region

27 September 2016  •  Author(s): Katie Sadler, Digital Content Producer, Eurotransport

The Liverpool City Region Bus Alliance agreement, signed by Arriva, Stagecoach and Merseytravel, will deliver more than £25m worth of investment in bus services in year one of the five-year partnership.

Bus Alliance agreement will deliver improved services for Liverpool City Region

(L-R) Cllr Ron Abbey- Lead Member for Bus, Merseytravel Committee, Frank Rogers –  Interim Chief Executive, Merseytravel, Howard Farrell – Area Managing Director, Arriva Merseyside, Joe Anderson – Mayor of Liverpool and Chair of the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, Rob Jones – Operations Director for Stagecoach Merseyside & South Lancashire, Phil Stone – Regional Managing Director of Arriva North West and Wales, Shane Fitzpatrick – Senior Head of Operations, Merseytravel, Elisabeth Tasker – Managing Director, Stagecoach Merseyside & South Lancashire, Paul Lynch – Regional Director North, Stagecoach, Matt Goggins – Head of Bus, Merseytravel

In a bid to attract more passengers to public transport, the Liverpool City Region Bus Alliance agreement will aim to provide local people with improved, more efficient, joined-up and better value services. Operators have also agreed to provide modern bus fleets with an average age of no more than seven years and have signed up to clearly defined targets around punctuality and passenger satisfaction.

Bus Alliance agreement: operators agree to modern bus fleets no older than seven years

In addition, passengers will benefit from a range of new services including improved smart ticketing and Wi-Fi and USB charging points on all new buses.

The formal signing of the Bus Alliance agreement also releases additional Government OLEV funding of £4.7 million – the single biggest award out of the last round of funding in July – for 72 new, greener buses across the City Region.


The two operators will partner fully on a range of initiatives including marketing campaigns, on-bus cleaning and customer service training. The agreement promises improved links to the city’s John Lennon Airport, and a new night bus service will continue to be piloted.

The Liverpool City Region Bus Alliance has been established around the idea of ‘multimodal’ transport for customers and is a comprehensive bus strategy for the region.

“The signing of the Alliance is an exciting milestone for passengers across the region”

Howard Farrall, Area Managing Director, Arriva Merseyside, said: “The signing of the Alliance is an exciting milestone for passengers across the region.

“It commits all operators and our partners to a package of measures designed to make the bus network here on Merseyside even more attractive, affordable and accessible for passengers.

“The Alliance promises to be a first-class partnership for our region. It brings together operators and the local authority, working together under an agreed framework to deliver even better bus services, networks and customer service for passengers.”

Kevin O’Connor. Managing Director of Arriva UK Bus, added: “We’re thrilled to sign the Bus Alliance, a partnership that will bring great benefits to passengers and the Liverpool City Region. This innovative partnership helps secure continued  sustainable investment for the Region’s bus services,  including through more new and greener vehicles, simpler ticketing, greater integration and improved customer services. By making bus travel an even more attractive choice and delivering improvements to the network, the Alliance between Merseytravel and commercial operators will also support Liverpool City Region’s current and future economic growth. The Alliance shows just what can be achieved by working together and, most importantly, it will deliver benefits for passengers.”

Elisabeth Tasker, Managing Director of Stagecoach Merseyside & South Lancashire, commented: “Buses are central to life in Merseyside, from getting people to work, helping shoppers access our high streets, and connecting people with education, health and leisure opportunities.

“Merseyside already has one of the highest levels of bus satisfaction in the country and working through the new Alliance, with significant investment from Stagecoach, we can deliver an even better customer experience and get more people on board the bus.”

“This is a real step forward in improving bus services and facilities for everyone in the city region”

Said Cllr Liam Robinson, Chair of the Merseytravel Committee, added: “This is a real step forward in improving bus services and facilities for everyone in the city region– not just for existing users but for encouraging potential new users to give it a try.

“This investment will mean we can do some transformational work together, but that’s not forgetting what we’ve already achieved as an informal partnership, with one of the best young people’s ticketing offers outside London, with all young people’s tickets now available up to and including 18.”

“I’m delighted and honoured to be asked to chair this Alliance”

Reacting to the signing, Stephen Joseph, Chief Executive of Campaign for Better Transport, said:  “I’m delighted and honoured to be asked to chair this Alliance. We’ve worked closely with Merseytravel over many years to help get improved public transport across the city region and have particularly hailed the youth fare offer as an example for others to follow – I hope that through me chairing this Alliance we can help make buses even better”.

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