Avon Buses cease operating

Wirral bus operator, Avon Buses, ceased trading this morning, leaving passengers stranded.

Oxton councillor Allan Brame contacted Merseytravel to find out what plans are in place to fill the holes in Wirral’s bus network.

There is some good news. Arriva have taken over two services, the 10 and 83, while Stagecoach have stepped in to run the 22.

“Merseytravel’s immediate priority is to find other operators for the many school bus services which Avon had been providing, so children are not left stranded,” Allan said.

“Beyond that, it could be some time before everything is sorted, and it is probable that some of Avon’s services will not be replaced.”

The tendering process for services is quite complex and time-consuming, but Merseytravel are doing their best to speed things up.

Unfortunately, many of the routes were supported financially and there may simply not be enough money to keep all of them running.

Oxton’s 91 service

The 91 service, which was introduced in April, had already stopped serving the centre of Oxton Village and provided a reduced service for the Holmlands estate. That is one of the routes that stopped running today.

But there is a little bit of good news: on Saturdays it is provided by A2B so that means it will still be running at least one day a week.

“There were complaints when it failed to appear last week,” Allan Brame said. “A2B put that down to staff shortages, but no doubt many of the drivers made redundant this morning will be looking for work with alternative bus companies.

“It is a difficult time for the drivers and their families, as well as for passengers who now face more difficult journeys.

“The underlying problem is the cuts the government has made in the funds available to Merseytravel to subsidise routes which may not be commercially viable but which still provide an absolutely vital service.”

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