Bus Deregulation, Arriva’s 311 route and Stagecoach

Yesterday I posted about the last gasp attempt to get Arriva Buses to think again about ceasing the 311 bus route which runs from Liverpool through Aintree, Maghull & Lydiate and on to Ormskirk and Skelmersdale.

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I have also been contacted by another local resident, one who knows a great deal about the local bus industry. He raised one pertinent question and made a suggestion which I have followed up.

His question was why have Arriva, who withdrew buses from the east of Maghull not that long ago, now increased the bus services in that area? When they removed services there they said there was not enough business yet that same area is getting a better service now. Curious indeed, I wonder if Arriva will explain this apparent partial U turn, which will of course be welcomed by folk on the eastern side of Maghull.

His suggestion was that I approach Stagecoach Merseyside to see if they would be willing to look at running the 311 route. Well it may be a long shot but why not have a go said I. An en e-mail was duly sent to Stagecoach yesterday and I await their response.

On the wider issue to the Bus Deregulation Act, which was a Tory move in the early 1980’s, I have never thought it served a useful purpose and did not lead to the competition the Tories said it would. Indeed, a brief few years of competition was quickly replaced with all the big bus companies taking over the smaller ones so to remove their competition. Here in Sefton Borough Arriva rule the roost with a few Stagecoach operated routes but competition, well I can’t see much or any of it myself.

Also bus companies don’t seem to have been brought into the modern world as they do not advertise their routes much, if at all, via the internet and newspapers. Neither do they seem to innovate much either. You still hear tales of bus users with £10 notes being treated poorly on buses when you would have thought any money would be welcomed.

Stop Press: Sadly, Stagecoach have responded today to say they are unable take over the 311 route.

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