Whilst I was away on holiday last week a Melling resident contacted me regarding the removal of what looks to me and indeed the resident like a perfectly good and substantial bus shelter yards away from the Pear Tree Pub. This is it:-
The poster advertising the potential removal is on the bus stop sign and this is what it says:-
I took the photos today when I went to have a look at the shelter. Apart from perhaps a bit of pointing the sandstone built shelter is in excellent condition and it’s one of a number of similar shelters erected around Melling Civil Parish by Melling Parish Council quite some years ago. Indeed, I’ve blogged about the shelters a while back (January 2018) and here’s a link to that posting:-
After I penned that posting I realised I missed out a 4th one, also on Prescot Road, i.e. the one now under threat of replacement.
So, why do the powers that be want to exchange it for a modern shelter? What’s wrong with the historic one? Are they going to try to get rid of all of Melling’s sandstone shelters? Is the construction of a cycle path alongside this incredibly busy road a factor in the proposal?
But really, there’s nothing at all wrong with the shelter at face value, so how about just keeping it and the other ones too – just in case someone somewhere has the eye on them as well for ‘modernisation’.
Merseytravel are advertising the following changes to some of our local bus routes
31, 31A, 32, 32A, 33, 34, 34A, 34B Maghull Circulars
Evening and Sunday Route 32A journeys and Routes 34/A/B are withdrawn but are replaced by additional Route 32/33 journeys and a new Route 32A which runs during the morning and evening peak periods. Some times are changed.
36 Aintree Hospital – Maghull circular
Service is rerouted out of/into Aintree University Hospital. Journeys exit the hospital grounds onto Lower Lane and enter the hospital grounds via Longmoor Lane. Times are unchanged.
133 Kirkby – Waterloo
Service is now operated for Merseytravel by Huyton Travel. Minor retiming of mid-journey times of the 0653 journey from Kirkby Admin.
With thanks to Cllr. John Dodd for the lead to this posting
I understand that Merseytravel has told the Champion newspaper that it isn’t the case that they are reducing the service based on the publicly available tender document/service specification that is doing the rounds on this and at least one other website where a Maghull resident first spotted it.
They say that the cut-back timetable [in the service specification that I hold] was one of the options considered when the tender was put out, but it wasn’t the one taken up and that there will actually be no change to the present timetable.
They have however confirmed that a new operator (Hatton’s) will be taking on the route as of April.
So we now know that the service spec’ found by the local resident and passed to me was genuine and that it was one of the options being considered. What any additional options were, other than stay as is, of course, if there were more than two we do not know.
That Merseytravel was seriously considering a reduction in the 133 is a given as they had gone well down the planning route to the point of having a draft timetable to implement. But why consider reducing this route other than for the rather obvious reason of not enough money to spread around the publicly subsidised bus routes across Merseyside?
Was some extra funding found for the route at the last minute? Was Merseytravel aware of a negative backlash if they took the reduction plan further? Did the tenders to run the route come in lower than the price they had been expecting thereby creating the scope to keep things as they are?
I guess we are unlikely to get to know the back story to this matter but however, we got to the point of no service reduction in the 133 bus route it looks like it was a close shave but a very welcome one at that.
Oh, and by the way, the service spec’ that has not now had the timetable reduction within it implemented says that the start of the new contract is on 28th April 2019 and that it ends on 1st September 2019. Is that still the case and if it is will there be another challenge for the 133 bus route later this year?
I seem to have been posting quite a lot about bus issues recently. A few days ago I blogged about potential service reductions to the 133 bus route. My posting can be found via this link:-
Not surprisingly reactions to this news have been ones of concern from users of the bus route.
However, things have taken a surprising twist in that a fellow local councillor posted on the Official Maghull Community Page of Facebook yesterday that Merseytravel has told him that the 133 bus, although getting a new operator, the times & days will remain as they were.
This raises the question of whether the 5 page Merseytravel service specification document for the reduced service (which I hold an electronic copy of) is genuine or whether Merseytravel has actually and thankfully just had second thoughts.
In case anyone wants to see it, here is the full service specification document that I hold:-
I have taken steps to try to validate whether the document is a genuine Merseytravel one or not and will make the outcome of those enquires known. As someone who is not a conspiracy theorist, my gut tells me that Merseytravel has simply had a welcome change of heart but until we know for sure………….
Please click on the various pages of the scanned document to be able to read it.
The Liverpool Echo has the story – see link above
Melling has long suffered from poor bus services and it seems things are about to get worse for those living in the Melling Rock/Rock Lane area of this mostly rural Parish.
If I am to understand things correctly (if I am wrong please shout) the 133 bus route will soon no longer serve Melling Rock/Rock Lane. It will instead leave Maghull via Eastway/School Lane, travel past Ashworth Hospital, and then over the M58 Motorway onto Prescot Road in Melling before entering Kirkby. The reverse will apply to Waterloo bound 133’s. This change is to come into effect on 24th July according to Merseytravel.
The change will also have a an affect on some parts of Maghull as the 133 will no longer serve a section of Eastway or Poverty Lane. However, it will benefit residents living along part of Deyes Lane and near to Ashworth Hospital.
It seems that Melling residents living on Prescot Road will gain a bus service but it will be at the expense of the much larger number of Melling residents living in the Rock Lane area around the Bootle Arms Pub.
No news as yet on the 236 bus route and whether there will be any changes on how it serves Melling.