A new look city centre bus network will operate in Liverpool over the festive period, following a deregistration of some of the city's key services.
Due to an emergency tender by the passenger transport executive, the move was made in order to create an improved network in some areas, with new and better connections to key city destinations.
The service changes, coming into effect from Saturday 27 December this year, includes revisions to the S1, S2, S3, 4 and 11 bus routes.
Councillor Mark Dowd, chair of Merseytravel, said: "We have had to react quickly to the deregistration of the S1, 4 and 11 bus routes. Our Bus Services team have been working closely with Arriva ensure we have been able to maintain as many services as possible – and improve them where we can.
"This will mean some changes for passengers, but we will be keeping a close eye on things as the network beds in."
As part of the review, the S1, 4 and 11 bus routes, operated by Arriva and supported by Merseytravel, have been deregistered and Merseytravel has terminated the contracts for the Merseytravel funded S2 and S3 services.
The network will see four new services created in order to maintain links, all operating under Merseytravel subsidised contracts.
Changes coming into force include:
- The new C2 service will improve connections to the city's waterfront, including Princes Parade and Canada Boulevard and it will link into the operation times of the Mersey Ferries serving Queen Square Bus Station
- The C3 will maintain many cross city connections, taking in Marybone, Queen Square Bus Station, Royal Liverpool Hospital, Liverpool John Moores University, two cathedrals and Liverpool Women's hospital.
- The C4 will link Dingle, Brunswick Station, Brunswick Industrial Park, Mariners Wharf, Kings Parade, the Albert Dock, Paradise Street Interchange, James Street to Queen Square Bus Station
All of the new services will be limited to Merseytravel's fare structure – which means the maximum fare level per journey will be £1. Merseytravel and Arriva day tickets will also be accepted.
Neil Scales, chief executive and director general of Merseytravel, said: "We have worked quickly to set up a network of bus routes and services that connect with all the city's major hubs, interchanges and attractions.
"We have tried to maintain as many of the links and connections as possible.
"A few direct links previously available may now mean interchange as part of these changes, but other connections will be improved, so obviously we'll have to monitor all of these very closely."
An emergency tender will run until October 2009, before the whole city centre network will be retendered by Merseytravel.