Crosby and Thornton Labour councillors meet with Arriva and Mers

Crosby Labour Action Team's Cllrs Steve McGinnity and Diane Roberts with Veronica Bennett and John Kelly.
Crosby Labour Action Team's  Cllr Steve McGinnity and Cllr Diane Roberts held a meeting last week with Arriva and Merseytravel to discuss a growing number of complaints about a busy bus service.

Crosby Labour Action Team has been contacted by scores of angry residents who say they are being let down by an unreliable 54 bus service.

Residents complained that part of the route was regularly being skipped leaving passengers waiting at often cold and wet bus stops for hours on end.

Members of Crosby Labour Action Team, including John Kelly and Veronica Bennett made visits to bus stops which had received the most complaints to discover as many as seven people waiting at each stop along the affected part of the route which included one woman who had been waiting over one hour for a bus.

Cllrs McGinnity and Roberts last week organised the meeting with service operator Arriva and Merseyside's public transport authority Merseytravel to discuss the concerns. Merseytravel chairman Sefton Labour Councillor Mark Dowd also attended the meeting.

Cllr McGinnity said: "After seeing for ourselves some of the passengers waiting for the bus to arrive, Cllr Roberts and I arranged the meeting with Arriva and Merseytravel to discuss the problems and to come up with potential solutions.

"During our site visits, we spoke to people waiting at the stops and they confirmed that this is a regular occurrence as the bus regularly skips a part of the journey, missing a number of stops.

"The passengers told us that the bus goes towards Thornton, they are then heading down Liverpool Road and bypassing Chesterfield Road and Brownmoor Lane. We've also had complaints from residents along Runnells Lane.

"The passengers waiting at the stops told us it happens regularly. One lady said she leaves the house an hour and half early each time to ensure that she can get a bus to work. When we spoke to her, she had been waiting for more than an hour. Another older gentleman had been waiting for the bus to go for to doctor's appointment. He ended up giving up and going home.

"We raised these cases with Arriva and urged them to come up with a solution to the problems."

Cllr Roberts said the meeting had been very constructive with a number of measures being introduced to resolve the problem.

Cllr Roberts said: "Arriva has now agreed to extend the 54 travel time by 15 minutes to ensure that the driver can make it around the full route without having to cut sections out.

"The service will also be monitored and passengers are being issued with Merseytravel cards which contain a hotline number, 0151 330 1082/1083, to raise any concerns regarding the service. 

"The Crosby Labour Action Team will also continue to monitor the issue to ensure that we get a much improved 54bus service.

"Cllr McGinnity, my Labour Action Team colleagues and I would like to thank Merseytravel and Cllr Mark Dowd for taking a personal interest in this matter.

"Hopefully, by working together we will have come up with a resolution to this issue." 

To raise your concerns about the 54 bus service, call the Merytravel hotline on 0151 330 1082/1083.

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