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Campaigners celebrate "partial victory" in fight to keep Ince Blundell bus




Residents and campaigners are celebrating a reprieve as Arriva announced they would continue to serve Ince Blundell with the 47 bus.


The area's MP said it was a "partial victory" in the battle to keep the 47 running through the village, and Labour councillor Nina Killen thanked Arriva for backtracking on its decision, at least in the short term.


The bus company had announced that they were planning to cut Ince Blundell from the route of the Crossens to Liverpool service in order to save four to five minutes on the journey time and improve reliability.


Mr Esterson added: "I totally opposed this change and wrote to Arriva twice to ask them to reverse this decision. A great many residents contacted me to say how much this would impact on their lives. Older people stuck in their homes and parents terrified of the thought of their children having to walk down the busy A565 to get to a bus stop.


"I am very pleased that Arriva have listened to residents' concerns and made the decision to carry on serving the village for the time being. It is a partial repreive and I do not want this to hang over the heads of residents in Ince Blundell for months. A quick decision on the future of the service is needed."


The MP wrote to Ince Blundell residents, saying he would continue to fight on behalf of the residents to maintain a regular bus service through the village. He wrote: "Arriva tell me they will reassess the viability of the service over the next few months, and I will continue to put pressure on them to consider the residents of the village when making their decisions."


Cllr Killen added: "A representative from Arriva called me and gave me the very good news that they had decided to keep the route of the 47 the same, at least until mid-January. It means so much to people who live in the village, especially the elderly and young people who may not have access to a car. It is a partial reprieve and I know there are huge numbers of people in the village who are very relieved."


Critics accused the company of abandoning the residents of the village, which contains around 500 households, leaving residents with a 1.2km walk to the nearest bus stop on the A565, a busy dual carriageway with no pavement on one side and no pedestrian crossing at the stop.


Cllr Killen said: "I plan to meet with Merseytravel and Arriva within the next few weeks to explore how the reliability of the bus can be improved without the extra vehicle. Arriva told me that reliability and keeping to the timetable was their main concern. Residents say the bus would save just a couple of minutes off the journey time by cutting off the village, which is disproportionate to the impact it would have."


Merseytravel wrote to residents who had contributed to the consultation: "We are now in a position to share the outcome of the Sefton Review and I am pleased to say that the planned changes to service 47 will now not go ahead. Arriva have placed an extra vehicle into the service in order to improve the reliability which they will monitor for the rest of 2019 and review again in January."

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