A PLAN to scrap the 49 bus route has been ‘postponed’ by Arriva, following uproar from commuters in Ainsdale.
The Champion reported how the bus operator had proposed taking the 49 bus service off the road due to a lack of government funding and less people using the service.
Since the story was published, the Champion has received many messages from readers who were furious with the planned changes. They claimed the service is a vital bus route for Ainsdale residents.
Arriva has now announced that following a consultation, which was carried out on the Liverpool City Combined Authority’s website, they have put back the changes until next year.
Planned changes to the 44 bus route, which Arriva wanted to make less frequent, have also been pushed back until 2022.
A spokesperson for Arriva said: “Service change plans to the 49 and 44 routes have been postponed for 2022. We will keep our customers and stakeholders updated.”
The news has been welcomed on Facebook, with many social media users posting their relief.
One person said: “So many elderly people use the 49 around Gleneagles estate. It would be criminal to change the route.”
Another person added: “We need them to come up here and consult properly and listen to the concerns many have voiced over the last few days. It is after all supposed to be a public service.”
Southport MP Damien Moore has also welcomed the update from Arriva. He said: “Like many residents in our town, I was deeply concerned about the Liverpool City Region’s proposals to change the 44 and 49 bus routes in Southport. Whether for hospital appointments, getting to work, or essential food shopping, these routes are vital for ensuring that Southport remains accessible to all.
“I was contacted by dozens of concerned constituents, from Ainsdale to Crossens, and earlier this week my office attended a meeting with residents to call for these proposed changes to be scrapped.
“I am very pleased that our concerns have been listened to, and that the Liverpool City Region have now confirmed that their plans to alter the 44 and 49 services have been dropped.”
This has been echoed by local councillors from the Liberal-Democrats, who say “confusion and anger” was caused by Arriva due to a “lack of clear explanations.”
Councillor Yaso Sathiy, told the Champion: “It has been a stressful few weeks for residents who were worried that the bus services they rely on were being changed. It’s great news that the services will be left unchanged for now.
“If and when services are reviewed again, we want Arriva to work much more closely with councillors and residents to avoid unnecessary worry. There should be lessons learnt from the process we’ve just been through.”