Merseyside "Quality Partnerships"

Status
Not open for further replies.

Polarbear

Established Member
Joined
24 May 2008
Messages
1,624
Location
Birkenhead
I note that Merseyside are expanding their network of Quality Partnership bus routes once again. From 8 July, the Wirral joins the scheme on two core routes.

Quality Partnerships have been established on certain trunk routes in Merseyside over the last year or two where two operators accept each other's daily & weekly (but not monthly) tickets & timetables are coordinated over core sections of route http://www.merseytravel.gov.uk/information_bus_quality-bus-network.asp

From 8 July, not only does the Wirral join this scheme, but some of the routes are extending into Cheshire West too. Services between Chester, Ellesmere Port, Birkenhead and Liverpool are to be renumbered and operated jointly between Arriva and First. Additionally, services between Liverpool & Heswall are going to come under the Quality Partnership scheme.

As regards the Chester routes, the current routes 3 (Chester - Rivacre operated by First) and 401 (Chester - Liverpool operated by Arriva) are being replaced by a new jointly run route 2 that amalgamates parts of each route. The present service 1 (Chester - Cheshire Oaks - Liverpool) operated by First will be jointly run with Arriva. Finally, there will also be an express service between Chester and Ellesmere Port (service X2 & again, jointly operated between First & Arriva).

Are there any other areas of the UK where this sort of initiative is being rolled out?
 
Sponsor Post - registered members do not see these adverts; click here to register, or click here to log in
R

RailUK Forums

Mutant Lemming

Established Member
Joined
8 Aug 2011
Messages
3,194
Location
London
"Quality Bus Partnership" seems to equate to consoldating services on certain core routes at the expense of other services (i.e. improved service on routes 10/10A on the Liverpool - St.Helens service - loss of the 7B to cover evening service to Rainhill Stoops). All very well for folk living on or near the "Quality" route not so good for anyone who doesn't.
 

radamfi

Established Member
Joined
29 Oct 2009
Messages
8,767
Chester to Blacon was one of the early partnerships which led to timetable co-ordination and joint ticket acceptance between First and Arriva.
 

tbtc

Veteran Member
Joined
16 Dec 2008
Messages
16,226
Location
Yorkshire, Yorkshire, Yorkshire
"Quality Bus Partnership" seems to equate to consoldating services on certain core routes at the expense of other services (i.e. improved service on routes 10/10A on the Liverpool - St.Helens service - loss of the 7B to cover evening service to Rainhill Stoops). All very well for folk living on or near the "Quality" route not so good for anyone who doesn't.

Well surmised.

We have a couple of corridors in Sheffield like this (where First and Stagecoach now run a parallel service with co-ordinated times/ticketing) - which does mean some loss of alternatives and doesn't require decent buses - "R" reg still in use on these routes.

We also have a Quality Partnership (Barnsley Road) where there is no co-ordination of times/ tickets but there is a requirement for vehicles to be a certain standard (low floor, Euro 2 engines IIRC).

Both are well meaning schemes, neither solves everything, but the operators appear to prefer these arrangements to ceding control to the council/PTE.
 

button_boxer

Established Member
Joined
12 Nov 2009
Messages
1,270
Rather annoyingly in the Sheffield schemes, First accept Stagecoach bus-only weekly tickets but not Stagecoach bus and tram ones. Whether this was intentional when the scheme was designed or whether it's a loophole that First have identified after the terms had been set I don't know, but it's a bit of a pain for me. Living in Hillsborough I use the tram to get to work and if I want to get a 52 bus up to Crookes I have to wait for a Stagecoach one rather than jump on the first available bus which rather defeats the object of the quality partnership...
 

317 forever

Established Member
Joined
21 Aug 2010
Messages
1,177
Location
North West
I found out last week that routes 82 and 86 and their sisters had become Quality Partnerships. This appears to mean that Arriva and Stagecoach no longer compete there as such.

Talking about Wirral partnerships, I gather that First route 72 and Arriva route 472 largely duplicate eachother between Liverpool, Birkenhead and Heswall. Maybe these could become a Quality Partnership? Mind you, I doubt First Rock Ferry garage has sufficient modern buses to implement a QP here!
 

Polarbear

Established Member
Joined
24 May 2008
Messages
1,624
Location
Birkenhead
Talking about Wirral partnerships, I gather that First route 72 and Arriva route 472 largely duplicate eachother between Liverpool, Birkenhead and Heswall. Maybe these could become a Quality Partnership? Mind you, I doubt First Rock Ferry garage has sufficient modern buses to implement a QP here!

That's one of the other routes that is coming under the QP banner from 08/07/12. Routes 71, 72 & 472 are renumbered 471 & 472 and jointly run between Arriva & First.

As you say, there's a notable lack of "quality" vehicles at Rock Ferry. It may be that First will surprise me & ensure some more up to date vehicles are in place for these QP's by 8 July, but I doubt it somehow.:roll:
 

185

Established Member
Joined
29 Aug 2010
Messages
3,860
FirstGroup? Invest in new motors for Crosville Rock Ferry?

*hit by flying pig*

*only after hell freezes over*

I won't repeat the words Ken Poole, former manager used to describe Aberdeen's constant refusal to provide 'nearly-new', or just plain 'newer' vehicles. Hardly difficult to get any worse than the wrecks they are driving round in now.
 

Polarbear

Established Member
Joined
24 May 2008
Messages
1,624
Location
Birkenhead
Agreed! :D

To me, it seems very short sighted of First not to provide new (or at least newer) vehicles for the Chester & Wirral operation. OK, I may have a vested interest as I live in the area, but given that it's a relatively small operation, I would suggest that investment in a few new vehicles would reduce maintenance costs and fuel consumption, thereby increasing the profit margins for First.

As it stands, there haven't been any "new" vehicles since the small batch of "05" registered Scania's were purchased for route "1", with the rest of the fleet being a mixed bag of spanners from around the UK (and probably beyond).:roll:

I suspect though that given the almost non existent growth in some of First's bus operations, Chester & Wirral may be up for the chop at some point in the not too distant future? That being a possibility, new vehicles wouldn't be on the shopping list.
 

Statto

Established Member
Joined
8 Feb 2011
Messages
2,412
Location
At home or at the pub
I'd still wait for the Arriva rather than First as they have better buses & deckers allocated to the route, & theres a batch of 33 Hybrid Deckers for Birkenhead to replace the Enviro 400s are on order to be delivered early next year.

First are losing money hand over fist at Rock Ferry, it was reported last that year RF were losing £10,000 a day.
 

Polarbear

Established Member
Joined
24 May 2008
Messages
1,624
Location
Birkenhead
First are losing money hand over fist at Rock Ferry, it was reported last that year RF were losing £10,000 a day.

Makes me wonder why they're still operating from Rock Ferry & Chester if that's the case? Hopefully, these two depots will be sold off to someone who can make a better go of things than First sooner rather than later?
 

Polarbear

Established Member
Joined
24 May 2008
Messages
1,624
Location
Birkenhead
In another thread, it's been said/confirmed that First are indeed looking to sell off Chester & Rock Ferry depots. Not the biggest shock of the 21st century! :D

One wonders what would happen as regards the Quality Partnerships? Can the agreements just be transferred to a new operator? Is there any requirement for a new operator to participate in the QP's at all?
 

317 forever

Established Member
Joined
21 Aug 2010
Messages
1,177
Location
North West
In another thread, it's been said/confirmed that First are indeed looking to sell off Chester & Rock Ferry depots. Not the biggest shock of the 21st century! :D

One wonders what would happen as regards the Quality Partnerships? Can the agreements just be transferred to a new operator? Is there any requirement for a new operator to participate in the QP's at all?

I think First could quickly sell their stakes in these QBPs to Arriva. As these are QBPs I doubt the elimination of competition will cause any concern to the OFT or CC. Then the remaining services could be sold to a 3rd party such as Avon Buses, GHA, Stagecoach or Rotala.
 

Statto

Established Member
Joined
8 Feb 2011
Messages
2,412
Location
At home or at the pub
In another thread, it's been said/confirmed that First are indeed looking to sell off Chester & Rock Ferry depots. Not the biggest shock of the 21st century! :D

One wonders what would happen as regards the Quality Partnerships? Can the agreements just be transferred to a new operator? Is there any requirement for a new operator to participate in the QP's at all?

Unlike Birkenhead, think First Chester depot is quite profitable but wouldn't surprise me if First sell both depots.

I've said it before but First Wirral have vehicles regully running in normal service without proper working blinds, & Birkenhead can't afford new blinds which gives indication how poor there performing profit wise
 

Mutant Lemming

Established Member
Joined
8 Aug 2011
Messages
3,194
Location
London
I found out last week that routes 82 and 86 and their sisters had become Quality Partnerships. This appears to mean that Arriva and Stagecoach no longer compete there as such.

As with the QBP on the 10's other services in the area have suffered as a result. The 80 in particular sees a significant reduction in frequency. It wasn't so long back that the 80 had a greater frequency than the 82.
 

ivanhoe

Member
Joined
15 Jul 2009
Messages
908
As with the QBP on the 10's other services in the area have suffered as a result. The 80 in particular sees a significant reduction in frequency. It wasn't so long back that the 80 had a greater frequency than the 82.

That maybe the case, but historically, it was at best 3 an hour. (80 that is) .
 

Old Yard Dog

Member
Joined
21 Aug 2011
Messages
1,075
I note that Merseyside are expanding their network of Quality Partnership bus routes once again. From 8 July, the Wirral joins the scheme on two core routes.

Quality Partnerships have been established on certain trunk routes in Merseyside over the last year or two where two operators accept each other's daily & weekly (but not monthly) tickets & timetables are coordinated over core sections of route http://www.merseytravel.gov.uk/information_bus_quality-bus-network.asp

From 8 July, not only does the Wirral join this scheme, but some of the routes are extending into Cheshire West too. Services between Chester, Ellesmere Port, Birkenhead and Liverpool are to be renumbered and operated jointly between Arriva and First. Additionally, services between Liverpool & Heswall are going to come under the Quality Partnership scheme.

As regards the Chester routes, the current routes 3 (Chester - Rivacre operated by First) and 401 (Chester - Liverpool operated by Arriva) are being replaced by a new jointly run route 2 that amalgamates parts of each route. The present service 1 (Chester - Cheshire Oaks - Liverpool) operated by First will be jointly run with Arriva. Finally, there will also be an express service between Chester and Ellesmere Port (service X2 & again, jointly operated between First & Arriva).

Are there any other areas of the UK where this sort of initiative is being rolled out?

The new timetables mean improved evening services for Ellesmere Port. The frequency on service 1 is increased from hourly to half-hourly - and Sunday evening bus services are restored to the town for the first time in many years.

The only downside is that route 1 misses out many densely populated areas of the Port such as Hope Farm and Whitby in order to run via the Cheshire Oaks leisure complex. To me, it would make more sense for services 1 and 2 to alternate on Sundays and in the evening to give more people access to a bus route.
 

Polarbear

Established Member
Joined
24 May 2008
Messages
1,624
Location
Birkenhead
There hasn't been a Sunday service through Hope Farm for a few years now (it was Merseybus & the 11c/12c routes as I recall so that's a few years back).

It would be good for me to have more route 2 buses too as I live on the route. However, there's no justification at present for more than a 30 minute frequency on Sundays over most of the route & if the frequency to/from Cheshire Oaks was reduced to hourly, it would probably put people off.

When First started to operate a Sunday service on route 1, it was only hourly & it was rammed. I doubt the buses could cope with just an hourly service on that route now (and deckers aren't an option due to the low bridge at Bache).
 
Status
Not open for further replies.

Top