Sunday, 8 June 2014

Council check: Merseytravel

Merseyside is administered by four separate city and borough councils, but for transport matters they all work together through Merseytravel. So how well do they publicise the bus services across Merseyside?

Where do the buses go?

Four maps cover every single area of Merseyside, clearly showing where each bus route runs and including town centre enlargements, so that you know where to board. There is also a separate leaflet on where to board your bus in Liverpool City Centre. 5 out of 5.


There's a search facility from which you can find the timetable for any route in the county. Nice and easy. 5 out of 5.


No information on single and return fares, as is sadly standard these days. But Merseytravel makes up for this with its range of multi-operator and multi-modal tickets. Saveaway day out tickets offer especially good value: all buses in the county, plus Mersey ferries and Merseyrail for just £4.90 - Surely one of the best-value public transport tickets in Britain. 

Plusbus is clearly described, but is only valid in the city or borough for which it is issued. Other PTEs (Passenger Transport Executives) in the North and Midlands make Plusbus tickets valid countywide, but that isn't the case on Merseyside. Links are provided to the bus operators' websites for info about their own tickets. 4 out of 5.


Maps are easy to find and use, as are timetables. Ticketing information is good, but could be enhanced by providing a way to find out the cost of simple single and return journeys. Merseytravel have also been very active in setting up Quality Bus Networks (logo above), where two operators serving the same route are encouraged to co-ordinate their services and accept each other's tickets. In a deregulated market, schemes like this make a big difference to the travelling public and make bus travel far less daunting than it otherwise would be. Merseytravel scores a well-deserved total of 14 out of 15.

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