Chester to Liverpool QBP to end next month

‘Commercially unviable’ Arriva route withdrawn and as a result QBP between two cities ends

One QBP involving Arriva and Stagecoach to cease, but others continue

Merseytravel has confirmed that the Quality Bus Partnership (QBP) between Chester and Liverpool is to end.

The QBP was founded in July 2012 and originally included three routes that were jointly operated by Arriva North West and First.

Following its purchase of First’s Chester and Wirral business, two of the routes later became operated entirely by Stagecoach after Arriva withdrew from services 1 and X2.

Arriva has now deregistered its journeys from the remaining joint service, route 2, and as a result the QBP will cease on 4 September.

“Regrettably, Arriva journeys on service 2 have not been commercially viable for some time and we can no longer continue to operate them,” says Commercial Manager Derek Bowes.

It is understood that Stagecoach will step in to continue the service – of which it already runs half – although it is not yet confirmed whether the existing 20min frequency will be retained.

Stagecoach’s contribution to the Chester QBP is operated with high-specification Gold-branded Alexander Dennis Enviro300s that are less than a year old; Arriva uses standard-spec buses.

“The QBP will not continue after 4 September, but we are continuing to work in partnerships on seven voluntary QBPs across the region,” says Merseytravel.

The Chester QBP, which also includes Wirral Council and Cheshire West Council, was founded in July 2012. It originally involved First, which has since sold its Cheshire and Wirral operations to Stagecoach.