Stagecoach plans to begin operating the service from its Chester depot on 24 April – two days after Arriva is likely to cut the route. The operator already runs 15 routes in the Chester area going out to Liverpool and Ellesmere Port.
It plans an hourly service to match the current frequency in operation by Arriva and additional weekly journeys between Crewe and Nantwich.
Last month Arriva North West signalled plans to close depots in Macclesfield and Winsfield, while Arriva Midlands also announced it was to close its Oswestry base.
Then last week Centrebus subsidiary D&G Bus revealed proposals to expand its presence in the area by offering replacements to the Arriva 31, 37 and 84 routes from 23 April.
Stagecoach says in a press release: “We know it can be unsettling when a bus route could be under threat, so we are pleased to continue the operation of this service Monday to Saturday as an hourly service between Chester and Crewe with some additional weekly journeys between Crewe and Nantwich. We will be reviewing a final timetable soon to ensure that we make this a reliable service for customers.”
The full timetable will be available from April.