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Council confirms ‘lifeline’ replacement bus route will start on Monday

by Gemma Melling

Knowsley Council has confirmed that a bus service on a popular route between Broadgreen Hospital and Prescot will continue, despite an announcement made by operator Cumfybus last week.

It had been announced that the 139 bus between Broadgreen Hospital and Prescot, would cease from on Sunday 2 September as it was ‘no longer cost effective’ to run.

The council immediately stepped in, and after working with Merseytravel and Cumfybus, has been able to secure an alternative service for residents.

Cllr Graham Morgan, Leader of Knowsley Council said:

“As soon as we found out about Cumfybus’ intentions to stop this service we knew we had to take action. So many of our residents rely on the 139 service to visit the hospital, town centres and even the cemetery and we knew that this was a route we just couldn’t afford to lose.”

Funding for the new bus route has been secured thanks to an agreement reached between Knowsley Council and housing developer Redrow, as part of the planning permission for their Summerhill Park development in Huyton. Under this ‘Section 106’ agreement, Redrow agreed to provide funding of £120,000 each year towards the cost of local bus services, and it is this money which will be used to support the 239 route.

Cllr Morgan said: “This is a fantastic example of how we are working positively with developers in Knowsley to ensure that they play their part in improving the lives of people in the borough. In this case, the agreement reached with Redrow has meant that this vital transport link, which many local people rely on, has not been lost.

“The fact that we’ve been able to secure a very similar service to the 139 route with no break in service for passengers is fantastic news. I know it has been a worrying time for those people who rely on this service, so I’m delighted that this is a story with a happy ending.”

The new 239 service will run every half hour. It will run broadly on the same route as the 139 between Prescot and Broadgreen Hospital, but will not continue on to Liverpool City Centre. Instead, passengers will be able to catch one of several regular connections from Broadgreen.

The new timetable, which comes into effect on Sunday, 2 September, can be found on the Merseytravel website.