Transport

Avon Buses reaches dead end

By Mark Gorton at

Avon Buses, based in Prenton and provider of several Wirral services – the 88, 10A, 17A, 22 and 145 – has ceased trading.

A Heswall Today reader said: “That means no bus services from Heswall to West Kirby, Neston, Chester and Clatterbridge Hospital indefinitely… until Merseytravel can organise emergency tenders.”

In a statement, Avon said: “It is with great regret that we have to inform you that after 35 years serving the local community, Avon Buses will cease operations on Friday, October 5, 2018.

“It has been the case for some time, that the cost of running services has been far in excess of the revenues that we receive and while every effort has been made to cut costs and improve ticket sales it has become obvious that the situation is unsustainable.

“We have been subject to significant increase in fuel costs that show no prospect of reducing and a very large increase in insurance premiums caused by the ‘claims culture’ that currently exists nationally.

“On their own these factors would be difficult to manage but the main problem with revenue has been the introduction by Merseytravel of a product called MyTicket.

“This was introduced in September 2014 as an affordable day ticket for young people up to the age of 16 years.

“Again, this was done without any consultation with this company. There is still no need to show proof of age, and we continue to believe that this ticket is open to serious abuse.

“Prior to the introduction of MyTicket, 80% of all cash ticket sales were to adults. The remaining 20% were to young people.

“In the year 2017 to 2018 adult ticket sales had reduced to 37% with young people’s tickets at 9%. The remaining 54% of tickets were MyTickets.

“As MyTicket is essentially a discounted half fare, a substantial part of our revenue from adult tickets has been halved and this has had a massive negative effect on our revenues. As our passenger numbers fall well short of those experience by the larger bus companies we have been unable to absorb these losses.

“We would like to apologise to our loyal passengers, many of whom will be adversely affected by this closure.”

The end of the road