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Stagecoach Merseytravel Contracts

Article and photos by buses767501/04/17

Back in late February, Stagecoach Merseyside Gillmoss depot took on three routes on short term emergency contracts from Merseytravel, these are routes 135 (Aintree Station - Bootle Bus Station Circular) & routes 163/263 (Huyton Bus Station - Halewood Caravan Park Circular).

Stagecoach M&SL 47327 PX06 FXW

Optare Solo 47237 PX06FXW is seen at Halewood Bus Station on 13/02/2017, the first day Stagecoach operated the 263.

In order to operate the contracts, which require small buses, Stagecoach acquired more Optare Solos, with 8 serviceable ones now at the depot, those being 47081 WA04TWU, 47327 PX06FXW, 47328 PX06FXY, 47494 PX07HBY, 47709 MX54YZR, 47710 MX54YZT, 47711 MX54YZU & 47753 PE51YHH.

Stagecoach M&SL 47494 PX07 HBY

Optare Solo 47494 PX07HBY is seen at Bootle Bus Station in the early hours of 24/03/2017 on the 135. This Solo was built with an MAN engined however it currently has a Cummins engine.

The contract for route 135 (evenings and Sundays only) runs until 22nd April 2017 when Avon will take over, however the evening and Sunday frequency is halved to hourly (it is currently hourly) though the route will then be extended around Millers Bridge and interwork with the new 159 evening service that Avon will also be running from that date

Stagecoach M&SL 47081 WA04 TWU

Slimline Optare Solo 47081 WA04TWU is seen at Aintree Railway Station in the early hours of 22/02/2017 on the 135.

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The 163/263 contract lasts until late July when the 163/263 & 883 are merged - the operator of the new routes is not yet determined!

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