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Wirral and Cheshire West area bus network changes

17 Jul 2019

Over the past few years, our network in Wirral and Cheshire has slowly expanded and evolved as we have made both commercial changes and responded to other bus operators ceasing to trade; often at very short notice. 

As part of our continual process of reviewing our bus networks, to ensure they are fit for purpose and commercially sustainable, we will be introducing a number of changes to services in Chester, Ellesmere Port and Wirral from 1st September 2019. These changes are designed to focus our resources where demand is greatest and allow us to improve the punctuality of services by making timetables more robust against delays caused by traffic congestion.


Some of the highlights are:

  • Improved coordination and frequency of buses between Chester – Chester Zoo – Cheshire Oaks – Ellesmere Port and Liverpool (1, 2, X1)
  • New Stagecoach links to Chester Business Park and Wrexham Road (1)
  • New Sunday buses for Overpool (X1)
  • Much improved service for Sandbrook estate (38)
  • More buses for Hope Farm estate (2)
  • Faster journey times from West Kirby to Heswall and beyond (22)


1 Chester – Liverpool and X8 Chester – Liverpool

Services are revised to become:

1 Chester Business Park – Handbridge – Chester Rail Station – Chester – Countess of Chester Hospital – Chester Zoo – Cheshire Oaks – Ellesmere Port – Great Sutton – Eastham – Bromborough – New Ferry – Birkenhead – Liverpool

1 timetable


X1 Chester – Chester Rail Station – Hoole Road – Chester Zoo – Cheshire Oaks – Ellesmere Port – Overpool – Little Sutton – Eastham – Bromborough – then fast via New Ferry bypass to Liverpool

  • The new 1 & X1 combine to provide 6 buses per hour (coordinated to a 10 minute frequency at key points) between Chester – Chester Zoo – Cheshire Oaks – Ellesmere Port – Bromborough and Liverpool.
  • Each service to operate every 20 mins Mon-Sat daytime and every 30 mins, evenings and on Sundays.
  • Service 1 will extend to/from Chester Business Park via the Station, Handbridge and Wrexham Road, every 20 minutes, Monday to Friday, opening up much-requested new links for Stagecoach customers to this area. The route of service 1 between Chester Interchange and Liverpool is unchanged.
  • Service X1 replaces the X8. It will follow the same route as the X8 from Chester Interchange to Ellesmere Port bus station, then via the existing 2 route via Overpool to Eastham, then via the X8 route to Liverpool. The service will now call at all stops on the route, but still operates fast into Liverpool via the New Ferry bypass and missing out Birkenhead town centre.
  • Overpool will gain a new Sunday service.
  • The link into Ellesmere Port rail station will be withdrawn. Customers in the Station Road area can still make use of Stagecoach service 7.

X1 timetable


2 Chester – Countess of Chester Hospital – Hope Farm – Ellesmere Port

  • Improved Monday to Saturday daytime frequency, operating every 20 mins
  • Service to operate between Chester Interchange and Ellesmere Port Bus Station, with some journeys continuing to Runcorn (as per the X2 route)
  • Links through to Overpool and beyond towards Liverpool will be provided by revised services 1 and X1.
  • The section of route between New Ferry (Boundary Road) via Bebington into Birkenhead will now only be covered by service 38.
  • Port Sunlight will no longer be served and the nearest stops will be on Boundary Road, Bebington Road or New Chester Road.

2 timetable 


5 Ellesmere Port – Stanney Grange – Cheshire Oaks – Queensferry – Buckley – Mold

  • Revised timetable with buses now generally operating every hour.
  • The ‘short’ additional 5A journeys between Ellesmere Port and Stanney Grange will no longer operate.

5 timetable


6 Ellesmere Port – Great Sutton / Little Sutton circular

  • No changes.


7 Ellesmere Port – Rivacre

  • No changes.


22 Chester – Willaston - Neston – Heswall – Irby – Greasby – West Kirby

  • Revised route north of Heswall. No longer serving Arrowe Park Hospital, Hoylake, Meols or Moreton. Buses will still run every hour.
  • Frequent connections for Arrowe Park can be made in Heswall Bus Station onto the 471/472 services.
  • Frequent alternative services exist running between West Kirby and Moreton via Hoylake and Meols.
  • The Sandbrook estate in Moreton will now be served by the 38, providing a significantly higher level of service.

22 timetable


38 West Kirby – Moreton – Bidston – Claughton – Birkenhead – Bebington – New Ferry – Croft Retail Park – Eastham

  • Revised timetable, with an additional bus to significantly improve punctuality, but frequency remains the same.
  • All journeys re-routed via Sandbrook estate in Moreton, replacing the 22.

38 timetable


41/42 Woodchurch – Birkenhead – Rock Ferry – New Ferry – Bromborough – Eastham – Mill Park

  • The Monday to Saturday daytime timetable will remain broadly unchanged.
  • Those journeys currently operating as either 41A or 41B will become standard 41/42 journeys, no longer serving Prenton Hall Road or Arrowe Park Hospital. As well as keeping the route consistent all times, these diversions are little used and mean that we can significantly improve the punctuality of the service.

41/42 timetable


80/82/91 Merseytravel tendered services

  • Due in particular to the changes to service 22 between Heswall and Moreton, Merseytravel are currently looking into the option of extending service 91 to operate to Arrowe Park hospital and West Kirby, replacing services 80 and 82 in the process. We do not yet have the finalised details for this, but will update once Merseytravel have confirmed them.


X2 Chester – Countess of Chester Hospital – Hope Farm – Ellesmere Port – Cheshire Oaks – Elton – Helsby – Frodsham – Runcorn
Will be re-numbered to service 2

  • Service to remain at hourly frequency, with unchanged route between Ellesmere Port and Halton Lea.
  • Now linked with service 2 at Ellesmere Port, so will now run to/from Chester via Hope Farm.
  • The short section of Chester Road in Ellesmere Port between the Strawberry roundabout and Whitby High School will no longer be served.
  • Due to a request from Cheshire West & Chester Council, a new ‘X30’ journey will operate from Runcorn to Chester at 1908 hrs, replacing the current journey on the X2 from Halton Lea to Helsby.

2 timetable


X8 Chester – Chester Train Station – Chester Zoo – Cheshire Oaks – Ellesmere Port – Eastham – Bromborough - Liverpool

This service is replaced by a new service X1 – please see details above.


Would you like to see where our buses go? Check out our maps below...


Wirral Map


Ellesmere Port


Chester Map