Frank Field MP
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Bus travel discrimination

Birkenhead residents, and indeed anyone living in Wirral, get a rough deal on the buses. I spoke recently to Councillor Liam Robertson who chairs Merseytravel.

The culprit appears to be Arriva. They discriminate against my constituents right down the line.

A traveller buying a ‘Zone Day Saver’ is charged £4 if it is bought in Birkenhead and £3.90 if purchased
Liverpool. Then onwards the discrimination story gets worse.

The cost of the ‘Weekly Saver’ in Liverpool is £14.50 compared to £18 for Arriva’s ‘North West and Wales Weekly Saver’, which we in Birkenhead have to buy, even if we are not intending to travel outside the Wirral. This discrimination continues right up through to the purchase of an ‘Annual Saver’ ticket.

Liverpool purchasers get their annual ticket for £505. My constituents face a £630 bill. Birkenhead children are similarly discriminated against.

When writing to Councillor Robertson I drew his attention to what the status quo was right up until 1986.
Up until that point Merseyside had some of the lowest fares. The policy of the same fares across the country continued right up to 2000.

That's when Arriva arrived on the scene, and the discrimination against Birkenhead and Wirral began.

I’ve found the new chair of our transport authority a wonderful breath of fresh air. It may be that he can do little following privatisation. But he'll be a good ally of Birkenhead if and when we need to argue the toss with Arriva.
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