A WIRRAL MP has objected to proposals to cut a "vital" bus service route.

Yesterday (November 2) MP for Birkenhead Mick Whitley wrote a letter to bus company Arriva following rumours about the 418 route being cut.

Mr Whitley explained that the route "provides a vital service to communities in the north of Birkenhead including the only direct route to Arrowe Park".

He continued to say that the service is a "lifeline" for Beechwood, North Birkenhead and Prenton communities and has "objected" to the proposal.

In a comment to the Globe, Mr Whitley said: "Since I was elected I have been campaigning to save and improve bus services in Birkenhead.

"This latest rumour about the 418 route being cut highlights why I have made this issue a priority.

"We need a bus service that connects all parts of the town together, that enables people to get to local hospitals without going all round the houses, that makes shopping and journeys to town stress free.

"More cuts are the opposite of what we need and I am urging Arriva to come out openly and pledge that this vital north Birkenhead bus route is maintained."

Arriva has confirmed that they are proposing to withdraw the service following a "gradual decline in passenger numbers".

Wirral Globe: 418 route418 route (Image: Arriva)

A spokesperson from Arriva North West said: “We continuously review all our routes to make sure that we provide customers with the best service that we can, while also ensuring we are able to continue operating a stable bus network over the longer term. 

“As part of our continuous review process, we have reviewed the passenger numbers on the 420 service and similar routes along its corridor.  This service has continuously struggled to carry enough passengers to cover its basic operating costs.

“Following a gradual decline in passenger numbers through the pandemic, diminishing levels of funding, together with increases in inflationary costs, we are now in a position where we need to look at making changes to ensure that our bus network efficiently meets new travel patterns and demand and ultimately is sustainable. 

“After consultation with local authorities, unfortunately we are proposing to withdraw the service and will be people’s seeking views on the following online feedback form Wirral Services 418 and 420 consultation.”