TWO new buses have been launched to help workers to reach Runcorn’s key employment areas.

The 200 bus service will provide a direct link to Sci-Tech Sci-Tech Daresbury, Daresbury Park, Manor Park, Astmoor and Whitehouse Industial Estate.

The service operates every 30 minutes throughout the day from Monday to Friday.

It will serve Murdishaw, High Street bus station in the old town, Runcorn mainline railway station, Runcorn East and Windmill Hill.

Halton Clr John Stockton, board member for transportation, said, “I am delighted that the improved 200 service will make it easier and quicker for local people to get to Sci-Tech Daresbury and our other main employers in Runcorn, allowing them to take advantage of job opportunities at these sites.

“Our strategy to improve employment opportunities in the borough is being helped by our strategic transport plan; which aims to ensure we have the right transport routes in place.”

The new high-quality, low-floor easy-access vehicles have been purchased with funding provided through the Government’s Regional Growth Fund.

John Downes, chief executive of Langtree and director of the Sci-Tech Daresbury joint venture, said: “These new buses will help to make the Sci-Tech Daresbury site even more accessible and will enable people living in Halton and the surrounding areas to easily get to and from work using a convenient, affordable and sustainable mode of transport.

“Investing in public transport links to Sci-Tech Daresbury and guaranteeing that the site is well-connected to local towns and cities is a key part of ensuring that businesses on the site are able to continue to attract the brightest and the best talent from the region, which is an important part of guaranteeing the long term growth and development of the site.”

Jon Williams, regional head of estates and facilities management north for the Science and Technology Facilities Council said: “ Investment in transport infra-structure such as this is essential for Sci-Tech Daresbury and STFC’s Daresbury Laboratory to continue to be able to recruit the very best people to work in our facilities, allowing to us to maintain our position as a world leading research site.”

The 200 bus service has been operating for 14 years. To begin with, it was supported by Halton Council.

Following a successful partnership bid to the Local Sustainable Transport Fund with St Helens and Warrington Councils around 12 months ago, the frequency of the service was increased from hourly to half hourly.

The route was also extended to include Runcorn mainline railway station and Runcorn High Street bus station.

Since these service enhancements, the number of passengers using the service has almost doubled along the route.