RUNCORN East MP Mike Amesbury has delivered an almost 1,500-name petition calling for the reinstatement of a vital express bus to Liverpool.

Passengers have faced a two-hour journey since private operator MP Travel stopped its X1 Runcorn-Liverpool service in April, 2022.

Mr Amesbury blames Tory privatisation for the demise of the X1 but hopes Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of Liverpool City Region, and Halton Council will reconsider subsidising the route in the light of the 1,481-name petition he set up online.

A public subsidy was previously considered but rejected as being unrealistic at the time.

The Labour MP for Weaver Vale, which includes East Runcorn, handed the petition to Mayor Rotheram in person.

He said: “Let’s be clear, this situation is the result of the Tories deregulating and privatising our bus services, leaving passengers needing to get to work, college and the shops at the mercy of the market.

“Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram is a colleague and friend who has fabulous plans to reregulate the buses and create an integrated and affordable public transport system across Liverpool City Region. People who relied on the X1 need to be included in that solution.

Runcorn and Widnes World:

“I’m asking Steve, in partnership with Halton Council, to look again at finding a way of reinstating this crucial service.”

Mr Amesbury has run two previous campaigns to save the X1, both of which attracted considerable support and prolonged the life of the express service.

He added: “A big thank you to everyone who signed my latest petition. The sheer numbers demonstrate the strength of feeling and in some cases, desperation, for the X1 to return.

“Unfortunately, bus services are being lost right across the country. Why? Because Tory Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher deregulated the buses more than 30 years ago. Nationally Labour has plans to take back control of local bus services if we win the next election.”