A CALL has been made for newly re-elected Merseyside metro mayor Steve Rotheram to reconsider bringing back a ‘much-missed’ express bus.

Runcorn East MP Mike Amesbury has asked Mr Rotheram to give serious consideration to subsidising the route as he embarks on his third term in office.

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

Mr Amesbury has blamed ‘Tory privatisation’ for the demise of the X1 service.

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

The Labour Weaver Vale MP has penned a letter to the Liverpool City region mayor stating: “Tory privatisation has left passengers needing to get to work, college and town centres at the mercy of the market.

“I naturally applaud your efforts to take back control of fares, timetables and routes for the benefit of employees, pensioners, students and shoppers.

“That will be good for local families and good for our economy.

“However, building an integrated public transport system will not happen overnight.

“That is why I would like to see a stop-gap measure to bring back the much-missed X1 Runcorn-Liverpool express service in support of my constituents.”

Last year Mr Amesbury delivered an almost 1,500-name petition to Mr Rotheram at his Liverpool office, calling for the X1 to be reinstated.

Mr Amesbury added: “Since the private operator withdrew the X1 in April 2022, people have continued to contact me out of desperation.

“This is because an end-to-end trip that used to take about 50 minutes now takes almost two hours.

“That is ridiculous. Passengers who relied on the express bus need a solution now.”

He concluded: “I am asking you again Steve to please take another look at bringing back the X1.”