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22 Bus Will Continue To Serve Neston

Published: 22nd January 2020 14:02

Despite recent rumours to the contrary, Stagecoach have confirmed that there are no plans, currently, to withdraw the 22 bus service through Neston.


Cheshire West and Chester Council had been in discussions with the route operator to explore options to save the service, after it came under threat.  

The new timetable, however, issued on January 19th, confirms a previous announcement to the effect that just the loop through Willaston has been removed. This was further confirmed by a PR representative speaking on behalf of Stagecoach, on Tuesday 21 January.

Discussions between the council and Stagecoach are ongoing.  Cllr Louise Gittins (Little Neston), who is also Leader of Cheshire West and Chester Council, said: "We understand the concerns of passengers who rely on this service to carry out their daily tasks. We wish to ensure the continued running of this important service. In recent weeks, we have been working with the operator and Merseytravel to find a way of maintaining this valued public transport link.

"This collaborative approach is essential in delivering a sustainable transport service for the future."

Anyone with concerns is welcomed to attend the 'Cuppa & a Chat' session with Cllr Gittins and Cllr Andy Williams (Neston) on Saturday 15 February at Neston Town Hall.  The first hour (10-11am) is for general issues, with the second hour until 12 given over to transport concerns.

Click here or on the image below to see the revised timetable. (Opens as a pdf). You can also access the full, live, timetable here.

New 22 bus timetable

 UPDATE - 22/1/2020 - Following increased rumours regarding the future of the 22 service through Neston (and Parkgate), we made further enquiries with Stagecoach and have received the following reply:

"There are no plans for the 22 to stop serving Neston at the end of March.

"The only change to the 22 service is the one we previously discussed which is to include Mollington but no longer serve Willaston."



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Mike Shipman
At 09:55 on 22nd January 2020, Mike Shipman commented:
There are far more than two stops in Neston as you article suggests. More like 17! For detailed travel times download the itravelsmart app.
Carrie Spacey
At 10:07 on 22nd January 2020, Carrie Spacey responded:
Apologies Mike, I was going by the timetable provided by Stagecoach. I am fortunate in not having to rely on bus services, currently. I'll amend above.
At 10:55 on 22nd January 2020, Shelagh commented:
Use it or lose it. Get your cars off the road as much as possible and use the bus. No hassle with parking and better for the environment. And, if you're going out for lunch, you can safely have a drink.
At 11:05 on 22nd January 2020, Ian commented:
Carrie, a few people have told me that although the 22 will continue to pass through Neston it will stop going through Parkgate within the next month or two. I was told that, when asked, one of the bus drivers said that Stagecoach was planning to discontinue Parkgate. Do you know for sure please what the situation is?
Carrie Spacey
At 11:31 on 22nd January 2020, Carrie Spacey responded:
Hi Ian, I was initially told about Willaston, then when CWAC said there may be an issue about Neston, I made a point of calling Stagecoach's media representative, who in turn made enquiries with 'Stagecoach Central Team', who confirmed that there is no change to the Neston part of the route. No mention has been made of Parkgate, and it is generally assumed to be part of Neston for the purposes of bus routes etc. However, in light of what you've asked, I will go back to them and ask for further clarity. Anything I receive will be added to the article above in due course.
At 11:51 on 22nd January 2020, Ian commented:
Lovely. Thanks Carrie
Carrie Spacey
At 14:19 on 22nd January 2020, Carrie Spacey responded:
Confirmation received this afternoon from Stagecoach - no plans to stop the service through Neston & Parkgate. Quote added to article above.
At 15:18 on 22nd January 2020, peggysue commented:
What about the people in Willaston?? We do not all have cars. not everyone can walk to Hooton train station. I used this bus regularly. Many people do not fall into the category of pensioner or disabled who have been advised to book onto the Plus Bus. Stagecoach bus tickets never showed Willaston on the bus tickets. how can it be fairly monitored on the number of people using this service?
David L
At 08:00 on 23rd January 2020, David L commented:
The last bus back from Chester will now be 17:30! It's ridiculous that we can't spend an evening (and now not even late afternoon!) out in Chester and get public transport back.
At 09:47 on 23rd January 2020, collierman commented:
Over the last many years the 22 bus has had a chequered history and its longer-term future appears uncertain. Whilst Heswall is well-served by buses, Neston’s services diminished over the previous two decades; situated on the very edge of the county, there seems little prospect of those in the vicinity of Neston seeing any improvement or sustainability in bus links with the outside world. With an ageing population, and with national pressures being applied to move from private to public transport, it is woeful that we cannot rely on the future stability of regular and reliable links to our County Town. With no banks, and just one Building Society, in the town (but lots and lots and lots of places to buy cups of coffee, so that’s alright, then) and now with no direct links to hospitals, can we get any assurance that our isolation will not be further deepened?
David L
At 13:05 on 23rd January 2020, David L commented:
It should also be easy to take the train to Chester from Neston, after all it is only one stop to Shotton, change trains and then 10 minutes to Chester - but the trains don't align at Shotton, so you are stuck there for almost an hour. Joined up public transport - I think not!!
At 13:19 on 23rd January 2020, kagwagg commented:
Hi Carrie. There are also rumours circulating that the Aintree Coaches/Helms 272 service from Neston to Hooton via Willaston is being discontinued, the company, having recently withdrawn from the Cheshire Travel Card scheme. Have you heard any information regarding this?
Carrie Spacey
At 14:32 on 23rd January 2020, Carrie Spacey responded:
Kagwagg, no I haven't, but I will add that to the list of queries with CWAC and will post if I hear anything either way.
CO Jones
At 19:54 on 23rd January 2020, CO Jones commented:
Neston is a lovely place to live but the Public Transport situation just lurches from one drama to another.

So Frustrating. I have used the Chester bus a few times in the last couple of months and cant fault it. Especially if a pint or two is involved.

The prospect of the service disappearing at some stage seems to perpetually hang there like the sword of Damocles.
Carrie Spacey
At 22:24 on 23rd January 2020, Carrie Spacey responded:
I have to agree with you. I don’t often comment on here as a resident, but I’ve been doing this job for nearly 12 years and I’m frankly fed up of the number of times I’ve had to report on bus services being amended or cancelled (very rarely a new one introduced). I am also in full agreement with everyone who expresses disappointment with our train ‘service’.

Our MP and several councillors (both borough and town council representatives) have fought, and continue to fight, for better transport links for this town, yet nothing really changes. It just lurches from one ‘rescue’ to the next.

In an age when we are all being encouraged to think about the planet and leave cars at home, how is this acceptable?

I don’t know the answer, but just wanted to say, after a week of many people expressing their frustrations, that I agree with you and will continue to support / promote any campaigns, petitions or other forms of protest, if it will help find a long term solution.

As someone pointed out on one of our social media feeds this week - even if you don’t rely on public transport now, you might well do in the future, so this is a fight we should all be in together.
At 14:46 on 28th January 2020, undefined commented:
The 22 bus no longer comes along Colliery Green Drive and residents who use this bus will have a long walk as bus just uses Marshlands Road.
So much for the council looking after council tax payers and encouraging use of buses instead of cars.
Perhaps our local councillors can have this decision reversed as the bus drivers have informed me it was a council decision.

Here’s hoping.
Susan C
At 11:01 on 29th January 2020, Susan C commented:
I'm not really clear on what response CWaC and Justin Madders are hoping to get when 'fighting for better transport links' (not talking trains). Is not Stagecoach a company that needs to make a profit on a bus service and if they don't is not the only option for Council to subsidise it(or we lose it). The last time I queried why some Cheshire West routes were subsidised and some not, the response was that some are more socially disadvantaged than Neston......though I think a subsidy has been provided since that response.
But while there is the attitude that it's wrong that some passengers would have a long walk to Marshlands Road - well, sorry but some people will be totally without a service and a bit of a walk is good for us (see other article about CWaC Cycling and Walking proposals.
CO Jones
At 12:11 on 29th January 2020, CO Jones commented:
I walk to the stop that is on Hinderton road and possibly the last one before the bus leaves Neston. I prefer that to the tour of
every estate in the post code which getting on the bus at an earlier stop entails.

That said, I am a relatively fit youngish person but not everyone is.

Let's be honest, the public transport infrastructure is failing full stop in the North. The BBC saturation coverage this morning of Northern Rail hammers it home. If Northern lose the franchise, the folk who step up will be equally terrible and I can't see how any tangible improvement is coming.

Unless we bin HS2 and throw the capital investment back at the "Northern Powerhouse".

I know I am going off at a tangent a bit it is all connected (or not). We are situated on a near third world level train service on an almost forgotten train line and sit on a bus route that no company wants to touch as there is no profit in it.

Can't see anything positive for the future I'm afraid transport wise.
Dave Carter
At 13:53 on 29th January 2020, Dave Carter commented:
If people want to live in a country where public services are provided as a response to an identified need, rather than as a source of potential profit, then they will have to use their votes differently.
CO Jones
At 14:37 on 29th January 2020, CO Jones commented:

I won't hold my breath.

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