Arriva claims passengers delayed by Liverpool bus lane suspension

Bus lane At the end of the trial, the council will decide whether to reinstate any of the suspended lanes

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A nine-month trial suspension of bus lanes in Liverpool has led to longer journey times for passengers, a bus operator has claimed.

Arriva Merseyside said some services have been diverted due to congestion since the lanes were suspended in October.

The company has launched an online petition calling for the restoration of the lanes.

Mayor Joe Anderson said he believed Liverpool had "become less gridlocked".

The suspension of the 24 dedicated lanes, approved by the city council from 21 October, means that all road users can now drive in them.

Howard Farrall, managing director of Arriva, said that as a result, "some of the main routes are an extra seven to eight minutes coming into town, which nobody wants".

'Increased congestion'

The council is studying traffic flow during the trial, which follows Mr Anderson's claim that bus lanes do not work.

The mayor said the "people of this city want it to be less gridlocked" and that the trial would give the council a chance to "collate evidence".

He added that Arriva could present its evidence at monthly review meetings.

An Arriva spokeswoman said the company was "working with the city and others to gather data which will enable suitable measurement of the impacts of the trial".

"We are already seeing increased congestion within the city centre around Lime Street and have had to divert some services away from this area in the last couple of weeks, something that has not been required for some years," she added.

At the end of the trial, the council will decide whether to reinstate any of the suspended lanes.

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