MTL (Transport Company) - A

MTL (Transport Company) - A
MTL Trust Holdings was an English bus, coach and train operator based in Liverpool. MTL was originally part of the MPTE. To comply with the Transport Act 1985, the bus operations were divested into a new independent company, Merseyside Transport Limited (MTL). Merseyside PTA retained shareholding, but the company was purchased by its management and staff in 1993. On 17 February 2000, MTL was purchased by Arriva.
MTL Railway Operations
MTL was awarded two railway franchises in 1997, during the Privatisation of British Rail. Both franchises were taken over by Arriva in 2000.
Northern Spirit was a large franchise operating services across the whole of Yorkshire, including the Settle & Carlisle line and much of the North East. The franchise also included TransPennine Express trains from Liverpool and Blackpool to Scarborough, Hull and Newcastle. The franchise was rebranded as Arriva Trains Northern in April 2001.
Merseyrail Electrics was responsible for running the Merseyrail network in Merseyside. All services were subsidised by Merseytravel. The franchise was rebranded as Arriva Trains Merseyside in April 2001.
MTL Bus Operations
The original bus division, Merseybus, introduced several new brand names, many outside of Merseyside, expanding into Manchester, North London, Lancaster, Warrington and South Lancashire. The company also owned Sightseers, a coach holiday business and had a full ABTA travel agency, "The TravelShop", in Williamson Square, Liverpool and in Eastbank Street, Southport.
MTL Services employed many cleaning, maintenance and security staff in London and on Merseyside whilst MTL Engineering refurbished many hundreds of vehicles at the Edge Lane plant in Liverpool. The company subsequently expanded by acquiring local Merseyside bus operators Fareway Passenger Services of Kirkby and Liverbus of Huyton which by this time had grown to about 50 buses each. Subsequently, it purchased Blue Triangle of Bootle.
MTL Merseybus
The principal branding for the former Merseyside Transport (PTE) bus operation from 26 October 1986, Merseybus encompassed the following depots and divisions:
  • Liverpool North Division - Gillmoss, Green Lane and Walton (Carisbroke Road, also known as Spellow Lane)
  • Liverpool South Division - Edge Lane, Garston (Speke Road) and Speke (Shaw Road, also known as Woodend Avenue)
  • St Helens Division - Jackson Street/Shaw Street.
  • Southport Division - Canning Road
  • Wirral Division - Birkenhead, Laird Street
Liverpool's Prince Alfred Road (Penny Lane), Litherland and Wallasey's Seaview Road depots were not transferred to Merseybus and remained with Merseyside PTE, ultimately being sold for redevelopment. Prior to this Merseyside PTE used these depots to store 'non-standard' vehicles Merseybus did not take on. These included a batch of five relatively modern Willowbrook-bodied Dennis Dominators that had been based at the Speke depot. Four were purchased by Maidstone & District, the other by Citybus of Hong Kong.
Other notable types not operated by the privatised Merseybus included the East Lancs bodied Bristol VRs, many of which ended up with Merseybus's first notable competitor, Fareway Passenger Services, Scania Metropolitans and some life-expired Leyland Atlanteans and Nationals. However a significant proportion of the vehicles taken on by Merseybus were considerably older than these vehicles and included some of the K and most of the L-registration Alexander bodied Leyland Atlanteans dating from 1971 to 1973 and the increasing age profile of the Merseybus/MTL fleet - including the companies MTL would eventually acquire - would become a major issue for Merseybus/MTL right up to its acquisition by Arriva in 2000.
At the end of 1992, the Merseybus parent company Merseyside Transport Ltd was being prepared for sale by Merseyside PTA. Prior to this MerseyRider had been formed to operate Merseytravel contracts and compete with other operators at a lower cost structure - payscales in particular, than those within Merseybus. At the beginning of 1993 Merseybus was sold to its management and employees in a nearly £5.9 million Employee Share Ownership Plan, with all vehicles and property being transferred to a new company, MTL Trust Holdings.
Prior to the formation of MTL, the Merseybus fleet had aged significantly with the oldest Atlanteans - the mainstays of Merseybus fleet, now approaching 20 years of age or more. MTL therefore made a major effort to update the fleet throughout the 1990s in the form of:
  • A deal with London Buses to purchase approximately 250 mid-life Leyland Titans dating from 1978 to 1984 between 1992 and 1994.
  • 11 new Optare MetroRiders from 1992 to 1995.
  • 12 new Neoplan N4016 integral low-floor single deckers in 1994 - these vehicles were initially owned by Merseytravel and operated by Merseybus on SMART services in Liverpool.
  • 3 new Alexander Strider bodied Volvo B10Bs in 1994.
  • 120 new Wright Endurance bodied Volvo B10Bs from 1994 to 1996.
  • 36 new long-wheelbase Northern Counties Palatine II bodied Volvo Olympians in 1995/96 mainly for use on cross river services between Liverpool and Wirral.
  • 38 new Plaxton Pointer bodied Dennis Dart SLFs from 1995 to 1998.
  • 20 new Wright Axcess-Ultralow bodied Scania L113s in 1996.
  • 22 new Northern Counties Palatine II bodied Volvo Olympians in 1998 for operations based at Gillmoss depot in North Liverpool and branded The Millennium Fleet.
  • 4 new gas-powered Plaxton Pointer bodied Dennis Super Darts for use on park and ride services in Southport.
  • 75 new Marshall Capital bodied Dennis Dart SLFs in 1999.
MTL (Transport Company) Overview
MTL Industry: Transport
MTL Founded: 1992
MTL Defunct: 2000
MTL Fate: Purchased by Arriva
MTL Successor: Arriva
MTL Headquarters: Merseyside
MTL Products: Rail transport, Bus transport, Coach travel
Rail Holidays
Rail Vacations
Luxury Trains
Luxury Tours
International Trains
International Tours
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