MTL (Transport Company) - MTL Southport & District, MTL Wirral Peninsula Buses - D

MTL (Transport Company) - D
MTL Southport & District
Southport & District was a re-branding of Merseybus services in the Southport and Formby area, and was part of a general exercise to introduce local branding at MTL in 1994.
MTL Wirral Peninsula Buses
Wirral Peninsula Buses was another of MTL's brand names, introduced in 1994 for services in the Wirral area. The Wirral company was based at Laird Street, Birkenhead, Wirral and now the bus Depot is owned by Arriva North West.
MTL St Helens Rider
St Helens Rider was an earlier branding exercise, introduced in the summer of 1993 for Merseybus services 33 and 44 in St Helens. These routes were facing large amounts of competition from a number of smaller operations in the town and the St Helens Rider operation was relatively short-lived, being quietly dropped around the time the Lancashire Travel branding was adopted by St Helens depot in autumn of 1993.
MTL Blue Triangle
Bootle-based 'Forrest' (trading as 'Blue Triangle') was formed by former Merseyside Transport driver David Forrest in the late summer of 1988, initially focusing on Merseytravel contracts with a small fleet of second hand vehicles. By the late summer/autumn of 1992, however, the company would begin new commercial operations of its own, running into competition with Merseytravel-contracted services, and soon enough, into direct competition with MTL itself on two of its routes.
By 1993 the Blue Triangle fleet had increased to over 20 vehicles, including a wide variety of vehicle types such as ex-London Regional Transport Routemasters, former Merseyside Transport 'Jumbo' Atlanteans repatriated from Isle of Man Transport, and two brand-new K-registered Plaxton Pointer bodied Dennis Darts, the first of their type to operate in Liverpool.
In the spring of 1994, MTL acquired Blue Triangle, merging the company into the MerseyRider operation then-based at Speke depot and some of the competing commercial services were either withdrawn or merged into existing MTL services. Excluding the Dennis Darts, the majority of the Blue Triangle fleet was either sold on or scrapped, though one former Blue Triangle Routemaster was kept by MTL for a short-lived 'hop-on-hop-off' tour in Liverpool operated by MTL's 'Sightseers' division in the mid-1990s.
David Forrest would go on to form a number of new bus companies following this, eventually forming 'Blue Triangle Motor Services' in late 1996, but was asked to stop using the name as MTL still owned it. It was changed to Merseypride Motor Services of Bootle which would become Liverpool Motor Services in 1999 and would be a become a small part of Ace Travel. Like the original Blue Triangle operation, it operated a mixture of commercial and Merseytravel services as well as the contract for City Sightseeing's 'hop-on-hop-off' tour in Liverpool.
Ace Travel ceased trading in 2015 as a result of a HM Revenue and Customs winding-up order against the company, with debts against the company totalling £220,000 over the course of eighteen months.
Liverbus/MTL Liverbus
Originally owned by Gemsam Holdings, Liverbus was an independent operator set up by former Merseybus employees in January 1990. Initially founded with 30-40 ex-GM Buses Northern Counties/Park Royal bodied Leyland Atlanteans, Liverbus built up a network of services between its Huyton base and Liverpool city centre competing with Merseybus services from the Gillmoss and Green Lane depots. A private hire/coach excursion operation, Coach 2000, was established in the summer of 1990, along with two more routes in the autumn of 1990, both of which bypassed Liverpool city centre, using a fleet of ex London Buses MCW Metroriders.
Initially Merseybus - unlike the approach it adopted with Fareway and Liverline, did not over-saturate services competing with Liverbus. With the exception of two short-lived Merseybus services, the two operators appeared to co-exist. By 1993 Liverbus had invested in its first new vehicles, eight Northern Counties Paladin bodied Volvo B10Bs and a Northern Counties Palatine II bodied Volvo Olympian, and became involved in three long-term Merseytravel contracts and established a London operation, London Suburban Bus. Liverbus announced a significant order for new vehicles in the shape of a further four Northern Counties Paladin bodied Volvo B10Bs and two Northern Counties Palatine II bodied Volvo Olympians which had already been delivered during 1994/95.
MTL began competing with Liverbus in summer 1995, completely duplicating its entire network and a few weeks later it was soon announced MTL had acquired Gemsam Holdings. Initially the Liverbus white, red and brown livery was maintained but the announced investment did not materialise and a significant number of ex-MTL Leyland Nationals were transferred to replace the ageing Atlanteans. In 1996 the MTL cream/crimson livery along with a new fleetname, MTL Liverbus, was adopted until the appearance of the MTL North fleetname in 1998.
The Huyton depot and route network was maintained until the acquisition of MTL by Arriva in 2000 who after a route revision in the spring of 2000 withdrew many of the former Liverbus routes. Arriva closed down Huyton depot in June 2006 as it was too small and operations transferred to Green Lane depot in Old Swan.
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
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