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A new coach service improving links between Liverpool John Lennon Airport and Manchester, Bradford, Leeds, Liverpool and Birkenhead has been launched today in time for the Christmas holidays.

The National Express service will provide an extra 30,000 seats a month to and from the Airport, providing ten services a day throughout the day and night everyday apart from Christmas Day. The service has been timed to cater for the early and late arriving and departing flights.

To mark its inaugural journey, a coach was officially named in honour of Zoë’s Place Baby Hospice, one of Liverpool John Lennon Airport’s official charities. Guests at the launch included, The Mersey Partnership, Merseytravel and Passenger Focus.

Craig Richmond, CEO Peel Airports Limited said, "We welcome this investment made by National Express to further improve our public transport links. We’re very proud to support Zoë’s Place, one of our Airport charities, and the coach naming will help to spread the message about the incredible work they do.

"We are always looking at ways to improve the surface access connectivity for the airport and this new service from National Express will further enhance the public transport options for passengers on Merseyside and beyond."
20 local jobs have been created to operate the service and £1.5million has been invested in brand new state-of-the-art coaches to provide people with the most comfortable and environmentally friendly journey possible.

Andrew Cleaves, Managing Director, National Express coach said, "We’re delighted to be back at Liverpool John Lennon Airport after nearly 10 years. It’s an honour to have Zoë’s Place named on our new coach to mark the launch."

"The new service is direct, frequent and great value for money. It provides an alternative to driving, taking a taxi or the train which isn’t direct and requires a change. Taking the coach means you can sit back, relax and be dropped off at the terminal door or in the city centre."

"Working with partners Selwyn’s Travel, we have invested £1.5million to run the service and have responded quickly to offer the new and improved routes to meet demand. As such we’re pleased to introduce this new service for people across Liverpool, Birkenhead, Manchester, Yorkshire and the surrounding areas" commented Andrew.

Carol Kirkham, Fundraising Manager, Zoë’s Place said, "We would like to thank National Express and Liverpool John Lennon Airport for officially naming a coach after Zoë’s Place. It is a huge honour for us to be recognised as one of the Airport’s official charities and this will really make a difference in helping to raise our profile and awareness of our work".

Selwyn Jones said, "It is with great pride that Selwyns have been awarded this new prestigious contract on behalf of National Express. This contract will assist with our expansion plans for 2012 and will operate from our Runcorn and Manchester Depots.

The winning of this important new contract rewards the efforts, hard work and commitment by all my Managers and staff."

Everybody travelling is guaranteed a seat and there is a large luggage hold underneath the coach where people can take up to two pieces of luggage free of charge. The new coaches are fitted with the latest features including personal climate control, plug sockets and seat back tables, large leather reclining seats, three point adjustable seat belts and each coach is provided with eight booster seats for children. A wheelchair lift is also fitted to the front of the coach and the coach as an accessible staircase making it easier for people with walking difficulties.

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