CHESTER'S new park and ride contract is due to go to city transport chiefs next month (November), it has been disclosed.
The service, operated by First, carries more than a million passengers a year from sites at Great Boughton, Upton, Sealand Road and Wrexham Road.
The city council's customer services portfolio holder Cllr Stephen Mosley (Con, Handbridge & St Mary's) told a meeting of the full council: "During the next few months, the existing park and ride contract comes to an end and we are about to let a new contract from April 1 next year.
"Tenders have been received and they are being evaluated by the city council at the moment."
Reports are likely to go to next month's meeting of Chester's highways and transportation local joint committee and to the shadow Cheshire West and Chester Council which takes over, also on April 1, next year.
"A quick summary of the options which we are considering are that the buses must be new or nearly new and they should have park and ride livery," said Cllr Mosley.
They will also be allowed to carry advertisements.
Cllr Mosley says all four existing routes will continue "and we also want to see cross city links with the Sealand Road park and ride connected to Upton and Boughton Heath to Wrexham Road".
He revealed: "We also want to make sure there is provision to cater for a service to the hospital and the university at some time in the near future."
The buses will run every 10 minutes at peak time and every 15 minutes off peak from 7am-7pm on weekdays and Saturdays and from 9.30am-6pm on Sundays and bank holidays.
Penalty clauses will be imposed for timetable contraventions and driver and service complaints, according to Cllr Mosley.
"So we are moving forward, we have a fantastic park-and-ride service," he said.
"Introduced by Conservatives in Chester it will be the Conservatives who are taking the scheme forward into the future and giving residents and visitors to the city a high-class and environment-friendly way of travelling into the city centre."
He admitted, though, that this will not be as environmentally-friendly as it might have been as plans to introduce £2.50 car-parking charges at the Sealand Road park-and-ride to encourage car sharing, which would have benefited many motorists, had to be dropped when they were voted out.