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Liverpool details 30-year rail vision

Rail schemes designed to support and grow the Liverpool City Region economy over the next 30 years will be put to the Merseytravel Committee on 4 September.

A draft blueprint of the Long Term Rail Strategy, which outlined the package of 12 rail priorities, was approved in May. And, after being presented to Merseytravel, it will be submitted to the Combined Authority for approval on 19 September.

The strategy, developed by Merseytravel as strategic transport advisor to the Combined Authority, is intended to be regularly reviewed to ensure it reflects changing economic circumstances and funding opportunities over the next 30 years.

Some of the schemes proposed to be taken forward include improving national passenger and freight connections by increasing the frequency of Liverpool to London services; new direct routes to Scotland and South Wales; and extending platforms at Liverpool South Parkway to take longer trains.

Other proposals want to see growth enabled on the Merseyrail Network, which includes replacing existing stock with higher capacity units with the capability to run on parts of the network where they do not currently operate.

Electrification is proposed for the lines to Warrington and Wrexham, with the restoration of direct links between Liverpool and North Wales. And new or replacement stations are proposed to serve many different areas, including Smithdown Road, Vauxhall, Anfield, Edge Lane, Tuebrook, Kirkby, Maghull North, and a first-ever station and rail link for Skelmersdale.

Cllr Liam Robinson, chair of Merseytravel, said: “This is real 'big picture' thinking by the Liverpool City Region. Such strategies are not traditionally driven by local bodies. Doing it this way, working with Network Rail, ensures that our transport planning is intrinsically linked to our economic planning.

“There's growing confidence in our City Region economy and a recognition of the key role that we have in the 'northern powerhouse' as a means to rebalance the whole UK economy. But this can only be properly realised by ensuring that we are geared up for a significant increase in passengers and freight over the next 30 years.”

He added that by delivering the strategy the region would also be ‘HS2 ready’ for taking forward east-west connectivity across the north.

To read the Committee report and Long Term Rail Strategy in full, click here.

Tell us what you think – have your say below or email [email protected]


Iain Frew   29/08/2014 at 19:07

Electrification to Wrexham and Warrington is overdue but thye most important part of the strategy is the establishment of a rail link to Skelmersdale new town. This will enable the rather stagnant locality to really waken up and show renewed growth.

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