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Merseytravel chair calls for two West Coast services an hour

The new Intercity West Coast franchise should expand to offer two services an hour between London and Liverpool, the chair of the Merseytravel Committee has said.

Cllr Liam Robinson said that Merseytravel gave feedback on the new franchise saying that services between Liverpool Lime Street, Runcorn and London Euston should increase from one an hour to two.

The West Coast franchise is currently operated by Virgin, but a new operator is due to take over in April 2018.

“We believe two services an hour would help support the City Region’s economic growth and meet latent demand that we know is there,” he said.

The West Midlands Integrated Transport Committee has warned that plans to cut the number of trains at stations like Wolverhampton and Coventry in the new franchise could make commuting harder.

Campaign for Better Transport has said the government must set targets on bidders to increase the line’s capacity.

Cllr Robinson said other needed improvements to rail services in Liverpool should be a direct service to Milton Keynes so passengers don’t have to change at Crewe, Chester or Manchester; lengthened platforms at Liverpool South Parkway; and direct London services on the newly electrified Chat Moss line, which would require infrastructure rebuilding.

Liverpool recently announced a £340m partnership with Network Rail to improve its railways over the next three years, which will lead to closures at Lime Street from next year.

(Image c. Network Rail)

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Mikeyb   06/07/2016 at 16:16

Perhaps one of the Euston to Manchester services could be extended to Liverpool via the Chat Moss route, although it would add around 30 minutes to journey time and would omit Runcorn.

Lutz   06/07/2016 at 23:18

Is there any demand for these fantasy services?

Nonsuchmike   07/07/2016 at 13:28

Whether the demand comes entirely from Liverpool or from towns en route, then surely there should be not less than two trains per hour to one of the UK's largest cities from London. In addition to alleviating the crush on many trains (have you traveled on a train to/from the north west just before or after a weekend and tangibly felt the spaghetti experience, Lutz?), it will enable travelers to better plan their routes and connections with other services. In addition to the regular two per hour, there could also be extra journeys via MK, Shrewsbury, Wrexham and Chester to Liverpool and North Wales, maybe starting from Clapham Junction via west and north west London operated by an OAO.

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