Announced today, the Memorandum of Understanding agreed between Mark Harper, Steve Rotheram and other stakeholders will see the government committing to collaborating with the city to ensure that a fully integrated transport system is delivered on Merseyside. Other stakeholders that signed the MoU include Network Rail and the Great British Railways Transition Teams.
This agreement supports the £12 billion that the government has committed to delivering Network North, following the scrapping of the Northern leg of HS2, and will help to allow easier, cheaper, and more accessible journeys across Liverpool. It will also complement plans to deliver Northern Powerhouse Rail that will see new high-speed lines implemented.
Mark Harper, Transport Secretary, said:
“Today’s agreement demonstrates this Government’s commitment to transforming public transport across the country and empowering elected leaders to make decisions based on the priorities of local people.
“This agreement follows over a billion pounds of funding committed to the city through our Network North plans and will kickstart transport improvements for people across the city, making journeys affordable and accessible for all.”
The signing of the agreement came at the official opening of the nation’s newest train station, Headbolt Lane, and has been delivered thanks to £80 million worth of government funding. Headbolt Lane is the new terminus for Merseyrail and Northern Rail services, with this bringing improvements to connections between the centre of Liverpool, Wigan, and Manchester, and a better link-up with regional bus services. State-of-the-art trains that are equipped with innovative battery technology will serve the new station, as this complements work to double capacity on the Merseyrail network, make services greener, and improve reliability.
This will become the first battery-powered fleet in the United Kingdom.
Liverpool City Region Mayor Steve Rotheram added:
“This deal signifies not only a massive moment for our region – but the start of a new wave of devolution for the country. It puts us on track to open up the right conversation around how we can improve our rail network for the better and run it in the best interests of passengers.
“It’s the Liverpool City Region once again blazing a trail in the revolution of our railways – and I’ll be fighting our area’s corner every step of the way to make sure we capitalise on this opportunity.”
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