Work will begin in January on a new £80m Merseyrail station which is expected will be fully operational by spring 2023. Tony McDonough reports
Council planners have given the green light to a new £80m Merseyrail station with work set to begin in January.
On Thursday Knowsley Council Planning Committee gave the go-ahead for the new station at Headbolt Lane in Kirkby. It will be delivered by Liverpool City Region Combined Authority in partnership with Knowsley Council, Network Rail, Merseyrail and Northern.
Funding for the scheme has come from the Transforming Cities Fund. The new station plans include:
- Step-free access throughout the station.
- A bus interchange.
- Cycle parking.
- Links to local cycling and walking networks.
- Passenger waiting facilities and toilets.
- Approximately 300 park and ride spaces.
The full scheme includes the extension of the Merseyrail network beyond the existing Kirkby station and will see Merseyrail services run into the new station. Northern services from Wigan and Manchester will also operate to and from the new three-platform station.
It will be the first station to benefit from battery technology on the new £500m train fleet for the Merseyrail network, removing the need to extend the third rail beyond the existing Kirkby station.
The scheme is also designed to support future plans to build a new rail link to Skelmersdale, on which the Combined Authority is working closely with Lancashire County Council, West Lancashire Borough Council and Network Rail to support.
Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram said: “Coming from Kirkby, I’m always proud to see the work we are doing to help get the area back on the up again.
“From the tens of millions that we have invested in the Townie, to the construction of this new station, it’s a great example of how we’re making a real difference because of devolution – and the ability it gives us to make more decisions locally.
“It’s fantastic news that the scheme to build a new station at Headbolt Lane has been granted planning permission. I can’t wait for work to get under way or to see the first passengers boarding trains there in 2023.
Philippa Britton, principal programme sponsor for Network Rail, added: “The new accessible railway station at Headbolt Lane – served by battery operated trains – will not only reduce CO2 emissions by taking cars off the roads, but it will also provide better rail links to employment and leisure sites within the city region and beyond.”