Mr Rotheram has announced the creation of a Station Commission to look at the delivery of the project that would connect to HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail. Tony McDonough reports
Liverpool City Region Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram says a new railway terminal is needed in Liverpool city centre to connect to the planned HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail networks.
Mr Rotheram has announced the creation of a Station Commission to look at the delivery of the project. It will be chaired by Professor Denise Barrett-Baxendale, chief executive of Everton Football Club.
Liverpool currently has one mainline railway station – Lime Street – plus four underground stations on the Merseyrail network – Central, James Street, Moorfields and Lime Street. For 150 years, until its closure in 1977, the city was also services by Exchange Station in Tithebarn Street.
Earlier this year, Transport for the North’s Strategic Transport Plan included plans to ensure that Liverpool city region will benefit from a full connection to both Northern Powerhouse Rail and HS2.
The plan also recognises the need for a new station to accommodate these 21st century trains and to link HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail in to the city region’s local transport infrastructure.
Mr Rotheram said: “Connecting the Liverpool City Region to HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail will both cut journey times and increase capacity, boosting our economy by £15bn.
“In order to make that connection happen we will need a new station in Liverpool city centre, capable of accommodating HS2 trains, NPR trains and linking in with our local transport infrastructure. Lime Street will simply not be able to cope.”
He added: “Building a new station is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to create a gateway to the Liverpool City Region that is fit for the 21st century. What we envisage is more than just a station and a world-class transport hub, it has the potential to be a destination in its own right, architecturally stunning and featuring leisure and recreation facilities, commercial, retail, high-quality office accommodation, residential facilities and much more.”
The Commission will bring together a range of experts from across the worlds of transport, business and the public sector. Its remit will be to take forward all the key considerations in developing the project such as the size, functions, location and orientation of the station, working with partners on all elements leading towards its development.
ProfBarrett-Baxendale added: “I am tremendously honoured to have been asked to chair this Commission. I have no doubt that it will be challenging but with that challenge comes a golden opportunity to create a modern transport hub fit for the city region’s future.”