Merseyrail to increase services post-lockdown

Merseyrail had reduced services on some routes at the start of the COVID-19 lockdown in early November and has released details of increased services under new Tier 2 restrictions. Tony McDonough reports

Green Lane station on the Merseyrail network. Picture by Tony McDonough


Train operators Merseyrail will increase services on parts of its network when the current COVID-19 lockdown ends.

Merseyrail had reduced services on some routes at the start of the lockdown in early November. On December 2 Liverpool city region will exit the lockdown and will be placed under Tier 2 restrictions.

In response Merseyrail will increase services from Saturday, December 5. Services between Liverpool Central and Southport will be increased to a 15-minute frequency Monday to Saturday, with trains continuing to operate every 30 minutes on Sundays.

The timetable across the rest of the Merseyrail network continues to operate as follows:

  • Ormskirk line – every 30 minutes Monday to Sunday.
  • Kirkby line – every 30 minutes Monday to Sunday.
  • Hunts Cross line – every 30 minutes Monday to Sunday.
  • Chester and Ellesmere Port lines – every 30 minutes Monday to Sunday (15-minute service between Hooton and Liverpool).
  • West Kirby and New Brighton lines – every 30 minutes Monday to Sunday (15-minute service between Birkenhead North and Liverpool).

Services between Southport and Hunts Cross will terminate at Liverpool Central, meaning passengers will not be able to travel directly between the stations and will have to change at Liverpool Central. Ormskirk trains will start and terminate at Hunts Cross.

Merseyrail is also looking to remind passengers that face coverings must be worn at all times at stations or on trains, unless exempt. Maximum fines of £6,400 can be issued by British Transport Police for those refusing to comply.

It also recommends people avoid peak time travel if possible, use contactless payment if they have it, wash or sanitise hands as soon as possible before and after travel and maintain social distancing. Passengers who would prefer to travel on six-car carriages can click here to check which services are operating as six-cars in advance.

Andy Heath, managing director at Merseyrail, said: “As we prepare to move out of the second period of national lockdown restrictions, we are pleased to be able to increase services on the Merseyrail network to help our passengers begin to travel around the Liverpool city region again in the run up to Christmas.

“We anticipate more people will begin to travel on the network and these changes aim to meet that increase in demand, whilst ensuring we continue to be able to offer a safe, reliable and sustainable service for our passengers.”

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