Train operator Merseyrail is set to increase the frequency of its services again in line with the Government’s further easing of coronavirus restrictions. Tony McDonough reports
Merseyrail will increasing the frequency of its services closer to normal levels from Sunday, July 5 – and face masks will remain compulsory.
Services were cut significantly in late March as the Government imposed lockdown restrictions to slow the spread of the coronavirus. In May, services were increased again as lockdown restrictions were eased.
Saturday, July 4, will see restrictions eased further with hospitality and other businesses opening up for the first time since March. Consequently, Merseyrail is expecting to see a rise in passenger demand. Here is a summary of the changes:
Monday to Saturday
- Southport line – services will return to running every 15 minutes throughout the day.
- Hunts Cross line – services will return to running every 15 minutes throughout the day.
- Kirkby line – a 30-minute service will run all day.
- Ormskirk line – a 30-minute service will run all day.
- Chester & Ellesmere Port lines – a 30-minute service will run on both lines with a 15-minute service running between Hooton and Liverpool city centre stations.
- New Brighton line – a 30-minute service will run all day.
- West Kirby line – a 30-minute service will run all day.
- Southport line – a 15-minute service will run from start of service until 19:00, then every 30 minutes until end of service.
- Hunts Cross line – an hourly service will run all day.
- Kirkby line – an hourly service will run all day.
- Ormskirk line – an hourly service will run all day.
- Chester & Ellesmere Port line – an hourly service will run all day on both lines with an additional hourly shuttle service between Ellesmere Port and Hooton stations which provides connections to and from Liverpool city centre.
- New Brighton line – a 45-minute service will run all day.
- West Kirby line – a 45-minute service will run all day.
Full timetables and details can be found on the Merseyrail website, and passengers are encouraged to check before they travel. Information is also available on the Merseyrail Twitter account @merseyrail or by sending a message on WhatsApp on 0151 555 1111.
Andy Heath, managing director at Merseyrail, said: “During this pandemic, our staff have worked hard to ensure that train services have continued to operate for those who need them, albeit at a reduced level.
“Following the Government’s announcement earlier this week, we are now in a position to increase our services in anticipation of increased numbers of passengers using our trains. I’d stress that the government guidance remains that public transport is to be used for necessary journeys only.
“I would also like to remind our passengers that – as per government guidance – they must wear a face covering on public transport for the safety of yourselves, fellow passengers and our staff.”