Merseyrail network to be extended with £66m cash injection

Thanks to a £66m investment by Liverpool City Region Combined Authority work on an extension to the Merseyrail network and a new station could start this year. Tony McDonough reports

Headbolt Lane
Image of Merseyrail’s proposed Kirkby Headbolt Lane station


Work on an extension of the Merseyrail network and a new station could begin later this year after the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority committed £66m from its Transforming Cities Fund to the project.

Under the plans, Merseyrail’s Northern Line would be extended beyond the current Kirkby station to a new second station in the town at Headbolt Lane. This would offer easier access to the network for residents Northwood and Tower Hill.

Northern services from Wigan and Manchester would also operate to and from the new three-platform station and it would also offer the potential to extend the Merseyrail network out to Skelmersdale. It would include 300 park and ride spaces and a bus interchange and step-free access.

Merseytravel is continuing to work closely with Lancashire County Council, West Lancashire Council and Network Rail to support that scheme. Network Rail is currently progressing the outline design for the project and preparing a full planning application. Work is aimed to start later this year and it is planned for the new station to be operational in 2023.

Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor for the Liverpool City Region, said: “As Metro Mayor, bringing our communities closer together has been a priority for me. We’ve already opened the first new station on the Merseyrail network at  Maghull North, and now we’re cracking on with plans to build another at Headbolt Lane in Kirkby.

“Kirkby is somewhere especially close to my heart, and this £66m of funding is a real statement of intent for my vision. I want to make it as quick, cheap and easy as possible for people to get around our region.

“Transport might look a little different in the post-pandemic era, but I am still determined to deliver on my plans for an integrated, London-style transport system.”

Andy Heath, managing director at Merseyrail, added: “We share the vision of a growing, vibrant and more connected city region with a reduced carbon footprint. Headbolt Lane is another step towards this vision, delivering a new station for the Merseyrail network with its proposed park & ride spaces and bus interchange.

“To receive this next stage of funding is an exciting step forwards towards welcoming new passengers onto an expanded network. We are committed to creating a cleaner, greener Merseyrail and to working with our partners to deliver a rail network that serves as many communities within the Liverpool city region as possible.”

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