Metro Mayor announces Merseyrail fares freeze

Fares on Liverpool city region train network Merseyrail will be frozen for a set period with commuters spared the March price hikes faced by the rest of the UK. Tony McDonough reports

Merseyrail train passengers will be spared the 4.9% fares rise. Picture by Tony McDonough


Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram says passengers on Liverpool city region train network Merseyrail will be spared the 4.9% rise in fares due to be implemented in March.

Rail fares across the UK normally rise at the beginning of March each year. That will happen as normal on rail services across the UK but fares on Merseyrail will remain frozen for an initial six-month period.

Mr Rotheram says he has clawed back funding from Stadler, the Swiss manufacturer that has built the new £500m city region trains. The first of the 52-strong fleet entered service on the Kirkby line in January 2023 and have been rolled out across the network.

However, there have been some teething problems with the trains. In particular services to the new Headbolt Lane station in Kirkby have seen severe disruption.

To avoid an expensive electrification of the line extension the trains calling at the station are powered by battery. However, the battery powered units have suffered initial problems leading to multiple delays and cancellations.

Earlier this week it was revealed £300,000 had been set aside to compensate passengers at Headbolt Lane, Kirkby, and Fazakerley for the disruption to their journeys.

“I’ll be the first to say that services on the Headbolt Lane line have fallen short of the standards that our passengers deserve,” said Mr Rotheram.

Now the Metro Mayor wants to offer passengers a boost with the fares freeze. He added: “Given the current economic circumstances we are trying to do everything in our power to make life easier for the travelling public, be it our £2 bus fare cap, or this announcement.

“While passengers across the country face another rise in March, I’m ensuring that commuters in our region are shielded from it.


Steve Rotheram
Liverpool City Region Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram 


“Travelling around our region should be as quick, cheap and reliable as possible; that’s why I’m building the London-style integrated transport network local people deserve. I’ll have further announcements about tap-and-go and smart ticketing coming soon.”

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Any passengers buying single or return tickets, day savers or RailPass tickets on services operated by Merseyrail will see fares frozen at the current price until September 2024.

This six month fares freeze will apply from March 3 to rail fares for journeys on Merseyrail’s Wirral and Northern Lines network. It will not apply to national rail services operated by Avanti, Northern, TPE or TfW.

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