Work to finally start on £8.6m Woodside ferry upgrade

Woodside Ferry Terminal closed to Mersey Ferries in October 2022 and now work on an £8.6m modernisation project is finally to begin. Tony McDonough reports

Royal Iris
Mersey Ferry Royal Iris docking at Woodside before it closed. Picture by Ian Fairbrother


Around 18 months after it closed to Mersey Ferries, Woodside Ferry Terminal in Birkenhead is finally set to get its long-awaited £8.6m upgrade.

Liverpool City Region Combined Authority oversaw the reopening of the Seacombe Ferry Terminal in late 2022 following a £7m transformation that saw its 130-year-old linkspan bridges replaced in a major piece of engineering work.

Woodside closed shortly afterwards and, in June 2023, LBN revealed the Combined Authority was finalising its plans for its upgrade project. Work will now begin in the spring with the terminal expected to reopen by summer 2025.

Built in 1864, the Woodside terminal is a listed building made of wood but on brick foundations. It was used for the shooting of the film Chariots of Fire in 1981 and in 1985 it underwent a major refurbishment.

This latest work will form part of a wider £23m masterplan for the Woodside waterfront area of Birkenhead. Thus is being funded by Levelling Up cash from Wirral Council

Work on the terminal will see complex engineering and the installation of a new landing stage and linkspan bridge. Warbreck Engineering and Construction is understood to have been appointed to carry out the upgrades.

Cllr Steve Foulkes, chair of the Combined Authority Transport Committee, said: “The Woodside Ferry Terminal was constructed in 1985. It’s almost 40 years old and in need of modernisation.


Woodside Ferry Terminal
Woodside Ferry Terminal in Birkenhead. Picture by Tony McDonough
Woodside Ferry Terminal in Birkenhead. Picture by Tony McDonough


“This is a great opportunity for us to improve the area for residents. However, it’s also a prime time to start encouraging even more tourists to explore the other side of the water by bringing Mersey Ferries back to the area.”

In December Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram said he would spend £26m on a new Mersey Ferry to replace one of the existing vessels – Snowdrop or Royal Iris. LBN exclusively revealed the new vessel would be 100% built at the Cammell Laird shipyard.

Leader of Wirral Council, Paul Stuart, said: “This latest regeneration will include developing the space from Argyle Street/Conway Street roundabout down to the terminal and include improving the landscaping around the area.

“It will also create more accessible walking and cycling spaces and better connections between the central Birkenhead retail area and the 2aterfront, for pedestrians, cyclists, and public transport users.”

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