The British Secretary of State for Transport, Mark Harper, and Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, Steve Rotheram, signed a Memorandum of Understanding to transform Liverpool rail system.
The MoU commits to the Government working in closer collaboration with the city to deliver plans for a fully integrated public transport system in Merseyside. Signatories included the Transport Secretary, Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, Network Rail and the Great British Railways Transition Team.
The agreement could pave the way for easier, cheaper and more accessible journeys across the city, providing better connectivity to jobs, education and business opportunities in Liverpool. It also supports the Government’s commitment to empower local authorities and ensure the needs of local communities are at the heart of decision making.
The agreement comes alongside GBP 12 billion (EUR 13.78 billion) announced by the Government as part of its Network North plan to better connect Manchester and Liverpool. The funding will allow the delivery of Northern Powerhouse Rail as previously planned, including high-speed lines.
The agreement will be signed at the official opening of Headbolt Lane, the country’s newest train station in Kirkby, funded by GBP 80 million (EUR 91.8 million) of Government funding. Headbolt Lane station is the new terminus for Merseyrail and Northern services providing improved connections to the centre of Liverpool, Wigan and Manchester, as well as better connectivity to the region’s bus services. It will be served by new state-of-the-art trains equipped with innovative battery technology, which are currently being developed and rolled out across the entire Merseyrail fleet, as part of plans to double capacity on the network and deliver greener, more reliable services.
Liverpool rail system serves Merseyside and adjacent areas of Cheshire and Lancashire with Merseyrail operating 66 railway stations across two lines, the Northern Line and the Wirral Line
Thanks to Government funding, it will soon become the first battery powered fleet in the UK, opening up the possibility for further expansion of the Merseyrail network.
As part of the Government’s Network North plan, the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority also received a further GBP 1 billion (EUR 1.15 billion) from the City Region Sustainable Transport Settlements, plus a further GBP 600 million (EUR 689 million) made possible through the decision on Phase 2 of HS2. This is more than double the city’s previous allocation.