Mayor hails progress at new rail station as opening approaches

Cllr Brennan and Mayor Rotheram on site

Liverpool City Region Mayor Steve Rotheram has hailed the progress so far on the £80m Headbolt Lane station scheme – as the first of the new battery-powered trains to serve the station begins its final tests on the local network.

Mayor Rotheram visited the site of the new station in Kirkby this week to mark one year since works began.

Work is well under way to construct the platforms for the station alongside the ticket office and waiting area. A new bridge over the brook on the site has already been installed as well as two new rail bridges, while the doubling of the track between the existing Kirkby and new Headbolt Lane stations also currently taking place.

Headbolt Lane will be the second new station opened by the Mayor since his election – Maghull North, in Sefton, opened in June 2018 – a key part of his Merseyrail for All ambitions, which aims to deliver new stations and expand the Merseyrail network across the region.

Battery technology on board the region’s new £500m publicly-owned trains could see services extended into new areas of the city region and beyond, including possible links to places such as Wrexham, Warrington and Runcorn.

Steve Rotheram said: “As a Kirkby native, I’ve heard talk about a new station coming to Headbolt Lane for as long as I can remember. I’m really proud that our £80m investment has turned that dream into delivery.

“Headbolt will be the second station I have opened in the region and, while it was great to take a look at the site today, I can’t wait to see local people on board our brand new publicly-owned trains really bringing it to life.”

The new station plans include:

  • Step-free access throughout the station
  • A bus interchange
  • Cycle parking
  • Links to active travel networks
  • Passenger waiting facilities and toilets
  • 300 park and ride spaces
  • Electric vehicle charging points

Alongside this construction work, last month saw the arrival of the first of the new battery-powered trains that will serve the station, which is being built without the need to extend the ‘third rail’ power source that serves the rest of the Merseyrail network. Testing of the unit to prepare for it entering service once the station opens is progressing well.

Cllr Tony Brennan, Knowsley’s cabinet member for regeneration and economic development, said: “Headbolt Lane Station will improve transport options to a wider number of Kirkby residents, providing access to the new battery trains and all the fantastic facilities the new station has to offer. The new station will also improve access to Knowsley Business Park, which will help attract further investment into the area at such an exciting time for Knowsley.”

Philippa Britton, principal programme sponsor at Network Rail. said: “It was great to be on site and see the progress that’s been made to build the brand new station at Headbolt Lane. Residents will soon be able to benefit from improved rail connectivity in Liverpool and the North West.”

The full scheme includes the extension of the Merseyrail network beyond the existing Kirkby station and will see Merseyrail services run into the new station. Northern services from Wigan and Manchester will also operate to and from the new three-platform station. It is due to open in later this year.

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