This article was last updated on 18th August 2022
In December 2021, Knowsley Council granted planning permission for a new £80 million Railway Station development for Kirkby.
Site preparation work started in January 2022, and the opening of the Station is scheduled for 2023.
The Liverpool City Region Combined Authority (led by the Metro Mayor) is delivering this £80m project, in partnership with Knowsley Council, Network Rail, Merseyrail, and Northern Rail. Funding for the scheme has been provided through the Government’s Transforming Cities Fund.
What is the new station for?
The new station will extend the Merseyrail network, which currently terminates at Kirkby, to a new location off Headbolt Lane. This will improve transport links for the Northwood and Tower Hill areas of Kirkby as well as for Knowsley Business Park.
Northern Rail services from Manchester and Wigan will operate to and from the new three-platform station, which is also designed to support any future plans to build a new rail link to Skelmersdale.
What do the plans include?
- A new station building, incorporating a ticket office, a booking hall, and passenger toilets
- A new double-track railway bridge over County Road
- Step-free pedestrian access throughout the station
- Cycle parking and approximately 300 car parking spaces
- A new station access road from Headbolt Lane, including a bridge over Kirkby Brook
- Landscaped frontage to the station
- An extensive CCTV security system
- A bus interchange and links to local cycling and walking networks
- Closure and infill of the subway which runs under Headbolt Lane
- Provision of new segregated cycling and pedestrian facilities along Headbolt lane
- New toucan crossing across Headbolt lane and improved cycle crossing across county road
- Green space improvements to the surrounding areas, which will be delivered by Knowsley Council
What are the benefits?
- The new station will improve access to places of education, employment, and training for a wider number of Kirkby residents.
- The new station can help to attract further investment in the area, particularly given its proximity to Knowsley Business Park.
- The infill of an existing obsolete subway will help to address anti-social behaviour issues in the area. Extensive CCTV and lighting will be in operation at the new station to ensure that it is safe and secure for users and local residents.
- As part of the project, Knowsley Council will deliver improved greenspace and walking and cycle provision through the St Kevin’s open space to the south of the railway line and at Tower Hill Park to the north of the station. The Council consulted with residents about the proposed green space improvements at St Kevin’s. You can have your say on the improvements here up to 25 March 2022.
When will works commence?
Hoardings were erected around the site on 10 January 2022, ready for work on the new station to commence. Construction on the new station is now well underway. Construction on the new segregated cycle and pedestrian facilities has also commenced.
When will work take place?
Most of the construction work will be carried out on weekdays, between 7am and 6pm. Network Rail are conscious of the need to minimise the impact on local residents of the noisy activities associated with building the new railway station and making the necessary changes to the nearby railway line- between Headbolt Lane and Kirkby Station.
To ensure the safety of construction workers and that the new station is completed on time, it will be necessary to undertake some work when trains are not running. This will predominantly be on Saturday nights and during the daytime on Sundays.
Will the work be noisy?
It is inevitable that some of the work will be noisy, although Network Rail will take all reasonable measures available to minimise potential disturbance.
Various specialist pieces of plant and machinery will be used over the course of the project, including cranes, piling rigs, excavators, dumpers, and road rail track machines. Staff and contractors will be aware of their responsibility to keep any noise to a minimum.
As part of the project there is a requirement to widen the embankment next to the existing railway line. This work, which includes the installation of retention walls, has now commenced, and will require piling rigs (large metal poles will be pushed into the ground to stop ground movement), excavators, and hand tools.
Due to health and safety implications, the embankment work can only be undertaken when the train line is not operating. Originally scheduled to be completed by Friday 22 July, the embankment work is now expected to be completed by Monday 4 July.
As part of the planning conditions, an agreed construction management plan will ensure that disturbance and noise levels are mitigated. Noise levels will be monitored and work will be stopped if noise exceeds the defined limits.
Between Sunday 21 August and and Saturday 27 August Network Rail will be installing new tracks between Headbolt Lane and Kirkby. Engineering trains will be used, and fresh railway stone will also be installed. This will involve day and night time work, with potential for noise disturbance.
Will there be road closures?
Some road closures will be necessary for specific periods over the course of the works, including those associated with the Network Rail bridge works. Residents will be informed in advance. Road closures will be planned to keep disruption to a minimum.
The following roads close to the new station will be impacted:
- Headbolt Lane will have temporary traffic signals at various times between May and November for installation of upgraded infrastructure to support the new station.
- One lane will be closed on Headbolt Lane from 5 September 2022 for approximately five weeks between County Road and Fallowfield. Additional local road closures will be required throughout this time, to allow for traffic calming and resurfacing works. Exact details of these will be shared here once confirmed.
- County Road will be closed by Network Rail for 5 weeks from 23 July 2022 to 30 August 2022. We expect the impact will be reduced due to school holidays. A properly signed diversion will be in place. You can find more details about the County Road closure here.
- The walkway / cycleway under the bridge will be closed for one day on Thursday 25 August in order to safely install railings on the bridge above the road close to the houses on County Road. Pedestrians and cyclists will be diverted to the eastern side of County Road from Boyes Brow / Headbolt Lane to St Kevin’s Drive.
- Network Rail and its Contractors will be installing a new traffic signalised junction on Headbolt Lane/Fallowfield which will be the permanent new entrance to the new station. The dates for this installation are expected to towards the end of the calendar year and last approximately eight weeks although specific dates have yet to be agreed. These works will also impact upon local traffic movements.
How will residents be kept informed about the works?
Network Rail and the station partners will communicate with residents to update them on the works. Updates about the station’s progress will also appear on Knowsley News and on Knowsley Council’s social media channels.
The first in-person public engagement meeting is due to take place on Thursday 17 March. The drop-in event will take place at Centre 63 community centre in Kirkby.
Who can I contact for more detail about the work taking place?
You can contact Network Rail’s 24-hour National Helpline on 03457 11 41 41.
You can find more details about the project here.