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 underway 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, 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 to new areas of the city region and beyond, including possible links to places such as Wrexham, Warrington and Runcorn.
Steve Rotheram, Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, 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.
“The new station is another step on our journey towards my ambition of building a London-style transport system for our region. I want to make getting around as quick, cheap, clean and reliable as possible.
“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 is a key part of Mayor Rotheram’s plans to deliver a London-style transport system, which aims to make the region’s public transport quicker, cheaper, greener and more reliable.
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 Northwest.
“We welcome the investment in the rail network and we’re delighted to be working with Liverpool City Region Combined Authority and other stakeholders to deliver this project.”
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.
The scheme is being delivered by the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority in partnership with Knowsley Council, Network Rail, Merseyrail and Northern. Funding for the scheme has come from the Transforming Cities Fund.
It is also aligned to Knowsley Council’s plans to improve transport access in the area for residents whilst also supporting workers and visitors to one of Europe’s largest employment sites – Knowsley Business Park.