The much needed link between Liverpool Sth Parkway St & John Lennon Airport

Not so long ago I posted about Liverpool Airport’s missing rail link. Here’s a link back to that posting:-

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2019/08/01/liverpool-airports-missing-rail-link/

Not long after I blogged about it I came across the views of a fellow railway campaigner Cedric Green of the North Cheshire Rail Users Group. Now this group already has a big feather in it’s cap because they were the successful lobbyists for the Halton Curve to be reinstated.

And what have they now turned their sights on? Gaining a connection between Liverpool South Parkway Station and Liverpool John Lennon Airport but you may be surprised by their preferred solution – a Personal Rapid Transport system like the POD at Heathrow Terminal 5. Here it is in action on You Tube:-

www.youtube.com/watch?v=hHyxakXed34

Presently of course South Parkway (often referred to as the airport Station) is only connected to John Lennon Airport via buses using the congested local road network. So would the POD work in Liverpool, it certainly looks like it would be fun to ride on.

Halton Curve – Rail scheme given a further green light

Green light to the Halton Curve rail scheme by Liverpool City Region Authority.

There’s every chance that this one will be announced to death as every step towards the opening of this rail curve seems to be the last green light only for more to pop up as someone/some organisation needs to be seen to be giving the last green light, if you get my drift. The following is from Merseytravel in response to the Liverpool City Region Authority giving their green light on 15th April.

‘This will open up leisure and work opportunities by offering new connections between Liverpool, Liverpool John Lennon Airport, Runcorn, Frodsham, Helsby, Chester and, in future, North Wales. Work is due to start on site in June 2017 and be completed by May 2018.

Approval of the business case unlocks the £10.4m allocated to the scheme through the Government’s Local Growth Fund (LGF). At today’s meeting, the CA also approved an additional £5.67m for the scheme to come from the City Region’s LGF pot. This is in recognition that the initial bid to Government in 2014 was based on a high level estimate at an early stage of scheme development.’

I think the extra £5.67 is local authority speak for we got the sums wrong or more likely Network Rail did?!

£340m Liverpool Rail Improvements/Investments – but lets cut the Blair type re-announcements please

www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/merseyside-train-passengers-take-strain-11068979

www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-merseyside-35860388

The Liverpool Echo and the BBC web site have the story – see links above

Liverpool Lime Street Station

Liverpool Lime Street Station

Two differing takes here on some welcome rail investment news for Liverpool/Merseyside, but you do get the impression, especially from the BBC article that a lot of it, like in the Blair years, is re-announcing what has already been announced to big up the overall picture.

Site for the new Maghull North Railway Station.  Photo taken looking north from School Lane road bridge. The former Moss Side Hospital site is to the right and Mersey Avenue to the left.

Site for the new Maghull North Railway Station. Photo taken looking north from School Lane road bridge. The former Moss Side Hospital site is to the right and Mersey Avenue to the left.

Take Maghull North Station, yes we know its going to happen, the Coalition Government gave more than 90% of the money for it well over a year ago. And what about the Halton Curve, the reopening of it for passenger rail services has been pumped out as new news more times than I have had hot dinners.

But please none of us get too carried away because the amount of money being invested in transportation projects in the north is nothing like what it is, per head of population, in the south east.

And what’s more our northern rail investments are unsurprisingly being linked yet again to that Northern Poorhouse project! Is there any public money now spent in the north that is not related to ‘keep the grumbling northerners from moaning too much project’?

The second photo is amongst my Flickr shots at:-
www.flickr.com/photos/86659476@N07/

Rail Curves – Vital rail connections – 3 projects come to mind

Curves on railways – in reality pieces of hardly or never used track/trackbed that folks are campaigning to have reinstated so that better services can be delivered.

I can think of 3 of them in the north west of England:-

The Burscough Curves – They should connect the Ormskirk – Preston and Southport – Wigan lines but were taken out of use in the 1960’s. OPSTA, John Pugh (MP for Southport) and others across the political spectrum have be fighting for years to get the curves brought back because Southport – Preston trains would be a possibility and indeed Ormskirk – Southport trains as well. Sadly, the powers that be continue to drag their heels whilst giving tea and sympathy.

Looking towards Wigan at Burscough with the Ormskirk - Preston line crossing the Southport - Wigan line via the bridge. The Burscough Curves would reconnect these two lines.

Looking towards Wigan at Burscough with the Ormskirk – Preston line crossing the Southport – Wigan line via the bridge. The Burscough Curves would reconnect these two lines.

The Todmorden Curve – It has recently been reinstated and trains from Burnley will be able to reach Manchester far more quickly. Burnley’s last MP Gordon Birtwistle was a big driver for this work to be done.

The Halton Curve – down near Runcorn/Widnes and it looks like it is on the verge of being slated for reinstatement. When it is it will improve rail services for Merseysider’s and folks in North Wales.

So two out of 3 north west rail curves (2 out of 4 in reality as the Burscough Curves is plural of course) is not bad but rail travelers in West Lancashire and Sefton should not rest from their campaigning until all 4 are slated for being brought back into use.

Cut backs in rail improvements – Don’t cut in Merseyside and West Lancs as we have so far had b*gger all!

www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-33270586

The BBC has the story – see link above.

Site for the new Maghull North Railway Station.

Site for the new Maghull North Railway Station.

Tories have always been the Party of the private car, are they retuning to type?

Will the Tories take back the money for Maghull North Station which the Coalition Government promised?

Will the Skem’ project get off the ground?

As for Labour’s carping, they invested so very little in rail upgrades when in Government and have no room to moan.