Departure board at Southport Station from back when you could get to Manchester Airport from our local seaside resort by train as well as from Liverpool.
A recent article on the Liverpool Echo website regarding the lack of a rail link to Liverpool’s John Lennon Airport, by Liam Thorpe, got me thinking again about this odd missing link in our local transport infrastructure. Here’s a link to the Echo article:-
My angle on this goes back to the failed Merseytram project of some years back. At the time I was leader of Sefton Council so was involved in all the comings and goings as the project slid towards its demise when the last Labour Government in effect pulled the plug on funding Merseytram.
I raise Merseytram again now because I am utterly convinced that if the first line had been planned to go to the airport the local political wrangling which killed off the project would not have happened. If readers recall the first line was going to be built to Kirkby according to plans put forward Merseytravel yet most folk scratched their heads at this and said the first line needed to go to the airport. Well no tram/light railway lines were constructed on Merseyside at all and a lot of political fingers got burnt in the process of going nowhere.
So I’m not surprised that Liverpool Echo readers are saying to the paper what they were saying to the politicians some years back ‘build some form of rail/tram connection to John Lennon Airport’ and I agree with them now as I did in the Merseytram era.
Below is the only thing I have to remember Merseytram – a promotional bookmark:-
This promotional Merseytram bookmark is about all that Liverpool City Region has to show for its big tram ideas.
The Liverpool Echo has the article on its website – see link below:-
Well, this sounds all very positive BUT Merseytravel has a long history of big aspirational railway projects that are rarely advanced. I’ve blogged about them before as the railway press has often picked up on them as being really possible and even really likely to be progressed only for nothing much to happen at all. And the evidence for this rather downbeat assessment? – my 3 postings from 2014:-
*The link above will take you to my 3rd 2014 posting about Merseytravel’s long-standing overplaying their hand and there are links within it to postings 1 and 2 in the series.
* Maghull North Station has of course now been built and it opened in June 2018
* The Halton Curve has happened but as I write there are no regular passenger trains are using it.
* Work on progressing a rail connection into Skelmersdale is being taken forward but there are no guarantees that the project will attract the huge funding required.
* New rolling stock for Merseyrail is to be delivered in 2020.
Ormskirk’s Station where Merseyrail and Northern trains meet.