I came across the document below recently and it seems to be a reasonable attempt to define priorities for rail in and around the Liverpool City Region. Note that the Penny has thankfully dropped about the Southport Manchester services being of importance for improvement amongst our City Region leaders.
The Invitation to Tender for the new TransPennine Express franchise is due to be issued in December 2014 to the following three shortlisted bidders:
• First Trans Pennine Express Limited
• Keolis Go-Ahead Limited
• Stagecoach Trans Pennine Express Trains Limited.
The Invitation to Tender for the new Northern franchise is due to be issued in December 2014 to the following three shortlisted bidders:
• Abellio Northern Ltd
• Arriva Rail North Limited
• Govia Northern Limited
This note highlights the key issues for Liverpool City Region. Further details can be found in Merseytravel’s Consultation Response.
It is vital to ensure bidders fully understand the size and economic importance of the Liverpool City Region:
• Population of 1.5m people, expected to increase by 3.9% by 2030
• Growth of employment by 12.7% over the same period leading to more business travel and commuting into the LCR
• Major centre for tourism with 52.9m day visitors and 4.7m day visitors each year, with Liverpool the 5th most visited destination in the UK by overseas tourists
• Four universities in Liverpool with a total of over 40 000 students, and
• A region which regularly hosts major sporting events.
Current Service Provision
Trans Pennine Express
• Hourly Liverpool Lime Street – Manchester Victoria – Leeds – York – Newcastle
• Hourly Liverpool Lime Street – Warrington Central – Manchester Piccadilly – Leeds – York – Scarborough
• Hourly fast Liverpool Lime Street – St. Helens Central – Wigan North Western – Preston – Blackpool North
• Hourly fast Liverpool Lime Street – Newton-le-Willows – Manchester Piccadilly – Manchester Airport
• Half hourly stopping Liverpool Lime Street – St. Helens Central – Wigan North Western
• Hourly stopping Liverpool Lime Street – Earlestown – Manchester Victoria
• Hourly stopping Liverpool Lime Street – Earlestown – Warrington Bank Quay
• Half hourly semi-fast Liverpool Lime Street – Warrington Central – Manchester Oxford Road
• Hourly Southport – Wigan Wallgate – Bolton – Manchester Piccadilly – Manchester Airport
• Hourly Southport – Wigan Wallgate – Atherton – Manchester Victoria
• Hourly Kirkby – Wigan Wallgate – Atherton – Manchester Victoria
• Roughly hourly service Ormskirk – Preston
1. A fast service every 15 minutes between Liverpool Lime Street and Manchester Victoria, deliverable with electrification and Northern Hub phase 2 in 2018.
2. Connecting the North’s core city regions: at least 2 trains per hour (tph) between each pair of Liverpool, Manchester, Sheffield, Leeds and Newcastle. Needs increase to 2tph Liverpool – Sheffield and 2tph Liverpool – Newcastle. Appropriate service timings and quality to encourage inter-regional business travel by rail.
3. Improve LCR long distance connectivity with a new Express services Liverpool – Glasgow and Liverpool – Edinburgh.
4. Improve provision for interurban commuting, in both directions, between Liverpool – Liverpool South Parkway – Warrington – Manchester, which has to be handled by TPE (and EMT).
5. Earlier first trains, later last trains and improved evening and Sunday TPE (and EMT) services.
6. Reduce overcrowding by increased provision of rolling stock, especially seating capacity and luggage space, to ensure all passengers can expect a seat outside commuter peak hours.
7. Improve connections between services at interchange stations, including clearly publicised provisions for appropriate connecting services to be held and sensitive alternative arrangements for all passengers where connections have been broken, regardless of tickets held.
8. We would not expect a major increase in fares. Current fare levels are high relative to wages in the north.
9. Work with Merseytravel to develop SMART ticketing and accept Merseytravel’s ticket range on trains including Concessionary tickets.
1. New or refurbished electric units giving a step change in capacity and quality.
2. Pacer fleet replaced by refurbished diesel units cascaded from electrified lines.
3. Improved regional services from Liverpool to the rest of the north including two trains an hour to Preston.
4. Improved quality of service provided between Southport and Manchester.
5. Ensure peak requirement for capacity into Lime Street is addressed.
6. Improve connections between services at interchange stations, including clearly publicised provisions for appropriate connecting services to be held and sensitive alternative arrangements for all passengers where connections have been broken, regardless of tickets held.
7. Merseyside currently has good station facilities and we would like them to be maintained and built upon.
8. Merseyside has well-used stations which are currently staffed from first to last trains. We would want to see this developed and the offer to passengers improved through more flexible use of staff, such as the Mtogo facility on Merseyrail.
9. We would not expect a major increase in fares. Current fare levels are high relative to wages in the North.
10. Work with Merseytravel to develop SMART ticketing.
11. Support Merseytravel’s development of the rail network:
– Newton-le-Willows upgrade;
– potential new station at Carr Mill;
– improved park and ride facilities;
– reinstatement of the Halton Curve.