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Platform Upgrade Work: Merseyrail getting ready for 2020

Transport leaders have announced a programme of platform upgrades designed to prepare the Merseyrail network for the arrival of the new, state of the art trains in 2020 that will transform how people travel.

The phased programme of upgrades will take place between 20 October 2018 and 16 June 2019. These vital works, delivered by Network Rail, will involve upgrading existing platforms and realigning track to ensure that they are compatible with the new trains and their ground breaking, sliding step technology that will provide unassisted access for all.

This means that wheelchair users can board the train without a ramp and passengers with prams and cycles can get on and off the train with ease. This technology represents a pioneering approach for the UK.

There will be 11 phases of works during this period. Only short sections of line will be closed at any one time, with all stations on that section closed. Closures will vary in duration, but most will be between nine and 30 days at a time.

High quality, rail replacement buses will get passengers to where they need to go as quickly as possible and some of these will be express services.

Merseytravel, Merseyrail and Network Rail have worked collaboratively on this project and significant planning work has been carried out to minimise the time needed to complete these important works and reduce disruption to passengers.

More detailed information will be made available in advance of each phase and travellers will be encouraged to plan ahead and consider their travel options including commercial buses and the Mersey Ferries.

Businesses and organisations are advised to think about what they may need to put in place to support staff and customers.

Key advice:
• You can still get to where you need to go
• Check before you travel. Closures are taking place at different locations at different times on the network so it’s important to keep checking what’s happening and when. Some timetables may change.
• Plan ahead – use journey planners and National Rail enquiries
• Leave more time for your journey. Timetables may change and your journey may be longer.
• Consider avoiding travelling at peak times where possible.
• Consider your options –including commercial buses and the Mersey Ferries.

For more information and further details about how your rail journeys will be affected visit www.merseyrail.org/itshappening

Southport firm Cumfybus to run Park & Ride services

Sefton Council is delighted to announce a brand new partnership with Southport company Cumfybus to run the town’s Park and Ride service.

Running from the Esplanade, through the Town Centre and to the Southport Eco Centre, at just £2 per car, the regular 10 minute loop service is incredibly popular with tourists, shoppers and commuters alike.

Cumfybus will run buses specially equipped with hybrid technology to reduce emissions and compliments Sefton Council’s action plan to help minimise the impact of of air pollution across the borough.

Cllr John Fairclough, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Locality Services, said: “This is a fantastic partnership with a local Southport company who have hit the ground running and are already offering a great service.

“The eco friendly busses which run every ten minutes are actively combatting air pollution and helping keep our borough clean, green and beautiful.

“We are delighted to be working with Cumfybus and we are confident that people who use the facility will be really impressed with its value for money and how quick and efficient the service is.”

“We would also like to place on record our thanks to Arriva who previously ran our Park and Ride service for many years.”

Cumfybus Managing Director, Marshall Vickers, added: “As a Southport company it gives me great pleasure to be operating the Park and Ride service in the town and we are delighted to be working in partnership with Sefton Council.

“To be able to use two of our fleet of Eco-friendly hybrid buses is the icing on the cake.”

The service runs from 7.30am to 6.30pm Monday to Saturday and 10am to 6:30pm on Sundays and Bank Holidays.

Time Capsule buried for 50 years to mark the opening of Maghull Station

School children helping to preserve time for future generations of commuters have buried a time capsule in the foundations of the new £13 million state-of-the-art Maghull North Station, which will be re-opened in 2068.

 The container, which was created by pupils at St Thomas’ Church of England Primary School, is packed with school memorabilia, and also LFC/EFC match programmes, an unused mobile phone, popular books and a film created by all the pupils at the school with help from staff at Sefton Council.  

 It was presented to the station’s staff, Merseyrail’s HR director Jane English and Cllr Liam Robinson, Liverpool City Region Combined Authority Transport Portfolio Holder, at a special ceremony held on June 11.

 Pupils from the school all got the honour of planting the historical milestone which will remain buried in the station’s grounds for the next fifty years.   

 A plaque will also be placed in the ground above the time capsule which will read:

 St Thomas CE Primary School Time Capsule, Sealed at Maghull North station on 11th July 2018.  To be opened 11th July 2068.

 The time capsule is one of several community projects that have been created to mark the arrival of the new station which was officially opened to the public last month.

 Other projects included a community artwork piece, to brighten up the new station’s site, which was designed by local groups and schools in the town.  

 Additionally, a set of story boards reflecting the fascinating the history of Moss Side Hospital, which was located on the land on which the station now resides, and how it became a leading institution at the forefront of research into mental health and PTSD during and after the First World War have been unveiled on both platforms.

 Speaking about the time capsule, head teacher, Mr Ward, said: “The new station is such exciting news for Maghull and our pupils were thrilled to help mark this occasion by creating a piece of local history which will give future generations a snapshot of what life was like in 2018.  

“They are really excited to have their work, poems and stories captured in time and be part of this lasting legacy.”

 Jane English, HR Director, at Merseyrail, said: “We are incredibly passionate about getting local schools involved in all our projects because we want to give back to all the communities in which we operate as they are an integral part of everything we do.

“The new station is hugely important for Maghull because it will improve travel options and drive ongoing development in the town, which is why we wanted to involve the children as they will be enjoying it for many years to come.”

“We are delighted that they got on board to support us and the time capsule is a fitting celebration to mark the end of such a major milestone for the town.”

 Cllr Liam Robinson, Liverpool City Region Combined Authority Transport Portfolio Holder, said: “This new station is a great asset for the local community and we’re delighted to see the schoolchildren getting involved with this project.

“It will be fascinating to look back in 50 years at what has been left behind in the capsule and hopefully many of our other future aspirations for the local rail network will have been realised at that stage too.”

 Cllr John Joseph Kelly, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Children, Schools and Safeguarding, said: “The time capsule project has provided an invaluable link between education and the new railway station.

“It will be a real eye opener when the capsule is opened in 50 years’ time to see how the station, the school and the local area has progressed.

“Special thanks goes to Sefton Council’s Communications Team who helped put together the film about the school which will form an interesting piece of history in the future.”

 The new Maghull North station is located just off School Lane next to the former Ashworth Hospital site, between the existing Maghull and Town Green stations on the Ormskirk branch of Merseyrail’s Northern Line. 

 The station forms a key piece of infrastructure in the Sefton Local Plan, supporting local public transport demand from a nearby new housing development that will include 370 homes, with more homes planned for the area in the near future. 

 It also forms part of the wider £340m investment of rail improvements across the Liverpool City Region over the next three years and sits within the wider Great North Rail Project to transform train travel across the North.

 The £13m scheme is being funded through the Government’s Local Growth Fund (LGF), Merseytravel and the Homes and Communities Association, which previously owned the land on which the station will be built. Network Rail is building the station, which will be operated by Merseyrail. 

Watch this video which Sefton Council produced with St Thomas School about the time capsule project.

Maghull North rail station on track to open on Monday

The first rail service is set to leave Maghull North station for Liverpool Central at 05:58 on Monday 18th June 2018, when the new station opens to the public.

Maghull North is on the Ormskirk branch of Merseyrail’s Northern Line between Maghull and Town Green and will have 156 car parking spaces.

The new station will support local people by improving access to training, education and employment and by responding to future public transport demand from a new housing development of 370 new homes, with a further 1,700 additional homes planned.

Step-free access via station lifts will be in place from Friday 22nd June 2018.

Liverpool City Region Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram will declare the station officially open at an opening ceremony due to take place Friday 22nd June.

Councillor John Fairclough, Cabinet Member Locality Services, Sefton Council said: “To see the opening of the new station is excellent news for the people of Maghull, Sefton and the wider Liverpool City Region.

“The new station is a key piece of infrastructure in our Local Plan giving our towns and valued communities sufficient support to grow.

“It also connects the local area through the development of a local transport hub with facilities for buses, cycling and park & ride.

“Not only will the new station boost the local economy but it will further improve public transport capacity and connectivity across Sefton and the City Region.”

Metro Mayor Rotheram said: “I am delighted that the first services will be in place from Monday and look forward to marking the official opening on Friday.

“Through schemes like Maghull North, we are directly investing in our public transport system to deliver an improved service to the people of the city region, enabling better access to a host of opportunities for work, education and leisure.”

Liam Robinson, Transport Portfolio Holder, Liverpool City Region Combined Authority said:
“It’s been great to see the new Maghull North station develop over the last ten months and we’re delighted it’s now set to open to the public.

“This station is a prime example of our Long Term Rail Strategy being put into practice. The new station will be of huge benefit to local residents, giving more travel options while playing a big part in helping the on-going development of Maghull in the coming years.”

Operated by Merseyrail, Maghull North will become the 68th station on the network.

Andy Heath, Managing Director, Merseyrail, said:
“We’re really looking forward to welcoming Maghull North on to the Merseyrail network and enabling more people to access local rail services.
“It’s great to see these developments to the network, including the new trains which will be introduced in 2020, to help meet the needs of people in the city region.”

Facilities at the new station will include:
• Staffed station building and ticket office with passenger toilet facilities
• Passenger waiting facilities on the platforms.
• New bus shelters and stops installed adjacent to the station on School Lane, providing a seamless link between local bus services and rail services operating from the station
• 156-space car park with blue badge and motorcycle parking facilities, as well as cycle storage.
• Pedestrian and cycle routes from School Lane and Park Lane to the station,
• Passive provision for future charging points for electric vehicles
• Step-free access via lifts and bridge between both platforms from Friday 22nd June 2018.

More details on the scheme can be found on the Merseytravel website at www.merseytravel.gov.uk/MaghullNorth

Key travel & safety advice for Tall Ships Regatta

Visitors planning to watch the Tall Ships regatta from the Sefton coastline over the May bank holiday are being advised to stay safe at all times.

Anyone heading to Crosby beach on Monday, May 28 to watch the regatta is asked to stay within 50 metres from the promenade and watch for any tidal movement. Visitors to the coast are recommended not to go past Crosby Coastguard Station in a northerly direction.

On May 28, the seafront car parks will remain open but parking on nearby streets will be restricted (except for emergency vehicles).

The Waterloo Festival, being held at the bottom of South Road/Crosby Lakeside, and pop up village at Burbo Bank are also taking place during the bank holiday weekend (May 27/28) with extra people expected at Crosby seafront.

Anyone planning to travel to this area is asked to walk, cycle or use public transport as revised train and bus timetables will be in operation on the Bank Holiday (visit www.merseyrail.org or check with local bus operators).

Beach Safety is very important – please avoid muddy areas and listen to any warning messages for the RNLI lifeguards who will be present on the beach.

Visitors should be prepared for all weather conditions – including rain or sunshine. Concessions will be available and people visiting the area are asked to take their rubbish home with them or use the bins provided.

Cllr Marion Atkinson, Sefton Council’s Labour Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Skills, said: “Safety is paramount on the Sefton coastline as this event takes place.

“If you’re local, consider staying local. Walking or cycling may be the quickest and easiest way for you to get to and from the event.

“The popular Waterloo Festival is also on during the bank holiday weekend with crowds expected to attend along with the pop up village at Burbo Bank. The Council has really supported both these events and it is set to be a really busy weekend benefiting the whole area with local businesses using our wonderful assets to the maximum.

“If you do watch the regatta pass from the Sefton coastline, please stay safe and leave the beach as you find it either by taking your rubbish home with you or using the bins provided. We also ask people to respect the local community as access to the beach is situated within a residential area.”

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