The £80m scheme, due to open in 2023, is a key part of Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram’s plans to deliver a London-style integrated transport system for the city region, which aims to bring together bus, rail, ferry, and active travel in one simple, affordable, and easy to use transport network.
Headbolt Lane will be the first station to benefit from battery technology on the new trains for the Merseyrail network, removing the need to extend the third rail beyond the existing Kirkby station. It will also be the first new station opened since Mayor Rotheram unveiled ‘Merseyrail For All’, his scheme to expand the local train network through a combination of new stations in under-served parts of the region, and by utilising new technology on the region’s new trains.
Plans for the new station include:
- Step-free access throughout the station;
- bus interchange;
- cycle storage;
- links to active travel networks;
- passenger waiting facilities and toilets;
- approximately 300 park and ride spaces.
The full scheme includes the extension of the Merseyrail network beyond the existing Kirkby station. Merseyrail services will operate to the new station, as well as Northern services from Wigan and Manchester.
Alongside representatives from the other partners involved in delivering the scheme, the Mayor saw earthworks taking place to prepare the site for construction of the new station building, platforms, and car park later this year. Additional works will also take place over the coming months to install new bridges and widen the embankment of the line between Kirkby and the new station.
Residents will have a chance to speak to members of the project team about the scheme at a public drop-in event on Thursday, 17th March from 4 to 7 pm at Centre 63 in Old Hall Lane in Kirkby.
The scheme is being delivered by the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority in partnership with Knowsley Council, Network Rail, Merseyrail, and Northern, and is designed to support future plans to build a new rail link to Skelmersdale. Funding for the scheme has come from the Transforming Cities Fund.
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. Thanks to devolution, with more decisions being taken locally, we are finally going to make it a reality.
“In the last few years, working alongside Cllr Morgan and Knowsley Council, we’re delivering something of a renaissance for Kirkby after decades of private sector failure. From tens of millions of pounds invested into the Town, to the construction of this new station, we’re giving local people a place to be proud of once again.
“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 wherever you live.
“Headbolt will be the first station opened under Merseyrail for All and I can’t wait to see local people – and our brand new publicly owned trains – bringing the station to life.”
Cllr Tony Brennan, Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Economic Development, said:
“I’m delighted that work on the new Headbolt Lane train station is getting underway. It will enhance transport options for people in the Northwood and Tower Hill areas of Kirkby and also improve access to the nearby Knowsley Business Park.
“The new station will open up access to places of education, employment, and training for a wider number of Kirkby residents. These are exciting times for the town and support our ongoing commitment to the development of Kirkby.”
Chris Pye, North West infrastructure director at Network Rail, said:
“We are delighted that once again the Mayor and the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority are investing in the rail network for the environmental and economic benefits it delivers for its residents.
“The brand new station at Headbolt Lane, which will boast modern, spacious and accessible facilities, will encourage people in Kirkby to get out of their cars and travel by train to employment and leisure sites within the City Region and beyond.”
Suzanne Grant, Commercial Director at Merseyrail, said:
“It is fantastic to see work begin at Headbolt Lane station as we make steps towards connecting more people within the Liverpool City Region by extending the Merseyrail network.
“Working in partnership to deliver a railway that our communities can be proud of is our key objective and extending the network to serve new areas is key to this.
“We are incredibly excited to begin to serve customers at Headbolt Lane when the station opens in 2023.”