A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed today, Thursday, 16 November at the UK's newest train station at Headbolt Lane in Kirkby in Merseyside by Transport Secretary Mark Harper and Liverpool's Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram to provide Merseyside with a simpler, more affordable and integrated transport network
The agreement to the Government work in closer collaboration with Liverpool to deliver the plans, and was signed by the Transport Secretary, Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, Network Rail and the Great British Railways Transition Team.
Plans implemented by the agreement should make it easier and cheaper to make journeys across the city. Transport should also be more accessible, providing better connectivity to jobs, and education and opening up business opportunities in the city. The agreement also supports the Government's commitment to empower local authorities, and ensures that local communities should be at the heart of decision making.
The agreement is in addition to the Government's £12 billion of funding as part of its Network North plan to provide better connections between Manchester and Liverpool, which will also enable delivery of Northern Powerhouse Rail. The Government's Network North plan provided the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority with a further £1 billion from the City Region Sustainable Transport Settlements, and another £600m following the cancellation of Phase 2 of HS2, which is more than twice the city's previous allocation.
Part of the region's rail improvements is a new terminus for Merseyrail and Northern services at Headbolt Lane station, provides better connections to the Liverpool city centre, Wigan and Manchester, as well as the region's bus services.
Headbolt Lane station will also be served by new state-of-the-art trains fitted with innovative battery technology. These are currently being developed and rolled out across the entire Merseyrail fleet which will soon become the UK's first battery powered fleet of trains. They are part of Merseyrail's plans to double the network's capacity, deliver greener and more reliable services, and opens up the possibility of expanding the network.
Transport Secretary Mark Harper said: “Today's agreement demonstrates this Government's commitment to transforming public transport across the country and empowering elected leaders to make decisions based on the priorities of local people.
“This agreement follows over a billion pounds of funding committed to the city through our Network North plans and will kickstart transport improvements for people across the city, making journeys affordable and accessible for all.”
Mayor of the Liverpool City Region Steve Rotheram said: “This deal signifies not only a massive moment for our region – but the start of a new wave of devolution for the country. It puts us on track to open up the right conversations around how we can improve our rail network for the better and run it in the best interests of passengers.
“It's the Liverpool City Region once again blazing a trail in the revolution of our railways – and I'll be fighting our area's corner every step of the way to make sure we capitalise on this opportunity.”