Headbolt Lane scoops £66m boost

The planned new station in Kirkby has taken a step forward with the funding injection from the Liverpool City Region’s Transforming Cities Fund.

The combined authority had already pledged an initial £3m last July to develop a new rail station for the town, which would form part of the extension of Merseyrail’s Northern Line.

Plans for Kirkby Headbolt Lane include the redeveloped Kirkby station building, plus around 500 park-and-ride spaces and a bus interchange.

The full scheme includes the extension of Merseyrail beyond the existing Kirkby station, and mean that residents in the Northwood and Tower Hill areas of the town would be even closer to services on the network.

The development forms part of the plans to build a new rail link to Skelmersdale, which would connect to the Merseyrail network via the Kirkby branch. Northern-operated services from Wigan and Manchester would also operate to and from the new three-platform station.

Network Rail is currently progressing the outline design for the project and preparing a full planning application for the necessary approvals and the £66m funding boost will help to finance the project.

Work is scheduled to start later this year and the new station is planned to be operational in 2023, according to the combined authority.

Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor for the Liverpool City Region, said: “Bringing our communities closer together has been a priority for me. We’ve already opened the first new station on the Merseyrail network, at Maghull North, and now we’re cracking on with plans to build another at Headbolt Lane.

“Kirkby is somewhere especially close to my heart, and this £66m of funding is a real statement of intent for my vision. I want to make it as quick, cheap and easy as possible for people to get around our region. Transport might look a little different in the post-pandemic era, but I am still determined to deliver on my plans for an integrated, London-style transport system.”

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Great for Kirkby and especially Tower Hill and Northwood. Kirkby is close to my heart too. I worked there in the 1980s and 90s and have fond memories of the people and the strong community spirit. The town has been let down in the past but I know the area is now getting better all the time and this new station will build confidence and lead to more investment. Linking Kirkby to Skem – and Skem to the city centre – will be a masterstroke and a huge boost to this end of Liverpolitus.

By Red Squirrel

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