Liverpool City Region Combined Authority has pledged £3.3m to develop a new rail station for the town, which will 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 city region authority is about to enter the design phase for the project, and as yet no potential contractor has been appointed. The new station is planned to be operational by 2023.
The Merseyrail extension will enable travel beyond the Kirkby terminal, serving residents in the Northwood and Tower Hill areas of the town.
Northern services from Wigan and Manchester would operate to and from the new station. The development also forms part of wider plans to build a rail link to Skelmersdale, which would then connect to the Merseyrail network via Kirkby.
Talks about this scheme are ongoing between Merseytravel, Lancashire County Council and West Lancashire Borough Council, with the parties expecting to complete an outline business case by September.
The Kirkby project is one of 18 transport and infrastructure schemes earmarked for £173m of funding from the combined authority. The £3.3m for Headbolt Lane has come from the city region’s Strategic Investment Fund.
Steve Rotheram, mayor of the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, said: “A new station at Headbolt Lane is great news for the people of Kirkby. It shows my continued commitment to invest in transport infrastructure across the whole city region.
“As a local lad, Kirkby is close to my heart, so I’m pleased it will now be better connected to the city region. An improved public transport network is central to ‘building back better’ and supporting our economic recovery.”
Karen Hornby, head of performance and customer relations at Network Rail, said: “The new station and reinstatement of two tracks, will ensure Merseyrail and Northern can serve a greater number of passengers in the wider Kirkby area.
“It will also mean better connections to Liverpool and Manchester by public transport, bringing greater opportunities for work, study and leisure.”