‘Wrong kind of success on the line’ pushes Parkway bill up

Three years after the £32m station in south Liverpool opened, Merseytravel has spent a further £860,000 adding facilities it apparently missed off in the initial build.

Liverpool South Parkway now boasts a new travel centre with disabled access, passenger lounge with air-conditioning and wireless internet connectivity and smart-card enabled ticket gates. Work has also started on 60 new free park and ride spaces on the station footprint.

Cllr Mark Dowd, chairman of Merseytravel, the area's passenger transport authority and executive, said: "We've been a victim of our own success to some extent so these improvements are incredibly important. More than 4,000 people now use Liverpool South Parkway every day; we've seen a 10% increase in the last year alone so we need to make sure that we can meet the expectations of our passengers."

Neil Scales, chief executive of Merseytravel, added: "The station car park is full by 10am, sometimes earlier, every day, so we have also looked at ways in which we can deal with that and we have built more comfort into a station which has proved to be a runaway success story for us.

"We are expecting passenger numbers to continue to rise so we are future proofing the station with these significant improvements."

The £860,000 improvements have been wholly funded by Merseytravel.

Despite its success and cost, critics of the station point out it still does not offer a London service and too few mainline operators stop there.

Merseytravel said the East Midlands service to Norwich was recently added and there are plans for TransPennine Express trains to Leeds, York and Scarborough to use the station.

A new fast-link shuttle bus service from LSP to Liverpool John Lennon Airport was also launched this summer.

LSP combined the former Allerton and Garston stations on two separate lines into one facility.

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