Platform work means rail disruption between Christmas and New Year

By Paul Johnston at

Commuters and bargain hunters wanting to get to and from Liverpool on Merseyrail between Christmas and New Year face disruption, due to platform upgrade works to prepare the network for new trains.

From 27 December to 2 January, West Kirby and New Brighton trains will start and terminate at Birkenhead North, and services will only run every 30 minutes.

From 27 December to 1 January, Ellesmere Port and Chester trains will begin and end at Birkenhead Central, with timetable alterations.

Rail replacement bus services will take passengers over to the city centre, and there will be a shuttle bus operating between Birkenhead North, Birkenhead Park, Conway Park, Hamilton Square and Birkenhead Central stations.

How the work will affect your journey

Transport bosses say it mirrors plans which were successfully used during the Wirral Loop Line Track Renewal programme in 2017.

The platform adjustments are needed so that new sliding step technology on the new trains can be used, enabling wheelchair users, prams and cycles to get on and off with ease.

Wayne Menzies, Merseytravel’s Head of Rail said: “We’ve got to complete these works. It’s really important that passengers know what’s happening so they can plan ahead and if we work together we can keep everyone moving and the city region will remain open for business.

“The new trains will transform how we travel and this project is about making this happen so although there will be some disruption it will be worth it in the end.”

Inside the new Merseyrail trains, coming into service in 2020

Andy Heath, Managing Director at Merseyrail said: “These works are vital to prepare our network for the arrival of the new state-of-the-art trains in 2020 and in particular the sliding step that will allow unassisted access for all our passengers.

“A lot of work has gone in to minimising disruption as much as possible while this work takes place and both high quality rail replacement buses and our staff will be available to help keep everyone moving.”

A further phase of platform alterations in April 2019 will see journeys between West Kirby, Bidston and Birkenhead North affected as work is carried out at stations along the line.

For more information and further details about how your rail journeys will be affected visit the Merseyrail website.