The Anonymous Widower

Chancellor To Fund £710m Merseyrail Expansion

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Liverpool Business News.

This is the first sentence.

In his Budget on October 27 Chancellor Rishi Sunak will hand Liverpool city region £710m to extend the Merseyrail network using battery-operated trains.

I wrote about Merseyrail’s plans in Liverpool’s Vision For Rail.

This is a map of how the network might look.

Battery trains might serve Preston, Skelmersdale, Warrington, Widnes, Wigan and Wrexham.

There is also this tailpiece to the Liverpool Business News article.

In August LBN also revealed Mr Rotheram was in talks with senior Government officials about taking full control of the Merseyrail network, including the physical infrastructure, Full devolution of the network would give the CA direct control over significant areas of land, opening up the opportunity for new development.

That seems very sensible.

October 23, 2021 - Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , ,


  1. Great to read about a change in Government funding allowing Metropolitan Areas like Liverpool to solve their transport requirements. The fact that Liverpool will be able to exercise its option to order more trains from Stadler gives stability not only to their business case but also the longer term economic and transport strategies of all MCAs.
    The general idea of Combined Authorities outside of Greater London that were initiated by the Local Democracy, Economic Development and Construction Act 2009 seem at last to be bearing fruit. It seems to me that it allows groups of local authorities to pool shared responsibility and assume delegated central government functions to deliver transport and economic policy more effectively over a wider area than current constituency and local government structures allow.
    The cynic in me just worries about political patronage and the possible democratic deficit that could result.

    Comment by fammorris | October 23, 2021 | Reply

  2. I know Liverpool well, as I went to Liverpool University and now support cancer research at there. Liverpool is in some ways an unusual city and rather unlike the typical media stereotype.

    Merseyrail have one of the oldest train fleets in regular service in the UK, but they don’t look it, as they are in extremely good condition and graffiti free.

    But then the ferries I rode across the Mersey in 1965, are still running today, although with different names.

    The City Centre is traffic-free and busy.

    Lime Street now, is one of the finest InterCity railway stations and it is one of the oldest, if not the oldest still in use.

    It’s almost as if Liverpool Councils are thrifty with their money.

    But they certainly seem to get the best architects, engineers and designers to work on the city’s infrastructure.

    So it is no surprise to me, that Merseyside is first in the queue for funding an expansion of the railway network.

    Merseyrail has put up a simple but sound plan, with very little expenditure other than new world class trains. And remember, they funded the first 53 trains themselves. That thrift again!

    I have a feeling that the government and top civil servants trust Liverpool, which is something that can’t be said for all local councils.

    Comment by AnonW | October 23, 2021 | Reply

    • Thinking about your remarks that Merseyside is first in the queue for funding an expansion of the railway network. That is only due to the priority given by Liverpool’s City Regional Authority to rail. Manchester for example have prioritised on bus travel and have been awarded funds for that.
      I don’t think it’s a matter of the government and top civil servants trusting Liverpool, it is more a question of Metropolitan Combined Authorities and the emerging Regional Combined Authorities putting in bids for funding that coincide with the policies of the government.
      This new City and Regional Sustainable Transport fund is modelled on the same principles as those used to fund London. I think you will agree London is not currently high on the Government’s list of most trusted acquaintances and yet London still received funding for transport it requested. As users of transport in London know that support is coming at the price of above average inflation rises in ticket prices.

      Comment by fammorris | October 24, 2021 | Reply

  3. […] The expansion of Merseyrail into England’s first battery-electric Metro, which I wrote about in Chancellor To Fund £710m Merseyrail Expansion. […]

    Pingback by Could Avanti West Coast Run A Lumo-Style Service Between London And Liverpool? « The Anonymous Widower | October 23, 2021 | Reply

  4. Yes Peter, Liverpool’s bid related to a scheme that was heavy rail and as I noticed at the time Manchester got a grant for £1.07 billion for Metrolink that in the words of were to be ….”used to support the delivery of a London-style, fully integrated transport system joining together buses, trams, cycling and walking by 2024, and rail by 2030. This includes investment in quality bus transit corridors, improving transport infrastructure and connectivity for towns and high streets in the region. It will also pave the way for the next generation of Metrolink, including an expansion of the network and the introduction of tram-train services, as well as preparing for HS2.”

    Comment by fammorris | January 6, 2022 | Reply

  5. […] In October 2021, I was able to write Chancellor To Fund £710m Merseyrail Expansion. […]

    Pingback by East Midlands Commuter Programme « The Anonymous Widower | January 17, 2022 | Reply

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