Liverpool South Parkway railway station
|Liverpool South Parkway
for Liverpool John Lennon Airport
|Number of platforms||6|
|Live arrivals/departures, station information and onward connections
from National Rail Enquiries
|Annual rail passenger usage*|
|Passenger Transport Executive|
|11 June 2006||Opened|
|National Rail – UK railway stations|
|* Annual estimated passenger usage based on sales of tickets in stated financial year(s) which end or originate at Liverpool South Parkway
for Liverpool John Lennon Airport from Office of Rail and Road statistics. Methodology may vary year on year.
|UK Railways portal|
Liverpool South Parkway station is a railway station and bus interchange in the Garston district of Liverpool, England. It serves, via a bus link, Liverpool John Lennon Airport in the neighbouring suburb of Speke.
The station is located towards the southern end of Merseyrail's Northern Line and on the junction of two main lines: the City Line from Liverpool to Manchester via Warrington and the Liverpool branch of the West Coast Main Line to London via Crewe.
Allerton Traction Maintenance Depot is situated to the immediate east of the station.
In the 1960s Merseyrail was being designed with an outer rail loop that circled the city. The proposal was to use the former Cheshire Lines Committee's North Liverpool Extension Line route through the eastern suburbs of Liverpool and the north south crossrail Northern Line that runs under the city centre to form the complete Outer Loop.
The proposal advanced into one large outer loop with two sub loops, one for the northern section of the city and one for the southern.
A part of the proposal was that passengers on the mainline radial routes into Lime Street entering from the east and south could transfer on to the electric urban Merseyrail rapid-transit network at interchange stations on the Outer Loop to access outer suburbs and avoid the need to travel into the city centre. Liverpool South Parkway and a station to have been at Broad Green in the east of the city, were to be the interchange stations. The eastern section of the Outer Loop was abandoned as was the interchange station at Broad Green. The eastern section of the Outer Loop was mothballed. Liverpool South Parkway was eventually completed in 2006 approximately 30 years late. 
As there was no eastern section of the Outer Loop to distribute passengers to the east of the city, the impetus to eventually complete the station was to improve public transport access to the expanding Liverpool John Lennon Airport, and also to provide new journey opportunities for rail passengers in south Liverpool by giving easy interchange between Northern Line, City Line and West Coast Main Line services. Construction began in 2004.
The main line platforms at Liverpool South Parkway are on the site of the former Allerton station, which closed in 2005 to allow the required rebuilding work to commence. The Northern Line platforms are completely new, replacing a station at Garston which was slightly further west of the current station. The concourse, bus station and car park are built on land that was once the home of South Liverpool F.C. An information board situated on the footpath towards the main road explains the history of the site.
At the time of opening, the Merseyrail City Line service (which had been hourly at the former Allerton station) was increased to half-hourly. The station also became an additional stop on the Liverpool-Birmingham service (then operated by Central Trains). From 11 December 2006, the Monday-Saturday evening service on the Northern Line was increased to run every 15 minutes, instead of half-hourly as previously.
Initially, many long-distance services omitted Liverpool South Parkway from their timetables, however more train services were gradually introduced. In December 2008 the Birmingham service was doubled in frequency, and East Midlands Trains services began calling at the station.
In May 2011, Blackpool North services which operated from Lime Street were extended to start and terminate at Liverpool South Parkway. The service is operated by Northern Rail and does not call at stations between South Parkway and Lime Street. The service from Lime Street is unchanged. Trains travelling from Blackpool North to Liverpool South Parkway have a 15-minute dwelling time at Liverpool Lime Street.
Originally scheduled to open in December 2005, the project fell behind schedule, and finally opened on 11 June 2006. The construction cost, originally estimated to be £16 million, had doubled to £32 million by the time construction was completed. Merseytravel rejected criticism of the delays and cost increase, stating that it had been caused by factors beyond its control, such as the collapse of Railtrack, increasing steel costs and poor weather causing flooding at the construction site.
Tom Wileman, regional director of bus operator Stagecoach, described Liverpool South Parkway as a "white elephant". However, from 28 September 2008 Stagecoach service 82 was rerouted to serve the station; and from December 2008, trains operated by Stagecoach-owned East Midlands Trains began calling.
Merseytravel have stated that they aim to work with the train operators to improve the train service at Liverpool South Parkway, introducing new services with each twice-yearly timetable change.
From 23 May 2011, Northern Rail introduced direct services to Blackpool North. This was achieved by extending the existing Blackpool to Liverpool service. Trains run non-stop from Liverpool South Parkway to Liverpool Lime Street, where they will reverse to continue their journey to Blackpool. Seven trains per day now operate Monday-Saturday, all outside the peaks with no direct evening or Sunday service.
Other new services which have been proposed but not confirmed are:
- Additional shuttle services between Liverpool South Parkway and Liverpool Lime Street on the City Line
- More frequent Sunday services on the Northern Line
- Services to Chester and North Wales. This would require upgrading of the Halton Curve to accommodate bidirectional working and is a long-term project being pursued jointly with the Welsh Government and other local authorities
- Merseytravel have repeatedly asked for a Virgin service from Liverpool South Parkway, however platform extensions must be constructed for this to happen
- It has been proposed a Tram-train service to John Lennon Airport be introduced, however it may be too expensive. Merseytravel have instead proposed a bus service
Proposals for High Speed 2 raise the possibility of London trains calling at Liverpool South Parkway. This could be as part of the new high speed service to Liverpool or as part of a revised stopping pattern on the existing West Coast Main Line service.
Airport tram-train proposed
In August 2009, it was reported that a new tram-train link to Liverpool John Lennon Airport and a link to Kings Dock from the east of the city had been proposed. At Liverpool South Parkway, the tram-train would leave the existing railway line and seamlessly transfer to a new tramway.
|Railways around Liverpool South Parkway|
- 6 platforms (four high-level platforms on the West Coast Main Line and a further two on the Northern Line)
- A 5-stand bus station for local bus services.
- A 16-space taxi rank.
- Provision for a proposed extension of the now-shelved Merseytram system towards the airport.
- A 240-space car park for use as a Park and Ride facility.
- Storage facilities for 65 bicycles.
- A café and adjacent passenger lounge with wifi.
The station has been designed to use environmentally friendly techniques wherever possible. Some of the building's electricity is provided by Photovoltaic cells. A 700,000 litre rainwater harvesting system has also been installed to reduce the use of mains water. This water will be used for cleaning and washing, as well as toilet flushes. All timber used has been certified by the Forest Stewardship Council as being from a well-managed forest. The roof is made from recycled aluminium instead of virgin materials. The automatic doors at each of the five bus stances open only when a bus arrives, enhancing safety but also retaining heat within the building and avoiding excessive openings of the doors. The free-access main entrance uses a revolving door to avoid draughts.
In June 2009 the station underwent some enhancements, and saw the introduction of a new travel centre and a heated passenger lounge with wifi internet access, comfortable chairs and free newspapers, adjacent to the café; ticket barriers at both ends of the concourse were also installed.
A ticket vending machine, allowing collection of tickets booked online, was installed in July 2014.
On the high-level platforms (1 and 2), Northern Rail provide two trains per hour in each direction on the City Line between Liverpool Lime Street and Manchester Oxford Road. On Sundays an hourly service operates.
London Midland services between Liverpool Lime Street and Birmingham New Street call at Liverpool South Parkway. The service runs half-hourly Monday to Saturday, and hourly on Sundays. Selected services use platform 3.
First TransPennine Express services from Liverpool call at the station as of 12 December 2010[update]. Most services continue to York and Scarborough via Leeds. There is also limited direct services to/from Newcastle.
Platform 4 is used for Northern Rail services to Blackpool North.
Virgin Trains services do not serve the station and there are no plans to do so in the future. The platforms are not long enough to accommodate Virgin's Pendolino trains, and the location of this station, with a bridge at the north end and Allerton Junction at the south end, makes platform extension difficult.
Bus services run from the station to Liverpool John Lennon Airport, Aigburth, Dingle, Mossley Hill and Liverpool City Centre. Services are operated by Arriva North West, Stagecoach Merseyside and HTL Buses.
Passengers can use local services 80A and 86A for transfer to/from the airport. Combined bus-rail tickets are available for rail passengers wishing to travel to the airport.
On TV and film
The scenes ending the long-running John Paul McQueen and Craig Dean storyline in the soap opera Hollyoaks, which aired in September 2008, were filmed at Liverpool South Parkway. The scenes were broadcast on Channel 4 on 19 September 2008. The first scene to feature John Paul McQueen (James Sutton) on his return to Hollyoaks in 2012 was filmed at Liverpool South Parkway and aired on 18 December 2012. The online spin-off mini-series Hollyoaks: Freshers also made brief use of the station, during 2010, for the filming of episode 2.
- Cheshire Lines Committee Lines: North Liverpool Extension Line, Southport and Cheshire Lines Extension Railway, Garston and Liverpool Railway. 2010. ISBN 1158356277.
- Maund, T.B. (2001). Merseyrail electrics: the inside story. Sheffield: NBC Books. OCLC 655126526.
- "West Coast 2008 Timetable" (pdf). Department for Transport.
- "Liverpool South Parkway takes off!". Merseytravel. 2008-10-13.
- Neild, Larry (2006-03-30). "Cost of Liverpool rail hub doubles to £32m". Liverpool Daily Post.
- Higgerson, David (2006-02-06). "£30m wasted on doomed tram project, says Arriva". Liverpool Daily Post.
- "Changes to Bus Services from 28 September 2008" (pdf). Merseytravel.
- "Train Times: Liverpool to Wigan, Preston and Blackpool (22 May - 10 December 2011)" (PDF). Northern Rail.
- GB National RAilway Timetable 2013-14, Tables 90 & 91
- "Plans for rail link to open up the region move a step closer" (Press release). Liverpool: Merseytravel. 17 January 2014. Retrieved 21 March 2014.
- "High Speed 2 Technical Appendix" (PDF). Department for Transport. Retrieved 2010-12-11.
- Schofield, Ben (3 August 2009). "Tram link bid for Liverpool airport". Liverpool Daily Post. Retrieved 20 August 2009.
- "Welcome to Liverpool South Parkway" (pdf). Merseytravel. Retrieved 2007-10-06.[dead link]
- "Winners of the 2006 Awards". Network Rail. Retrieved 2007-10-06.
- "All aboard the new Speke Hall Shuttle". Merseytravel. Retrieved 2012-04-08.
- "John Paul rushes to find Craig". Digital Spy.
- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Iri_v24os0 Hollyoaks: Freshers
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Liverpool South Parkway railway station.|
- Station information for Liverpool South Parkway railway station from Merseyrail
- Maria Eagle MP visits Liverpool South Parkway (April 2005)
- Merseyside Merger (Contract Journal - 01/09/05)
- Engineer's baby nearing delivery (icLiverpool - 06/09/05)
- Article from Merseytravel web site announcing the opening date
- Merseytravel announce that Merseyrail Electrics will operate the new station