Wirral Loop Line Track
FOLLOWING the travel advice, plan journeys, stick
to public transport and help keep everyone on the move.
This is the latest message from City Region transport leaders to all those
travelling around the City Region for work or for leisure ahead of a 3 week
full cross river rail closure, during the week and at weekends, the 'Final
Phase' of the Wirral Loop Line Track Renewal works, over Tuesday, 30 May
2017, until Sunday, 18
Businesses and organisations are also advised to think about putting flexible
arrangements back in place to support staff, customers and contractors.
Information is available from the stakeholder toolkit on the Merseyrail website.
Customers are reminded that the alternative transport services will also
continue to run at the weekends during 'Phase 3' and the Mersey Tunnels are
proving to be flowing freely at weekends, meaning that driving may be an option
on Saturdays and Sundays without creating congestion in the tunnels.
It's hoped that people will adapt well to the alternative travel arrangements
that mirror those in 'Phase 1.'
Headline results from a 'Phase 1' customer survey show that people followed the
advice with 85% opting for one of the following public transport options:- rail
replacement buses, commercial buses, Mersey Ferries, cycle bus/ferry.
The results also show that customers' experience of these alternative modes of
transport was overall a positive 1 with the majority rating them as very
For Phase 3, travellers also need to take into account the following
► Wirral Dock bridges:- Current works to replace two of the old
along the A554 Tower Road in Wirral means there is no through-route along this
road until the end of 2017. Seacombe Ferry Terminal, the Mersey Ferries and the
12 Quays Terminal can still be accessed by following the well marked diversion
routes, but be prepared to allow longer for your journey. More information is
available on Wirral Borough Council website.
► Mersey Tunnels:- Tunnel flows have changed recently with an increase in traffic
and longer peak periods, due to a combination of various roadworks on major
routes in Liverpool City Centre, Tower Road, Wirral and the Runcorn/ Widnes
area, impacting on traffic using the Silver Jubilee Bridge. This potentially
puts the tunnels at risk of even greater congestion during the final phase of
track renewal. Where possible don't use the car, use public transport.
Everyone who travels in the City Region, either on the train, bus, ferry or in a
car, is encouraged to plan their journey.
► Don't take the car, use public transport:- The Mersey Tunnels and
surrounding routes can accommodate additional buses, but they will not be able to
cope with an increase in cars at peak times. Congestion will increase journey
times for everyone.
► Avoid travelling at peak times where possible:- If you work, speak to
your employer about whether there is any flexibility in working times or times
you could avoid travelling altogether. If you can, you may want to leave work
later and make the most of restaurants, shops and other leisure activities on
whatever side of the river you're travelling home from.
► Leave more time for your journey:- Whether you travel cross-river,
within the rail network in Wirral, or usually make use of the underground rail
'loop' to get around the City centre, you will need more time for your journey
to take account of the changes.
► Consider your options:- Different ways of travelling may suit your needs
depending on where you need to go and at what time.
More information about rail services and replacement buses is available at
stations or visit:-
For advice and information on alternative travel options can also be found
► Rail replacement buses:- High quality 'express' buses ready to
'fill and go' at peak times will run directly from Birkenhead Central and
Birkenhead North to Moorfields and St George's Hall, with return buses at least
every 15 minutes. There will be additional services to ensure people can still
catch early morning mainline trains. People who would normally use loop services
(trains between James St, Moorfields, Lime St and Central) can use their rail
tickets on the 10A bus to travel around the 'loop.'
► Buses:- There are 14 existing cross river bus services that run between
Wirral/Chester and Liverpool. Services will be strengthened to accommodate
existing and new customers.
Mersey Ferries:- Offer a frequent cross river service, between Seacombe and
Pier Head in peak times, (7.20am to 10.00am and 5pm to 7pm Monday to Friday),
with three services an hour, a journey time of 10 mins each way and free parking
for 370 cars, at Seacombe. Cross River Merseyrail tickets/passes can be used on
► Cyclists:- Ferries will be an option for cyclists as cycles can't be
carried on rail replacement buses. A special bike bus will also be in operation
► Special arrangements will be in place for those with disabilities with
staff on hand to help. There is more information
Network Rail, Merseyrail and Merseytravel, have been working over many months,
with local authorities, operators and other partners, to come up with a plan
that balances the need to get essential and complex work done with the need to
keep people moving and the City Region 'open for business.'
Network Rail has been replacing the most challenging sections of concrete based
track in the 'loop' that was originally laid in the 1970's, while making the most
of the opportunity to carry out other work, including replacing conventional
track under the riverbed.
The work, which also supports a new set of Merseyrail Trains on the network, from
the early 2020's, is part of a ₤340m investment in the Liverpool City Region (LCR)'s
Rail Network, over the next 3 years.
Merseytravel Chief Executive Frank Rogers said:- "The response of our City
Region travellers during these works, particularly in phase 1, has been
exceptional and we are asking for their support for this final leg of the
investment journey. We can't afford to be complacent for Phase 3 so if people
continue to follow the travel advice, as they have been doing, we will continue
to monitor services and do everything we can to keep people moving."
Said Jan Chaudhry Van Der Velde, MD of Merseyrail:- "With light literally
at the end of the tunnel, phase 3 is the final furlong to upgrade track in the
tunnel and under the riverbed. Like Phase 1, these few weeks are likely to be
disruptive, but there will be plenty of rail replacement buses in service. We
ask passengers to bear with us over this relatively short period before the
Wirral line is once again running as normal."
Martin Bell Network Rail Project Manager said:- "We are now entering the
third and Final Phase of the work to refurbish the track under the river bed.
The work to renew the track on the Wirral loop is now complete. This final phase
involves replacing traditional ballasted railway track that runs beneath the
River Mersey that is getting a new lease of life. We thank passengers for their
patience during this renewal programme and look forward to completing the
project in June."
Customers can also find out more about travel options by watching the Mersey
Ferry and rail replacement bus videos.