Steve Rotheram, metro mayor of the Liverpool city region, has announced the creation of a station commission, chaired by Everton Football Club CEO Denise Barrett-Baxendale, to deliver a new station in Liverpool city centre, to enable the city region’s connection to HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail.
Earlier this year, Transport for the North’s Strategic Transport Plan included plans to ensure that Liverpool city region will benefit from a full connection to both Northern Powerhouse Rail and HS2. TfN’s strategic plan also recognises the need for a new station to accommodate new 21st century trains and to link HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail in to the city region’s local transport infrastructure.
Speaking about the new station commission, Steve Rotheram said: “Connecting the Liverpool city Region to HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail will both cut journey times and increase capacity, boosting our economy by £15bn. In order to make that connection happen we will need a new station in Liverpool city centre, capable of accommodating HS2 trains, NPR trains and linking in with our local transport infrastructure. Lime Street will simply not be able to cope.
“Building a new station is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to create a gateway to the Liverpool city region that is fit for the 21st century. What we envisage is more than just a station and a world-class transport hub, it has the potential to be a destination in its own right, architecturally stunning and featuring leisure and recreation facilities, commercial, retail, high-quality office accommodation, residential facilities and much more. It will provide a world-class welcome to a world-class city region and will bring hugely significant social and economic benefits for the city region and the whole of the north.”
Rotheram said that he recognised the difficulties involved in delivering such a project. “Bringing this kind of infrastructure project to fruition will be enormously challenging, and that is why I have created this commission, to take forward the work required,” he said. “Such a challenge requires first class leadership and so I am particularly pleased that Denise Barrett-Baxendale has agreed to serve as its chair. Denise brings a wealth of experience and intellectual rigour and I could not have more confidence in her ability to make this happen,” Rotheram said.
Denise Barrett-Baxendale said: “I am tremendously honoured to have been asked to chair this commission. I have no doubt that it will be challenging but with that challenge comes a golden opportunity to create a modern transport hub fit for the city region’s future.”
Joe Anderson, mayor of Liverpool, said: “We know we will need a new station in Liverpool, with all the major new benefits and opportunities that will bring, because government, and Transport for the North, have accepted the economic case for HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail to connect to our city. We now need government to put their money where the mouth is and commit to funding the project, while the commission takes forward the exciting work of making it happen.”
The commission will bring together a range of experts from across the worlds of transport, business and the public sector. Its remit will be to take forward all the key considerations in developing the project such as the size, functions, location and orientation of the station, working with partners on all elements leading towards its development.