A total of £40 million is being spent to upgrade five underground stations in Liverpool’s city-centre.
The investment is set to attract people accessing employment, education as well as leisure and culture in Merseyside.
Liverpool Central was the first of the five underground stations on the Merseyrail network to be improved; the other stations are James Street, Lime Street, Moorfields and Hamilton Square.
Central closed in April last year and following on from a comprehensive overhaul, the station fully re-opened in October. Both the Wirral and Northern lines have been tiled throughout and the ceiling has been replaced. A number of machinery rooms have also been removed creating more space on the platform.
Karen Hornby, Area Manager for Network Rail, said: “I am really pleased that the project has been delivered on time and within budget. It has been technically challenging at times, with much of the work going on behind the scenes. I hope passengers will appreciate the new look station.”
Councillor Liam Robinson, Chair of Merseytravel, added: “The upgrade means that Liverpool Central is now fit for purpose and better positioned to play a key role in getting people to jobs, education and leisure opportunities in the city, driving economic growth and helping to make it a more successful place for both work and play.”
Throughout the station closure, Merseyrail worked with Liverpool’s City Central Business Improvement District (BID) to ensure retailers were supported through a raft of promotional offers and activities under the Summer of Love campaign, which included the city centre’s first pop-up bandstand and recently ended with the Bold Street Festival.
Ged Gibbons, Chief Executive of City Central BID, said: “We were determined to help traders around Central station over the closure period in what was already a tough economic environment and we thank Merseyrail, Merseytravel and Network Rail for their support of the Summer of Love campaign. The re-opening of Central station is something everyone has looked forward to since the day it closed, and from a footfall point of view, I’m sure many of our retailers will feel Christmas has come early.”
Following on from the work carried out on Liverpool Central, Platform One of James Street was closed in September and reopened on 7th January 2013. Platform Three at James Street closed for similar work on 7th January 2013, re-opening on 22 April 2013.
Like Central, the refurbishments of James Street has encompassed the floors of the platform and the surrounding corridors being re-tiled, with new vitreous enamel cladding affixed to the walls.
Works are currently underway on the underground of Liverpool Lime Street, with the scheduled completion date set for August.
Maarten Spaargaren, Managing Director of Merseyrail, stated: “We are sure that customers will appreciate the work at James Street station and find the atmosphere at the station much more pleasant. We regret that people who use Lime Street lower level will be inconvenienced in the short term, however we’re confident that they too will ultimately believe the work being carried out is worth the wait.”
Karen Hornby, added: “The upgrade of the loop line is all about modernising stations and bringing them into the 21st century, and the work is progressing well. We aim to create an environment that is safe and secure and enhances the passenger experience.”
Merseyside Ship Repairers ltd
Established for over 25 years, MSR ltd specialise in the supply and installation of steel work for numerous civil engineering projects within the public and private sector.
As part of the redevelopment works on several Liverpool Underground stations, MSR ltd have manufactured and installed a new staircase in Central, fitted stainless steel balustrades and cladding and have carried out structural steelwork modifications. This is in addition to similar works carried out on James Street and currently being carried out on Liverpool Lime Street.
When asked about the project, Director Paul Barrett said: “Work has been progressing very well up to now and MSR are very happy to be involved.
“Here at MSR we pride ourselves on a high quality service with a quick turnaround, delivered on time and to the highest specification.”