Kayla’s net­work could make us a real pow­er­house

Southport Visiter - - Visiter Active - BY ALISTAIR HOUGHTON alistair.houghton@trin­i­tymir­ror.com @Visiter

TAKE a look at what the Merseyrail net­work could look like if it were mas­sively ex­panded to match the Tube in Lon­don.

Kayla Bibby, who runs Face­book group Liver­pool Un­der­ground, has un­veiled her vi­sion for a rail net­work with more ser­vices for ar­eas in­clud­ing South­port, Orm­skirk and Maghull.

They in­clude a new Star Line, which would link Black­pool North with South­port, run­ning through Liver­pool to Birch­wood.

New sta­tions on the line would in­clude Church­town, Banks, War­ton and Poul­ton-le-Fylde.

A new West Lancs Line would fi­nally con­nect South­port with Pre­ston, call­ing at Me­ols Cop, Bescar Lane, New Lane, Burscough Bridge, Ruf­ford and Cros­ton.

There would also be di­rect ser­vices from Orm­skirk to Pre­ston, call­ing at Burscough, Burscough Bridge, Ruf­ford and Cros­ton.

The pro­posed new sta­tions of Skelmers­dale and Maghull North, al­ready been pre­pared for by Merseyrail, are on the map.

But Kayla also wants to build a new Maghull West Sta­tion, the ter­mi­nus for a new Wal­la­hoo Line, call­ing at new sta­tions in­clud­ing Sefton, Nether­ton and Cap­tains Lane, be­fore trav­el­ling to the east of Liver­pool city cen­tre.

She also wants to see new tun­nels un­der Liver­pool and a line built on top of a Mersey bar­rage.

She pro­duced her first map two years ago but has since come up with more ideas for lines – in­clud­ing a Sergeant Pep­per Line serv­ing north Liver­pool and the pro­posed Bram­ley-Moore Dock sta­dium for Ever­ton FC.

Her new map’s other pro­posed ser­vices in­clude a Metropoli­tan Line from Whis­ton and Stock­bridge Vil­lage that would run un­der the Mersey and split to serve Hoy­lake and Eastham.

By build­ing new tun­nels and link­ing them to ex­ist­ing ones, she would cre­ate four un­der­ground lines – the Metropoli­tan and:

A District Line from Maghull to Nether­ley via Wal­ton, Ever­ton Brow, the new Padding­ton Vil­lage and Lark Lane.

An El­iz­a­beth Line (Lizzy Line) from Heswall to Win­dle Is­land via a city cen­tre loop, with a branch to Kirkby.

A Cen­tral Line from New Brighton Tower to Hale­wood and Cron­ton via a new Mersey tun­nel, James Street and Sefton Park.

And while the plans are very am­bi­tious Kayla in­sists that, if money could be found, this su­per-net­work could be built in 30 years.

She said: “We need to start think­ing like a cap­i­tal city – all these world cities around the globe all have ex­ten­sive un­der­ground net­works.

“Ev­ery­thing is too Lon­don-cen­tric in this coun­try. Lon­don now boasts one of the best transport net­works in the world.

“It’s time for cen­tral gov­ern­ment to start com­mit­ting to spend­ing se­ri­ous money on rad­i­cally im­prov­ing transport in the North in­stead of moth­balling es­sen­tial projects.

“It’s cap­i­tal projects like Liver­pool Un­der­ground that will make the North­ern Pow­er­house con­cept a suc­cess, not to­ken ges­tures that won’t make any dif­fer­ence to the ev­ery­day lives of nor­mal peo­ple. We need to sling­shot our cities into pros­per­ity.”

Kayla’s vi­sion for the Mersey bar­rage would mean a road and a rail link built on top of the main struc­ture with a coun­try park above them, so peo­ple could also walk and cy­cle across.

Metro mayor Rotheram has Steve al­ready pro­posed a bar­rage that could in­clude a “light rail link” on top.

Kayla said she had been lob­by­ing Mersey­travel to buy some tun­nel bor­ing ma­chines £10m each.

She said: “This would in­crease our op­tions and en­able us to ex­pand the ex­ist­ing un­der­ground net­work like never be­fore with min­i­mal dis­rup­tion to daily life above.

“These TBMs, bor­ing through favourable con­di­tions, mostly sand­stone, can crack on with con­struct­ing a new tube line at 100 me­tres a week. After a few years when said line is com­plete, they can be dis­man­tled and moved to a new lo­ca­tion to start the next line and so on.

“This cy­cle would con­tinue over the next few decades un­til all four tube lines: The Cen­tral Line, District Line, Lizzy Line and Metropoli­tan Line are com­plete.”

WHAT do you think of the plans? Email us at: vis­iternews@ south­portvis­iter.co.uk or mes­sage us via the Visiter Face­book page.

Kayla Bibby with her di­a­gram, also above

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