Gi­ant out­cry forces rail clo­sure re­think

Ormskirk Advertiser - - Front Page - BY KATE LALLY kate.lally@trin­i­tymir­ror.com @kate­lal­lyx

AN­GRY com­muters have forced Merseyrail to re­think plans to close Hightown sta­tion while the Gi­ants are in Liver­pool.

Merseyrail an­nounced that changes will be made through­out the net­work over Fri­day, Satur­day and Sun­day, Oc­to­ber 5-7, with 20 sta­tions to close.

Many work­ers and par­ents took to Twit­ter to voice their anger at be­ing left high and dry.

The rail group has now re­vised its de­ci­sion to close cer­tain sta­tions.

But 25 sta­tions will still be closed as the train com­pany tries to keep its ser­vices run­ning to sched­ule de­spite ex­pect­ing more than dou­ble the usual num­ber of pas­sen­gers.

Merseyrail an­nounced the tem­po­rary clo­sures and ser­vice changes last week, prompt­ing anger from com­muters and school­child­ren who would be left with­out a lo­cal sta­tion to travel from on Fri­day, Oc­to­ber 5.

Merseyrail has now said trains will stop at Hightown – one of the sta­tions peo­ple were par­tic­u­larly vo­cal about be­ing missed.

Merseyrail man­ag­ing direc­tor Andy Heath said: “The Gi­ants is one of our busiest events and in terms of vis­i­tors trav­el­ling by Merseyrail it far sur­passes most other events within the city of Liver­pool.

“Nor­mally, 110,000 pas­sen­ger jour­neys are made on Merseyrail per day. With the Gi­ants event we have to plan for more than dou­ble those num­bers of vis­i­tors.

“With a fi­nite num­ber of trains and car­riages avail­able it is a ma­jor chal­lenge for us.

“With these two al­ter­ations to what was orig­i­nally pro­posed, I am con­fi­dent we will do our best to en­sure that as many peo­ple as pos­si­ble get to the city to have a great day at the Gi­ants.

“We will have large num­bers of staff de­ployed at key sta­tions to as­sist with travel to the event.

“It’s never ideal to an­nounce the tem­po­rary clo­sure of any sta­tion but by do­ing this on the days of the event we are able to in­crease the num­ber of car­riages on routes through­out the day and there­fore carry larger num­bers of pas­sen­gers.”

Be­sides the sta­tion clo­sures, Wir­ral Line ser­vices will ter­mi­nate at Liver­pool Cen­tral, and North­ern Line pas­sen­gers will use Moor­fields.

Town Green sta­tion will still close.

For more in­for­ma­tion, visit www.merseyrail.org.

The Gi­ants on their last visit to Liver­pool, in 2014 GARETH JONES

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