Robert Elstone, Everton’s Chief Executive, is looking at leading plans for Liverpool City Centre to become the home of a new high-speed train station. This will look to connect Liverpool with various locations across the UK and cut the time of transport down between these destinations. These locations include London, Leeds, Newcastle and other stations in the North of England.
Liverpool is already home to Lime Street Station which is the main station connecting Liverpool to various destinations up and down the UK. However, it has been said that Lime Street will not be able to cope with the extra traffic that would arise from the new connections from the HS2 to London and Northern Powerhouse rail line across the north. As well as not being able to accommodate the HS2 and NPR trains which would need to be linked up to the local transport that is already set up.
It is likely that a new “architecturally stunning” station which will be built as a modern equivalent of Lime Street. There are no fixed ideas to where the location of this new station could be but there are suggestions that it will likely be in the Lime Street area so that existing transport links can be connected.
However, there are talks that the commission will have to look further afield and potentially look at sites near Lime Street, such as areas from St Johns Shopping Centre to near Universities as well as the former Exchange Station. The latter is the not the preferred site of talk but is a strong entrant for the station as fewer destructions would be needed as most of the site is vacant. The high-speed line would have to take a different route into the city and would have to curve around certain roads if it was built in the Exchange station but would not impose on the cityscape.
In order to help it add up financially, the new station will have to include commercial buildings, recreation and leisure facilities, office accommodation as well as a shopping centre in what can already be described as a crowded part of the city.
Already this is looking to be a complex project with the planning for the new Liverpool train station and the high-speed line taking a large amount of money and time. The Government hasn’t even given the green light to the plans yet but that has not stopped Metro Mayor Steve Rotherham and his team ploughing away with planning the new station. He stated that the proposals will “bring hugely significant social and economic benefits” even though it will be a challenging project.
In order to get the plans moving the Metro Mayor will issue a statement about a proposal to start a station commission at the International MIPIM property festival in France. This commission will be managed by Denise Barrett-Baxendale, Everton Football Clubs Director and CEO, who is leading the Bramley-Moore Dock Stadium Project.
With the high-speed lines reducing journey times, journeys to Manchester would be cut to 23 minutes from 49 minutes and London journeys to 1hr 30 from 2hrs 30 via the HS2. This would mean that it would make space for freight services on current lines.
Its hoped that if the plans go ahead that the income of the city’s economy would rise by £15bn and create thousands of jobs. Transport for the North gave its official backing in January 2019, but the proposal would still need a huge Government endowment to make it possible.
Lauren Williams, Pali Ltd