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St Helens fast track to London
ST HELENS could be on track for a direct train link to London.
Regional transport bosses have revealed they are keen to push for a rail route between the town and the capital by 2015.
Merseytravel hope that the completion of the electrification of the St Helens line would make the high-speed journey possible.
Such a move may lead to a growth in business opportunities for the town and put it on an equal footing with neighbouring Warrington, Wigan, Liverpool and Halton, which all have direct trains to London.
Councillor Liam Robinson, chair of Merseytravel, said: “We want to ensure the West Coast main line is easily accessible to as many people as possible in our region.
“The electrification of the St Helens line presents us with an ideal opportunity to expand the national network and a direct link to London would bring new business opportunities to the town and surrounding areas.
“Our priority would be to explore the possibilities with the operator to see what sort of service could be provided, the type of rolling stock that could be used and a number of other issues before we start talking about journey time.
Tracy Mawson, director of Business Services at St Helens Chamber, said that with local firms doing work with people from all over the country anything that improves transport links “can only be good for local businesses”.
News of Merseytravel’s ambitions emerged as it was confirmed yesterday (Wednesday) that Virgin Rail had lost the West Coast Main line franchise to First Group.