THE opening of an expanded car park at St Helens Junction train station will now take place in a "phased fashion" after Merseytravel were forced to back track on a statement that suggested it would be complete by Monday, May 14.

Last week Merseytravel issued a statement to the Star explaining that the park and ride facility would open on Monday, increasing the station spaces from 66 to 240.

However, commuters were disappointed to find that the station's car park, which has been undergoing work since November 2017, was not completely open.

Sutton Village residents who have campaigned for the expansion also expressed anger as it meant commuters parking continued to spill on to the nearby roads.

Today, Tuesday, May 15, a Merseytravel spokesman said: "Due to unforeseen construction circumstances, the opening of the new car park at St Helens Junction is to now take place in a phased fashion.

"Although this is disappointing, we were able to open a section of the new car park yesterday to allow the public to use it as soon as possible and relieve some of the pressure caused by the parking on the nearby local roads.

"We apologise for any inconvenience this may have caused to rail users."

The opening follows a community led campaign about overcrowding, which was leading to vast amounts of cars parking on streets nearby.

Merseytravel say other improvements include an increased number of blue badge spaces, better walking routes within the site and upgraded lighting and CCTV coverage.

The £792,000 scheme, is financed through the Government Sustainable Transport Enhancement Package (STEP) and Merseytravel funding.

The car park, which is free for rail users, will be operated and maintained by the station operator Northern.