THE delayed completion of works to transform Newton-le-Willows rail station is now expected to be in October.

Merseytravel and Network rail announced that the delay-hit scheme's anticipated finish has again been put back to scupper the planned summer opening.

The setback has been attributed to "difficulties" with the "complex and novel construction activities".

The £17.95m project involves renovations to the station's ticket office, entrance, toilets, subway and lifts, was initially expected by spring but has been hit by postponements.

The renovation has been funded by the Local Growth Fund and Merseytravel and forms part of the wider £340m investment by the Liverpool City Region in rail improvements.

A statement on behalf of Merseytravel and Network Rail said: “Due to difficulties encountered in completing the complex and novel construction activities that are being carried out, the Newton-le-Willows scheme completion date has been delayed beyond the planned summer opening.

“It is now aimed to open the new rail facilities (new ticket office, subway and lifts providing step free access between platforms) in October.

"Works to the new bus interchange and 400-plus space car park will continue with completion shortly thereafter."

The statement added: “We apologise for the delay in the completion of these much-needed, improved facilities. Our priority has been keep the station and line between Liverpool and Manchester open for the duration of the project. Each element of the project has also been delivered in parallel, while keeping passengers moving.

“We would like to thank passengers for their continued patience and understanding during the works.”