THE significant investment in the £18.95m Newton-le-Willows station is part of a wider aim to ensure better connectivity brings jobs and growth to the St Helens borough, an official unveiling ceremony was told.

The revamped station forms part of the birthplace of modern railway, the Liverpool and Manchester Railway line, which opened in 1830.

At an official ceremony on Friday, February the Liverpool City Region Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram unveiled a commemorative plaque alongside St Helens North MP Conor McGinn and other representatives from the key partners involved in developing the scheme.

Mr McGinn, MP for St Helens North, said: “Newton-le-Willows is at the heart of the North West and the gateway between the Liverpool City Region and Greater Manchester.

"The redeveloped rail station, the new routes that have been introduced and plans for increased capacity confirm the town’s status as a key transport hub serving a wide area and large population.

“As well as providing much-improved facilities for existing passengers, the significant investment in the station is part of a wider aim to ensure better connectivity brings jobs and growth to St Helens borough."

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UNVEILING: Conor McGinn and Steve Rotheram pull the curtain back on the plaque

Mr Rotheram has restated the Combined Authority’s commitment to improving the city region’s transport infrastructure as he officially opened new and improved facilities at the Newton-le-Willows station interchange today.

Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, said: “These facilities will make a huge difference to local people’s travelling experience every day and I’m proud to officially open them to the public.”

The Newton-le-Willows Interchange scheme, a £18.95m investment funded by the Local Growth Fund and Merseytravel, opened to the public in January 2019.

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ABOVE: The exterior of the station and the new subway with the Huskisson Memorial.

The memorial tablet marks the accidental death of William Huskisson MP at Parkside on the opening day of the Liverpool & Manchester Railway, September 15 1830

£14.4m of the investment comes from the Local Growth Fund (LGF). LGF funding is awarded to the Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), and invested through the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority’s Strategic Investment Fund.

The rail elements of the scheme were delivered by Network Rail with contractor Galliford Try on behalf of Merseytravel. The bus interchange and car park elements were delivered by North Midland Construction.

The scheme has seen a new main station entrance and ticket office established on the south side of the tracks on Alfred Street and other improvements, including:

• Step free access to and between the platforms via new subway and lifts

• Bus interchange adjacent to the new ticket office

• New 400-space car park (expanding from the existing 100 spaces)

• Dedicated drop-off and pick-up area

• Improved passenger waiting facilities

• New toilet facilities

• Additional cycle parking

St Helens Council Leader Derek Long, meanwhile, said it was wonderful to see the end result of an "impressive piece of engineering which is such a stunning new asset for our borough".

“Newton-le-Willows railway station is a fine example of the success that can be achieved through partnership working, and this new-look station will allow local residents and commuters alike to enjoy a modern facility with stronger connectivity, as we look to further capitalise on our strategic rail and road network to attract growth and investment.”

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