ST HELENS North MP Conor McGinn has called for a train service which has stopped calling at Earlestown due to coronavirus safety measures to be reinstated.

The Transport for Wales (TfW) service, which calls at Earlestown, before travelling through to Warrington Bank Quay, Chester and Manchester, has had the Earlestown stop removed from its routes since July.

TfW says this is due to the "curvature of the platform" at Earlestown, which means it is "not possible to operate two train doors at this station".

The St Helens North MP Conor McGinn has held a meeting with TfW’s North Wales development director Lee Robinson on to discuss the matter and is calling for a solution to this "key service" for rail users at Earlestown.

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The St Helens North MP said: "I've had an urgent meeting with Transport for Wales because the services that they run through here to Warrington, Chester and Manchester for key workers and for commuters abruptly stopped a fortnight ago and I only found out about this myself because it's a connection that I use.

"They've told me that a risk assessment meant it wasn't safe to keep running the trains through here and maintain social distancing.

"I've asked them to work with operators, with the rail unions and with myself and Merseytravel to find a solution to this.

"This is a key service. We need it reinstated and I'm hopeful that the pressure we're putting on TfW means that can happen again very soon."

St Helens Star:

Earlestown railway station

On the removal of the service, a Transport for Wales (TfW) spokesperson said: “The safety of our customers and colleagues is our top priority. The difficult decision to temporarily remove calls at Earlestown station from the timetable was following risk assessments carried out at all stations our services call at. These assessments identified that due to the curvature of the platform, it’s not possible to operate two train doors at this station.

“This temporary safety measure has been implemented in order to maintain a safe distance between conductors and customers as we continue to deal with the challenges presented by COVID-19. We’re actively looking for a working solution, and will continue to review and explore other mitigations that could be introduced so that we can reintroduce calls at Earlestown."

They added: “We’d like to thank all our customers for their patience and understanding. Our message remains that people should only use public transport for essential travel and where there are no other alternative transport options. Capacity on our services has been significantly reduced due to social distancing measures and we want to ensure that those customers who need to use our services for essential journeys are able to do so safely.”

TfW said they are continuing to liaise with Mr McGinn following the meeting.