Kirkby line passengers to receive goodwill gesture
Passengers who travelled on the Kirkby line in 2023 could be entitled to receive their money back as a gesture of goodwill announced by Liverpool City Region Mayor Steve Rotheram.
Now that services on the Kirkby line have progressed to three trains per hour, the Mayor wanted to recognise the patience and understanding shown by passengers during the rollout of the region’s new £500m publicly owned trains.
Passengers who bought a weekly, monthly, term-time or annual ticket, in 2023 at Fazakerley, Kirkby or Headbolt Lane stations will receive a letter with information about how to claim their money back in full.
Further announcements are planned to recognise non-Railpass holders whose journeys have been affected and more details will be provided as soon as possible.
Steve Rotheram, Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, said:
“It’s been a transformational 12 months for our local rail network. From launching the country’s first publicly owned trains in a generation to opening the new £80m Headbolt Lane station – we are creating a brighter, better connected future for our region’s railways.
“However, being a pioneer hasn’t come without its challenges. We anticipated that we would encounter some teething issues and disruption during the delivery of our new station and trains, but I’ll be the first to say that services on the Kirkby line have fallen short of the standards that our passengers deserve.
“While I cannot undo the disruption that passengers have already faced, I hope this gesture demonstrates our appreciation for their patience and understanding. I want to reassure passengers that we are working around the clock to overcome these challenges and we are already seeing sustainable improvements.
“It is my belief that these issues will soon be behind us and passengers will be able to enjoy decades of reliable service from one of the most sophisticated and accessible fleets in the country.”
In January 2023, Kirkby became the first line on the local rail network to roll out the region’s new £500m publicly owned trains and, in October, the Mayor opened the town’s new £80m Headbolt Lane station, which is served by the country’s first battery powered trains.
As with the introduction of any new major infrastructure, the new fleet has experienced teething issues and disruption.
In November the Mayor met with train manufacturer Stadler and made clear, in no uncertain terms, his dissatisfaction with the disruption to services and demanded sustainable improvements, while urging train operator Merseyrail to do everything possible to minimise disruption.
Merseyrail hope to restore a full 15-minute timetable to the line as soon as possible.
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