Commuters who use park and ride facilities at Lea Green Railway Station in St Helens are being asked to look at how they use the station ahead of work to build a new decked car park and ticket booking office.
With work underway on an extension to surface car parking facilities, the existing oversubscribed car park will be closed from 21 August 2022 to accommodate the construction of a modern decked car park which will increase park and ride capacity to around 450 vehicles.
As car parking at the station will be significantly reduced for the duration of works, rail customers who normally drive to Lea Green station are being advised to use nearby St Helens Junction station – on the same line – where possible, until the new car park opens in Spring 2023. Parking spaces will continue to be available for disabled, with drop off and pick up facilities remaining in place.
Passengers wanting to access Trans Pennine Express services via St Helens Junction should visit the TPE website for more information and availability of services.
The improvements form part of the £15m St Helens Southern Gateway project, funded by the Combined Authority’s Transforming Cities Fund, to encourage use of public and active transport.
A partnership between St Helens Borough Council, Liverpool City Region Combined Authority and Northern Rail – St Helens Southern Gateway focusses on making sustainable travel an easier choice for commuters by linking up Lea Green station with safe, dedicated pedestrian and cycling routes and better park and ride facilities, connecting nearby residential, leisure and employment areas.
Other significant upgrades include a new station building at Lea Green with waiting room, toilets and other customer facilities, along with a signalised junction, featuring specially allocated lanes to protect cyclists from motor traffic, replacing the roundabout by the Bull and Dog pub next to the station. Highways developments are expected to start in the Summer.
In conjunction with this, work is ongoing to install a number of new walking and cycling routes, connecting Lea Green to nearby residential, leisure and employment areas.
Councillor Andy Bowden, St Helens Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment and Transport, said:
“With services calling at a number of key cities, Lea Green is without question one of St Helens’ busiest railway stations, highlighted by how oversubscribed the carpark currently is, so it deserves first-class facilities to match which will improve customer experience tenfold.
“The Liverpool City Region has big plans for public transport and active travel across Merseyside which St Helens will play a key part in – with this investment improving facilities in and around Lea Green for rail users, pedestrians, and cyclists alike.”
Steve Rotheram, Mayor of the Liverpool City Region said: “Devolution offers us the opportunity to do things differently. When I was elected, I made it a priority to improve our local transport network to make it easier, quicker and more affordable for local people.
“We’re investing nearly £15m in and around Lea Green station to improve the facilities and make it a much better place for travellers and cyclists alike – including twice as much room for park and ride.
“I’m also developing wider plans for a London-style transport network, with tap-in contactless payments, fare caps and better buses and trains. It will make getting around the region cheaper, quicker and much more reliable – putting the public back at the heart of public transport.”
Chris Jackson, regional director at Northern said: “This work will improve Lea Green Station and services and we are delighted to be working with our partners on this project.
“We are sorry for any disruption during the improvements and our customers can be assured we will do everything possible to minimise the impact of the work and keep people on the move.”
The car park will reopen in spring 2023 with the whole scheme expected to be completed by early summer 2023.
For more information on the St Helens Southern Gateway project, visit: www.sthelens.gov.uk/leagreen