A six-month delay has been placed on the rail line upgrade between Chester and Liverpool. The delay has been blamed on a lack of trains available for the project and so, the £18.75m project will be pushed back to May 2019.
As a result of the delays, Labour MP for Weaver Vale, Mike Amesbury has called for Chris Grayling, Transport Secretary to step in and deal with claims that the Department for Transport has failed to supply rolling stock for the project. This follows the combined authority delivering their side of the deal but the DfT failing on their side of the bargain.
The DfT has failed miserably in a number of areas such as constant delays as well as the problem of the timetabling issue caused by Northern Rail. These delays and problems are putting livelihoods at risk and so, Mike Amesbury has met with transport bossed and has written to Chris Grayling in an attempt to force him to find a solution to the problem.
Once the upgrade to the line has been completed, it will deliver services that connect Liverpool to Chester via Runcorn in an attempt to enhance connections between North Wales and Liverpool John Lennon Airport.
A Network Rail spokesperson states that the Halton Curve upgrade, which forms part of the Great North Rail Project was completed in May of this year on schedule. This also included significant upgrades to both the track and signalling which enabled the line to deliver a new hourly service in both directions from Liverpool and Chester. This is something that was not possible previously.
Transport for Wales awarded the Wales and Borders Franchise to KeolisAmey in May have confirmed that the delay has been caused by a delay in rolling stock. However, they have made announced that the delay will enable them to install a new station as part of the project.