Frustration continues as travel services remain limited for Neston

Residents of NESTON said they continued to feel “forgotten” as transport services to and from the town remained limited for many years.

The problem of the lack of Merseyrail trains at Neston is historic.

Neston station is on the 27 mile long Borderlands line between Bidston and Wrexham, currently operated by Transport for Wales and served by one train per hour.

Train services from the city to Liverpoool run once an hour, without a direct line and with a change at Bidston.

On top of that, bus services from Neston to Liverpool run with Arriva and only run twice an hour.

Dance teacher Emily Walmsley, 46, told The Globe: “It’s dreadful how you can’t get to Liverpool by train and places in between. Neston needs to be updated. So many kids need to be able to get to these places for college.

“A bus goes to Liverpool, but it takes forever, if he decides to come, that is.”

Justine Quick, 35, contract manager, added: “You need at least one direct connection from Neston to Hooton station. My daughter works 9am to 5pm in Liverpool, and it takes two hours each way on buses and trains, which takes 12 hours a day for an apprenticeship.

Many people are also concerned that there is no direct route to Arrowe Park Hospital, nor regular buses to Bromborough or Heswall, with many having to travel to Hooton to use the Merseyrail service.

In 2018, Justin Madders, MP for Ellesmere Port and Neston, fought with the UK and Welsh governments to ensure Neston gets half-hourly services on the Wrexham-Bidston rail line after years of campaigning .

A spokesman for the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority said: “Bringing Merseyrail services to new areas remains a long-term ambition of Mayor Steve Rotheram as part of his ‘Merseyrail for All’ commitment.

“Currently, Neston is served by Transport for Wales along the Borderlands line from Bidston to Wrexham. As the line is not electrified, the current fleet of Merseyrail trains are unable to run along the route.

“Part of the fleet of new trains for the Liverpool City area will include battery technology, allowing us to expand beyond the current limits of the Merseyrail network.

“One of the routes that could benefit is the Borderlands line. For this, a feasibility study will need to be carried out. It is also likely that there will be major infrastructure works along the route and in stations, including the ability to recharge batteries at certain stations.

Charl Higginson added: ‘To get anywhere you have to use multiple buses or trains as well as walking.

“If you don’t drive, you have to find a job that starts after 8 a.m. at least to have any hope of arriving on time, or it has to be local, which is extremely limited. In fact, I’m looking for to move out if things don’t improve in a year or two.

To get from Neston to Birkenhead (Hamilton Square), there is still only one train per hour, with a change at Bidston station.

Sash Uddin, Arriva’s Commercial Manager for Merseyside, said: “We are constantly reviewing all of our routes to ensure that we are providing customers with the best possible service, whilst ensuring that we are able to continue to operate a long-term stable bus network. term. As part of our ongoing review process, we have reviewed the number of riders on 487 and the 30-minute frequency is in line with demand that we know will ensure the long-term sustainability of the service.

“We continue to work with Merseytravel and other stakeholders to ensure that the commercial bus network and the supported bus network respond effectively to new travel patterns and demand. If passenger numbers increase on our network, we will closely monitor the services with a view to improving the frequencies, if necessary.

Emma Knight, spokesperson for Stagecoach, said: “As Neston is already covered by Arriva, we would not seek to perform services there – there would be no demand as it is already covered by another operator.”

As well as needing more access to get to towns in the Wirral and up to Liverpool, residents would like to be able to get to and from Chester.

Andy Ross, 34, buyer, said: “Our transport options are quite poor on this side of the Wirral. If you want to come back from Chester on a Saturday night, the last bus is at 6.23pm, the train takes 1.18 hours and you can drive yourself, but that means you can’t drink.

Caz Atko, 47, an NHS occupational therapist, added: ‘It feels like we’ve been well and truly forgotten when it comes to public transport. I would use my car a lot less if I could, but I don’t have the ability to drive. This is not new news and it has been talked about for decades, but nothing moves or changes.

Growth Track 360 was launched to secure £1 billion in rail improvements which would transform the regional economy of North Wales and Cheshire and create 70,000 new jobs over 20 years.

It is led by a cross-border alliance of business, political and public sector leaders.

If successful, this would lead to a massive boost to the economies of North Wales, Cheshire and the Wirral, linking them to the planned HS2 line between London and the North of England.