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Traders braced for Central Station closure

London buses and £200k of music, sports and screening in bid to keep things moving

Published on April 20th 2012.

Traders braced for Central Station closure

BARS, restaurants and shops around Liverpool Central Station are bracing themselves for challenging times when what is Britain's busiest underground station outside London closes on Monday (April 23) for up to six months. 

A much needed £20m refurbishment to shabby Central promises bigger, safer platforms, better access for disabled passengers, brighter waiting areas and improved toilet facilities. 

But if you enjoy a night out in town and live in north Liverpool or Sefton, especially, you will have to keep your eye on the clock to get down to Moorfields, a good 15-minute walk away, when last orders is called.

The Wirral Line platform will reopen in August but the Northern Line platform, which connects the city centre with John Lennon Airport to the south, and Southport to the north, will not open until October. Train services will operate as normal - but they will pass through the station without stopping. 

An estimated 7m passengers will be affected. 


In an attempt to ease the problem, a fleet of red London double-decker buses have been drafted in, which will loop around all the city centre stations on a five minute frequency throughout the day, and every 10 minutes in the evening. There will also be a shuttle bus from Brunswick station on the dock road south of the city centre to Berry Street. These shuttles are free. 

Queue streamlining systems will operate at Moorfields during busy times of the day. 

The improvements will come at a cost to footfall and pedestrian flows around Bold Street, Renshaw Street, Berry Street, Hanover Street and neighbouring routes. To address this, the Liverpool City Centre Business Improvement District has organised a £200,000 events programme which it hopes will keep the passengers and the cash flowing in. 

Ged Gibbons, BID chief executive, said: "The closure of Central Station is a huge challenge and one which we have risen to tackle head on by engaging as many partners as possible over the past year to deliver our best ever summer events programme to help stimulate trade for our businesses." 

Liverpool-Central-Station-ShabbyFrankly depressing: Liverpool
Central Station
BID's Summer of Love schedule, supported by a £200,000 advertising and marketing campaign, includes a bandstand in Williamson Square, a grandstand in Calyton Square for people to watch the Olympics on the big screen. There will be a 'light night' art tour on Bold Street, a ping-pong-table festival in July and August, art events in Queen Square. Retailers have been encouraged to offer discounts and special offers. 

Alan Stilwell, Merseytravel director of integrated transport, said: "We have worked and campaigned long and hard to bring this investment to the region, and we thank passengers for their patience and understanding as we work with our partners to deliver the scheme with as little disruption as possible." 

Merseytravel Director of Integrated Transport, Alan Stilwell, says; “The investment will provide a central showcase for the city centre as passengers, continue to increase. 

We have worked and campaigned long and hard to bring this investment to the region, and we thank passengers for their patience and understanding as we work with our partners to deliver the scheme with as little disruption as possible.” 

The upgrade of the station includes the full refurbishment of the concourse area with natural light flowing through a glazed roof and “glass walls”. 

£40m rail timetable

The Central Station closure is part of a £40m refurbishment programme of Liverpool city centre stations and Hamilton Square.

All platforms at Central will close to passengers on Monday April 23, 2012. 

Wirral Line platform reopens August 25, 2012 

(Click here to add text)
Northern Line platform reopens October 22, 2012. 

Work on James Street platform one starts on August 2, 2012, re-opening on January 6, 2013.

Platform three at James Street will close once work on platform one is complete in January, 2013, and will not re-open until April 21, 2013.

Lime Street underground station will then close on April 21, 2013 and re-open on August 21.

No timescale has yet been given for when Moorfields and Hamilton Square will be refurbished.

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35 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

K. C. JonesApril 23rd 2012.

I do hope that the "improvements" will include getting rid of that silly sweetshop where I stood in the stationary queue for ten minutes the other week before I heard the announcement that the loop line was closed anyway due to a signalling failure!

A proper booking office please with a separate counter for enquiries from the terminally gormless and a separate sweetshop for the kiddies.

Sir Nigel GresleyApril 23rd 2012.

Yes, the infuriating sweetshop was one of the last "improvements" to be imposed upon us.

Joseph DuddingtonApril 23rd 2012.

If it is already established as the busiest underground station in the country outside London, what crackpot at Merseyrail had the bright idea that the same number of ticket clerks could also run a sweetshop? It's a disgrace.

Bogie MannApril 23rd 2012.

If the ticket queue moved faster they wouldn't new, brighter waiting areas!

Pearl NecklaceApril 23rd 2012.

Well, that's my late pint at The Grapes out of the window. I suppose I shall have to drink in Rigby's in future

Coronation ScotApril 23rd 2012.

If Merseyrail has £40 million quid burning a hole in its pocket, it could do far more popular things with it than wasting it on cosmetic changes to stations and causing travel chaos for months, such as
(a) lowering the fares,
(b) have the trains running a bit later at night and
(c) visibly coming down harder on the antisocial scum who put their feet on the seats.

New Brighton BelleApril 24th 2012.

All these stations really need is bigger lifts so that passengers with adult-sized bicycles can safety travel between booking hall and platform without strenuous gymnastics or risking a serious fall on the escalators.

New Brighton BelleApril 24th 2012.

And extra guards to kick the selfish fat people off the folding seats in the bicycle and wheelchair bays of carriages when there are normal seats available.

4 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousApril 25th 2012.

If you have a bike - ride it

Angry of AllertonApril 25th 2012.

You are exactly the sort of antisocial sum, anonymous, that makes me wish they weren't making the platforms safer

New Brighton BelleJuly 5th 2012.

I was on a train yesterday and the wheelchair bay was clogged with luggage. Needless to say the luggage bays between the seats and the overhead luggage racks were empty!
There should be more patrols by enforcement officers, preferably carrying hammers.

New Brighton BelleAugust 5th 2014.

How am I supposed to ride a bike across the river, Anonymous? We aren't allowed to use the tunnel

Pearl NecklaceApril 24th 2012.

I also strongly object to their policy of allowing ticket-less yobs on board, off their heads on skunkweed, who then proceed to sing Afternoon Delight by the Starland Vocal Band. Up until last week this was my favourite song

2 Responses: Reply To This...
Paul WardApril 27th 2012.

Surely you need a brainful of skunk to abide that song!

Slack AliceMay 1st 2012.

It's about the unemploted freed from the tyranny of work by Government cuts spending their afternoons knobbing - what Viz called the 'doleites' blackout'

Absinthe & TurksApril 24th 2012.

You are a degenerate.

Titfield ThunderboltApril 24th 2012.

And the REALLY ought to do something about all those antisocial bellends who get on a train then rather than sit down or stand in the aisle they stand around blocking the doors and refusing to move when proper passengers are struggling to get on and off.

AnonymousApril 25th 2012.

And the throbbers who stop for a ciggy, natter and general orientation on the pavement just where the passengers bail out of the station

Angry of AllertonApril 25th 2012.

There really ought to be something done about people who do not understand the stand-to-the-right rule on escalators.

These are people who think that escalators are for having a rest on after the physical stress of sitting on a train for half an hour and then having to get up.

The moving escalator is to assist swift passage out of the station and fat morons clogging them up is downright unacceptable.

Take these people to London for the day and they would be eaten alive for their inconsiderate stupidity and ignorance.

1 Response: Reply To This...
Dazed abd ConfusedMay 1st 2012.

The escalator is for passengers to grip as they sway and breathe deeply to their senses back after being stifled into semiconsciousness confined in an overheated and poorly ventilated carriage for half an hour.
The Chester trains are particularly steamy and smelly.

Angrier of AigburthApril 26th 2012.

Nonsense! This ‘stand to the right’ diktat is alien and those signs in the underground stations were only introduced a few years ago, seemingly just because that’s what the backward cocker-nees in that London do.

For your information, Allerton incomer, Merseyside folk are normal, the majority are right-handed so instinctively hold their bags in their right hand and steady themselves with their left hand standing on the left.
This system worked in Liverpool for generations then these silly signs were imposed without warning only in the last few years.

Whoever was responsible is probably the same one responsible for the signs referring to the stations as “train stations” in the manner of an inbred American yokel.

Like that silly Liverpool South "Parkway", whatever one of them is.

2 Responses: Reply To This...
Paul WardApril 27th 2012.

Parkway is where safety glass goes to die in peace.

Peter GlazeApril 30th 2012.

Pieces, surely?

Longsuffering CommuterMay 1st 2012.

I was on a Merseyrail West Kirby train this afternoon and even though *all* the windows were open (well, as far as they'd go with those little aluminium wedges screwed in to stop them opening fully) it was like a sauna, the carriage was almost full and the underseat heating was full on!

As also mentioned in a post above there was an embarrassed-looking man blocking the aisle with his bike because he hadn't the nerve to tell the fat old bag who was selfishly sitting in one of the fold-down seats in the cycle bay to get out and sit one of the proper seats.

Angry of West KirbyMay 1st 2012.

So I missed my train to West Kirby on Friday night and had to get a taxi for £25. I will not be going out in the city centre of Liverpool for the next few months then. How are Merseytravel going to compensate all the pubs, bars, theatres and restaurants that will lose business as a result of this. Some later trains would be a start.

Oxton OswaldMay 1st 2012.

Why not start drinking in beautiful Birkenhead?

The beer is about 80p per pint cheaper than normal pub prices in Liverpool for a start, the trains are more convenient and if you decide on a taxi, that's a heck of a lot cheaper too!

Treat Charing Cross as you would Concert Square, and Oxton as you would Lark Lane, avoid them both and you're laughing!

Sue, Grabbit and RunneMay 1st 2012.

I hope they do something about that stupid slippery ramp in the entrance off Ranelagh Street. I slipped over on it once and shattered my glasses-case in my pocket. Luckily my new expensive glasses were protected from damage by the case but I had a massive bruise on my hip.

Perhaps I ought to have sued Merseyrail with one of those no-win, no fee shysters? At least that would have made them consider putting in a safer floor.

2 Responses: Reply To This...
Skid SoloMay 1st 2012.

Hear hear!

Does Merseyrail expect respectable commuters and travellers to wear their P.E. pumps to safely negotiate their badly-chosen slippery flooring set at dangerous inclines? Flat floors or proper steps only with this 'slippery when wet' deathtrap please!

Sue, Grabbit & RunneMay 31st 2012.

Well I don't want to count my chickens but I walked through the station today and part of that slippery ramp has been dug up. Perhaps we shall get some proper steps at long last!

Of course there still ought to be a ramp for wheelchairs and buggies (but which are usually used by skateboarding louts and antisocial pavement cyclists) but the vast majority of station users would be happier with steps!

AnonymousMay 2nd 2012.

It's just taken me an hour and a half to travel from Blundellsands and Crosby to Berry Street. Normal journey time 30 mins. This was due to a broken down shuttle bus at Brunswick Station. Frankly this is a disgrace. I was going to see a film at FACT but now I have discovered that the last shuttle back leaves at 7 pm. We don't all have cars you know!

Skid SoloMay 2nd 2012.

Shuttle bus? It's be much quicker and more direct to walk to Moorfields Station from Bold Street than rely on any motor vehicle trying to get anywhere by way of the chaotic city centre road system (or what's left of it).

Assuming that is that you can walk and you haven't been injured by slipping on the ramp into Central Station.

Prof ChucklebuttyMay 2nd 2012.

Oh stop complaining. Why don't you just book into a hotel like I do? The Adelphi even has colour telly now!
We are in this together!

Gideon OsborneMay 3rd 2012.

You cannot expect ME to stay at The Adelphi! It simply isn't expensive enough! I take a sedan chair carried by eight appreciative millionaires all the way home to Knutsford.

Prof ChucklebuttyMay 3rd 2012.

Come here in your sedan chair and we'll get John Gregson to give it a good shake. That'll make, Gideon Sway. (one for the kids that)

Chief Detective Inspector LockhartMay 4th 2012.

Terrible! After that pun you'll find No Hiding Place...

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