Line News & Events

  • NCRUG News in Brief

    10th June 2014

    NCRUG are reporting news at Helsby, Frodsham and Runcorn East Stations .....

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  • NCRUG News in Brief

    29th March 2014

    NCRUG are reporting news at Helsby, Frodsham and Runcorn East Stations .....

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  • Runcorn East Funding Success

    28th March 2014

    Funding of £4800 has been secured for projects which will enhance the environment and improve the landscape .....

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  • Halton Curve News!

    1st October 2014

    NCRUG are delighted that after years of campaigning the Halton Curve has been given a green light to re open in both directions.

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Halton Curve Campaign

The reinstatement of Halton Curve has taken another significant step forward.

Earlier this year, Merseytravel commissioned a refresh of a demand study originally undertaken in 2009, which indicated that there was a reasonable business case to reopen the line to two way passenger operation. The update is expected to be complete in the first quarter of 2014, and is being funded jointly by Merseytravel and the Welsh Government.

The study will be based on 2011 census data and will consider future developments which are likely to take place alongside the line. It will specifically focus on the information required to fulfil the needs of the devolved major scheme process and will identify the areas which will benefit from the project being delivered - including those areas outside of the City Region.

Alongside the demand work, Merseytravel have initiated a refreshed technical study, known as a “GRIP 3” study, to update earlier work from 2007.

This is an essential stage in helping to build the case for the reinstatement of the line. This work will be funded not only by Merseytravel, but also Halton, Cheshire West and Chester, and Cheshire East Councils, and also the Welsh Assembly Government. The modified GRIP 3 work is expected to take approximately 6 to 12 months to deliver. This is a complex piece of work which will take some time to design up as well as obtaining the necessary approvals to take forward within Network Rail.

It has also been suggested that one of the reasons for difficulty in developing wider support for this project is the name of the project.

The use of the project title “Halton Curve” suggests that the project benefits fall to Halton and Halton alone. Clearly this is not the case and it has been suggested that the project should be referred to as the Mersey Dee Link to demonstrate that the benefits from the project fall to a much wider area. But this will need further debate with other stakeholders to ensure a consensus is reached on the preferred name.

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