Bridge upgrades to affect Northern line trains in Liverpool: Woolton Road Bridge

Tuesday 5 Sep 2017

Bridge upgrades to affect Northern line trains in Liverpool

London North Western

Passengers travelling between Hunts Cross and Liverpool Central are being asked to check before they travel this month as two railway bridge upgrades will affect services over two weekends.

Island Road bridge will be replaced and Woolton Road bridge will be refurbished so they remain safe and reliable and require minimal maintenance in future.

The upgrades mean the railway will be closed between Hunts Cross and Liverpool Central from 0005 on Saturday 16 September to 0605 on Monday 18 September; and 0005 on Saturday 23 September until 0605 on Monday 25 September. Buses will replace trains during this time.

The work is part of the Great North Rail Project which is seeing several billion pounds invested in the railway to provide passengers with better, more reliable services cross the north of England.  

Sarah Padmore, scheme project manager for Network Rail, said: “Island Road Bridge had its last major repair over 50 years ago and needs to be fully replaced to ensure it remains safe for decades to come.

“Along with the refurbishment of Woolton Road Bridge, it forms part of our national Railway Upgrade Plan which is delivering a more reliable railway across Britain.

"I appreciate this is disruptive so I’d like to thank local residents and passengers for their patience while we carry out this essential work.”

Andy Heath, operations director from Merseyrail, said: “We are working closely with our partners Network Rail to ensure the smooth running of the Railway Upgrade Plan which will see significant work across the region in coming weeks. 

“We hope that our passengers travelling on the Southport – Hunts Cross line will bear with us during this essential refurbishment which forms part of the wider improvements to the railway network.”

To minimise disruption to local residents and businesses, both bridges will be worked on the same time and are due to be completed in November 2017.

The carriageway and footpath running over Island Road Bridge at the junction of Harrington Road will remain closed until November 2017, as agreed with Liverpool City Council, with a clearly signed diversion route in place. Liverpool City Council is contributing to the renewal of Island Road Bridge to meet the highway requirements.

A rail replacement bus service will be operating between Liverpool Central and Hunts Cross on these two weekends. For further information please visit the Merseyrail website or

Contact information

Passengers / community members
Network Rail national helpline
03457 11 41 41

Latest travel advice
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Network Rail press office -London North Western route
0330 854 0100

About Network Rail

Network Rail owns, manages and develops Britain's railway - the 20,000 miles of track, 40,000 bridges and viaducts and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations (the largest of which we also run). In partnership with train operators we help people take more than 1.65bn journeys by rail every year and move hundreds of millions of tonnes of freight, saving almost 8m lorry journeys. We employ 36,000 people across Britain and work round-the-clock, each and every day, to provide a safe, reliable railway.

About the Railway Upgrade Plan

The Railway Upgrade Plan is Network Rail's investment plan for Britain's railways. It makes up two-thirds of Network Rail's £40bn spending priorities for the five years to 2019 and represents the biggest sustained programme of rail modernisation since the Victoria era. It is designed to provide more capacity, relieve crowding and respond to the tremendous growth Britain's railways continue to experience; passenger numbers have doubled in the past 20 years and are set to double again over the next 25 years - so we need to continue to invest in building a bigger, better railway. For passengers, that means:

  • longer, faster more frequent trains;
  • better, more reliable infrastructure; and
  • better facilities for passengers, especially at stations.

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