Merseyrail train arriving at West Kirby and going into Liverpool Lime Street (c) Matthew Oliver Welch
Merseyrail train arriving at West Kirby and going into Liverpool Lime Street (c) Matthew Oliver Welch

Few issues have divided the people of Merseyside like public transport.

Recent problems with Merseyrail’s Northern line have caused outrage among commuters, and they’ve been voicing their displeasure online.

On X, formerly Twitter, one person said: “Shocking service again. I’m going to be late AGAIN for work through no fault of my own.

“I even leave 30 mins early because of the awful service you provide at extremely overpriced tickets.”

Another disgruntled commuter said: “We wouldn’t mind the fare increases if the trains actually worked!”

MerseyNewsLive visited Liverpool Lime Street Station to ask the public what they thought of Merseyrail services, and we got some mixed responses.

As a regular passenger on the Ellesmere Port line, Sarah Marechera, 64, said: “You wait, and four trains pass going to Chester, with no trains going to Ellesmere Port.

“I’m rushing to work, it’s affecting me, I’m losing income. What do I do?

“On weekends the offices are closed, the shelter is closed, it’s raining, and you have to stand in the rain.”

Stephen Doyle (c) Abigail Ford

However, Stephen Doyle, 61, had a different view. He said “It’s a godsend for people of my age to get out of the house.

“I go out to West Kirby, to Southport … I pick a different destination every day and go do a bit of shopping, have a cup of coffee.

“For the older generation, the whole transport network on a pensioner pass is fantastic.”

Debbie Jones, 54, and Pat Humphreys, 78, use the Northern line service quite often. Debbie stressed the price difference between driving and getting the train: “We’ve just paid, for the both of us, £11.80 for a return (from Widnes), so it’s only £5.90 each.

“It’d cost me £15 in petrol, £20 to park, and you’d be driving around for an hour trying to get a parking space.

“We need the trains.”

Pat told us about a time the trains did go wrong for them: “The other week we’ve come in shopping. We had to hang around because they’ve taken a train off (the board).

“Then it came straight back on, but there was no driver! They told us to go to platform 9 and get on this train but then they say. ‘I’m sorry, we’ve got to wait for the driver to come!’.”

Debbie added: “Everyone was laughing, and it’s funny to us, but some people are desperate to get their destination.”

Karen Rampling and Marie Lunt (c) Abigail Ford

Karen Rampling, 64, and Marie Lunt, 69, had only good things to say about their journey. Karen said: “I thought it was very good, this train today has been great.”

Marie added: “I don’t use it very often, but I’ve never had a problem.”

Their friend Gillian Jones, 53, agreed, but told us about a previous experience that had been very contrasting. “It was jam-packed. There was a delay of about 15 minutes. People just kept coming and coming.

“They were piling on – everyone was stood up like sardines. At each station you were hoping people wouldn’t get on, but they did.”

Eve, 20, has never been seriously delayed by the trains. She said: “I think the new trains have definitely improved the service. I’m not on it for long, but it’s quick.

Nick Richard, 29. Taken by Abigail Ford
Nick Richard, 29. Taken by Abigail Ford

“I think they need more frequent train times, because if I miss a train I have to wait about half an hour for another one.”

Nick Richard, 29, is from the Isle of Man, and finds the service reliable when he comes to visit.

He said: “I use it three times a year – I’d say sometimes I have seen slight delays, but it gets me to where I want to be relatively on time.

“I think the new trains have given them a bit of a step up, but there are still issues with the delays.”

Featured image (c) Abigail Ford 



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