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Skip Navigation LinksMerseytravel > About Us > A Guide to Merseytravel > Strategic Transport Planning

 Strategic Transport Planning

Strategic Transport Planning

Bus outside Liverpool South Parkway

Merseytravel has a core role in overseeing the transport network, from operating and maintaining the tunnels, bus shelters and stations to ensuring the information travellers need to plan their journeys is up to date. However, there is also much strategic work that goes on, often behind the scenes, to ensure that the transport network is fit for the future.
Merseytravel is strategic transport advisor to the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority. It is focused on developing and delivering transport projects that support and grow the Liverpool City Region economy by improving connectivity within the city region and beyond, taking into account projected increases in passenger numbers and freight.
Merseytravel has led the development of the Transport Plan for Growth. The five year delivery plan looks at transport from a new perspective, aligning both Local Transport Plans for Merseyside and Halton. It sets out the City Region’s strategic vision for transport, whilst also taking into account the national high-level economic policy drivers of localism, devolution of power, and growth. It sees transport as an enabler for growth, connecting people and places. Crucially, it promotes greater joint working with other sectors within the City Region to develop areas such as freight and logistics, housing and land-use planning, economic development and regeneration, employment and skills and health and wellbeing.
Merseytravel, on behalf of the Combined Authority, has developed a long term rail strategy. It details the schemes that will support and grow the Liverpool City Region economy over the next 30 years by improving links within it and to cities and towns further afield. It demonstrates ‘big picture’ thinking by Merseytravel and the City Region as such strategies are not traditionally driven by local bodies. The strategy ensures that transport planning is intrinsically linked to economic planning. It includes taking forward such projects as the Halton Curve to connect the Liverpool City Region with Cheshire and North Wales and new Merseyrail trains from 2020 to carry significantly more passengers and on a potentially extended network, running to places such as Warrington and Crewe.
Merseytravel has an essential role in getting the Liverpool City Region at the top table when it comes to transport matters of local, regional and national significance. Merseytravel is, on behalf of the Liverpool City Region, leading  on the ‘Linking Liverpool’ Campaign. While the campaign started out with a narrow remit of securing a direct high speed link to Liverpool, the subject of improved northern connectivity through Transport for the North within the context of the ‘Northern Powerhouse’ has since come to the fore, with a push for improved rail links north south and east west. The Liverpool City Region is calling for a new rail link between Liverpool and Manchester which connects onto the planned HS2 network – boosting journey times and freeing up freight capacity on the existing rail infrastructure.
Merseytravel’s championing of the importance of adequate capacity for freight has led to Merseytravel being chosen to lead the freight and logistics element of the Transport for the North strategy and delivery plan. Ensuring that freight from the growing SuperPORT can be adequately accommodated on rail is of interest not only to the Liverpool City Region, but also Manchester and towns and cities right across the east-west corridor and beyond.
Rail North, which includes representation from Merseytravel, led work across the northern cities to develop the specifications for bidders for the new Northern and TransPennine franchises that started on 1st April 2016. The aim was for more local control and influence to get a better deal for customers, driving up standards.
As a result, the new franchises will see updated fleets with more capacity, replacement of  the old Pacer trains, and free Wi-Fi, as well as additional services including a new direct service to Scotland from Liverpool.
£340m will be invested in key projects in the City Region's railways by the end of 2019, wou can find out more at .
Meanwhile, it's not all about rail.  The City Region has a Bus Strategy that looks to the future of bus, recognising its importance to the economy, education and skills, and society. There is a clear desire to buck the trend against a backdrop of long term passenger decline.  This is currently being tackled through the Liverpool City Region Bus Alliance. Formally, established in September 2016 and is delivering against twin aims of increasing fare paying bus patronage by 10%, and best in class customer satisfaction scores – providing a step change in bus services for the City Region.

Merseytravel, PO Box 1976, Liverpool, L69 3HN
Tel: 0151 330 1000  |  Fax: 0151 330 1234