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Letter: Rail facts.

DAVID Robert s'letter ( Letters, August 27) raises issues about the viability of the interchange to be built at Allerton,as well as Lime Street's downgrading to a ``local branch line.''The reality is different.

Work on the interchange at Allerton has already commenced. The City Council has commenced the highways works in the vicinity and work on-site to build the new bus-rail interchange building with park and ride spaces,cycling, walking provision with a dedicated shuttle link to the airport car park will start in the New Year.

Our intention will be to have the new interchange open for late 2005.

The interchange will,I belie ve, be a catalyst for ensuring that the ever-expandingLiverpool John Lennon Airport,and the developing economy continues.

As well as the existing range of local Merseyrail services, we can expect the new Birmingham services to stop; Central Train's services to Sheffield,Nottingham and beyond,as well as services on the new TransPennine franchise to Leeds and Newcastle to call.

This leads me on to the comment ab out Lime Street being a branch line. The loss of cross country services is not something we like,but something we have had to accept in the short-term. The SRA have recognised the need to ensure that Liverpool is well connected, which is why the Lime Street -Birmingham hourly express will be the first route to receive new electric ``Inter-City'', standard rolling stock. The London service will be improved with the new Pendolino stock providing faster journeys and additional peak services for a journey of 2 hours and 14minutes,compared to the 2 hours 53 at present.

Coun Mark Dowd,OBE,Chair, Merseyside Passenger Transport Authority
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Title Annotation:Letters
Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Sep 5, 2003
Words:279
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