Liverpool's future Anfield plans could hinge on new train station; More calls for new rail link amid calls for further expansion and following successful concert season.
With talk of Liverpool looking beyond their current Anfield expansion plans to potentially add more capacity to the famous stadium - there are growing calls for a new train station to serve the ground.
A hugely successful season at Anfield has been followed by the stadium hosting its first major music concerts this summer - after a reduced permission was eventually agreed following a bruising battle with local residents.
Part of the original objection to the concert planfrom frustrated neighbours centred around traffic and parking issues and the fact that such large numbers of people would be in the area after events.
Liverpool's plans for Anfield's progress don't stop with invitingworld famous acts like Pink and Bon Jovi to perform- they have an existing outline planning permission to extend the Anfield Road end of the stadium by 4,000 seats.
That permission expires in September- and it is now widely thought that the club may look to reapply for a larger extension instead.
This would of course bring more people to the iconic ground on match days - and free up more seats for concert goers in the summer months.
And such a move would only add to and strengthen the calls for a new Merseyrail station to be created that would help to get thousands of people in and out of the dense residential area during major events.
It is a move that has been backed by key local figures - including the area's MP Dan Carden.
He said: ""North Liverpool is poorly served by insufficient public transport links that leave us at a disadvantage compared to other areas of the city.
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"Neither of our two Premier League football clubs have suitable rail services. The local community have long expressed concerns including parking issues, congestion and poor air quality.
"These issues are frequently brought up in my surgeries. A new train station in Anfield and better rail links across the city is part of the solution and it is time for all relevant stakeholders to look at taking forward the proposals in Merseytravel's Long Term Rail Strategy for the benefit of my constituents and our city.
It is certainly something that is being considered.
Merseytravel - the region's transport body - has a long-term rail strategy that looks at the large number of disused or 'ghost' stations that have the potential to be re-opened on the Merseyrail network.
Alongside this, the strategy looks at the potential for developing new lines and routes and building new stations.
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One example mentioned is the idea of new Merseyrail routes between Liverpool and Ormskirk - which would include building new stations in Anfield and Tuebrook - rather than re-opening disused facilities.
The stations in both these areas closed in 1948, but Merseytravel say new ones could be built as part of a long-term scheme to extend Merseyrail services to the West Lancs area and beyond.
However, it is not clear if the new stations would be built at the former sites or if new locations will be identified.
Someone else to back the idea of new rail links to the city's footballing epicentre is Everton ward councillor and Liverpool fan Cllr Ian Byrne.
He said: "The need for an updated transport system has never been more pressing for our communities in Anfield/Everton. The numerous issues around transport faced regularly by residents would certainly be helped with a modern rail link.
"For both the environment and the growth of North Liverpool it's now time to see a train station in Anfield come to fruition."
Of course Everton look likely to have moved their home away from the area by the time any realistic new station would arrive - if their vision for a new stadium at Bramley Moore Dock becomes a reality.
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But the Blues have big plans to retain Goodison as a community facility, for which a rail link would clearly be very useful.
Credit: James Maloney/Liverpool Echo
Credit: Liverpool Echo
Pink's Beautiful Trauma World Tour at Anfield Stadium
Credit: Liverpoool Echo
Dan Carden MP and Cllr Ian Byrne outside the formers Walton office