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Bootle Train Line to Open for Newanfield?

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PLANS to reopen an old railway line to ferry fans to Liverpool FC’s proposed new stadium have taken a step forward. Reds’ top brass and transport chiefs travelled on the old Bootle branch line to see where a new Anfield station could be built.Reports Vicki Kellaway, Liverpool Echo

Residents have called for the line, now used only for freight, to be refurbished to give supporters a transport option if a new ground is built on Stanley Park. Anfield presently holds about 45,000 fans, but the Reds hope its replacement could eventually host as many as 70,000, sparking fears of traffic congestion nearby. Rick Parry, Liverpool’s chief executive, and Merseytravel officials have confirmed reopening the branch line was a possibility. They took a one-off journey along the line, leaving from Lime Street, on Wednesday. Mr Parry said: “It is vital to explore how it could contribute to north Liverpool’s regeneration. “Getting so many people to see it first hand was an important first step.” Merseytravel chief executive Neil Scales said every option needed to be explored in detail, including the project’s funding. He said: “We are serious about making this work. This will be key for the club, but it is also about how we can better support north Liverpool.” Tuebrook’s Liberal councillor Steve Radford, who has campaigned for the branch line to be reopened, said: “This could regenerate the entire area. “It would remove the need to travel by car, making north Liverpool much more attractive to professionals who need trains to commute.” Possible locations for a new Anfield station include Utting Avenue, near The Clarence pub; Townsend Lane, near Pinehurst Avenue; and close to Anfield cemetery, near the junction of Cherry Avenue and Stanley Park Avenue. Cllr Radford said: “I think most people thought The Clarence pub option was most favourable.

“If I was a betting man, that is the one I think they would choose.” He said it would be “disappointing” if the passenger line was only opened for football matches or if just one new station was built. He added: “We have already considered other locations, including behind Tuebrook market, which would be ideal with the bus and potential tram links on West Derby Road.”  


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