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Northern Trains and Liverpool City Region Combined Authority (Merseytravel)

Lea Green, Station Transformation


Vextrix has been engaged by our client Northern as Lead Consultant for the development of this sustainable transport project, delivering Engineering Design, Project Management, Quantity Surveying and Principal Design Services on this Lea Green Station project.

The project will transform Lea Green station in St Helens as part of the Eastern Region Interchange and Connectivity (ERIC) scheme which is a joint partnership between St Helens Borough Council; Liverpool City Region; and Northern Rail and is funded through the Transforming Cities Fund (TCF). The scheme will provide a number of upgrades at Lea Green station which, since 2018 has seen more services stop at the station, offering more opportunities to travel across the UK.

The improvements take a customer centric approach, with a range of facilities to be introduced to support the increased use of the station. At the projects heart is a focus on sustainable and accessible travel, in order to improve the journey for customers and ensure the facilities are fit for the future. As part of their role on this project Vextrix supports the undertaking of a range of improvements including:

  • A new station building with waiting room
  • A 439 space multi-storey car park to increase the Park and Ride capacity
  • Forecourt improvements
  • Additional customer facilities
  • The introduction of safe and accessible routes
  • Improvements to the Bull and Dog junction for passengers accessing the station on foot and by cycle.

The team has worked closely with Northern Trains and Liverpool City Region (LCR) to advise and agree on the best procurement strategy for the works. As the scheme will be delivered through Northern Trains, the project is bound by government procurement rules and must be issued on the UK tender portal, which has replaced OJEU, post Brexit. Continual co-ordination meetings with St Helens Council, LCR, Northern Trains and Network Rail ensure that all stakeholder needs are met and all project requirements are included within the documentation.

Added Value

Our experience of delivering railway projects through the GRIP stages (soon to be PACE) allows us to transfer our experience of managing schemes into our cost planning by understanding sequencing, phasing and project limitations that will have an impact upon cost.

On this project this was evident by our costing of the phasing of the works. The team adapted to an evolving scope to include a planning application and procurement of additional surveys, which was a risk identified and valued within the QCRA, and ensured that these were delivered on time and within the funding envelope, providing regular cost updates to the client and the funders.

Through our extensive experience working with Northern, we were able to bring a wealth of knowledge into this project, build on the strength of our pre-existing relationships between the leaders of the businesses and continue to deliver to our industry leading standards.

Lessons Learnt

Adding additional cope to the scheme created challenging deadlines. More intensive consultation was required with the local highways department which led to an increase in the amount of highways improvements that had to be adopted. This impacted on the timescales and the approach to the production of the tender documents, preliminaries and tender schedules.

The understanding of procedure within our organisation makes us able to respond and adapt to change quickly to meet client requirements, whilst ensuring the client can be confident that there will be no drop-off in the quality of delivery. We achieved more challenging timescales and inclusion of additional scope of works by following our standard process and procedures.