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Ask the Manager

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In March we ran a digital Ask the Manager session alongside Network Rail to give you the chance to ask us anything about the service we provide.

Thank you for all the questions you submitted, below you will find answers from various Merseyrail and Network Rail Managers.

When will services return to the pre-COVID timetable?

Response from Zoe Hands - Chief Operating Officer

During the COVID-19 pandemic Merseyrail services were reduced due to the impact the virus had on staffing numbers, however, we are pleased to announce the return of the pre-COVID 15 minute timetable from Monday 2 May. More information can be found here.

Why do Network Rail always do engineering work during holidays when people might want to travel?

Response from Chris Pye - Network Rail Infrastructure Director

Why do Merseyrail not offer fully independent review of disputed fitness to travel decisions? Especially in cases involving passengers with mobility issues?

Response from Lynne Cleworth - Head of Safety

Merseyrail has a clear TravelSafe policy which our staff are trained in-line with, done for the safety of the passenger in question, other passengers and our staff. Our staff are also trained to identify hidden disabilities as part of this. When a complaint is received this is reviewed by a senior employee within the business and body worn cameras, CCTV and staff statements are analysed while formulating a response.

Would Merseyrail consider putting the night trains back on and extending them to Chester? (If they ever run they terminate at Hooton)

Response from Tim Brawn - Strategic Timetable Planning Manager

Any decision on our Christmas late night trains will be communicated nearer the time and we do hope to be able to reinstate these in 2022.

When will Headbolt Lane station be finished?

Response from Kara Wood - Network Rail Head of Performance and Customer Relationships

What is the latest news on 777s? How many are now owned by LCRCA?

Response from Zoe Hands - Chief Operating Officer

11 trains are now owned by the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority. Information about the phased introduction of the new fleet has not been announced but more details will be made available as soon as that has been confirmed.

Why are station announcements so poor - almost unintelligible?

Response from Andy Chadwick - Control Centre Manager

Our station public announcements are tested every Sunday morning and if there are any problems staff at the particular station will report the problem immediately to be rectified. If any passenger is struggling to understand announcements at a station I would advise them to contact our customer relations team who will look into the issue.

With covid restrictions gone but people still getting sick, what are Network Rail doing to keep passengers safe?

Response from Lucy Chadderton  - Head of Safety, Health & Environment

Why is Hunts Cross classed as a different zone to the rest of the Southport line? It's so much more money to go one stop further than LSP and I can't understand why?

Response from Suzanne Grant - Commercial Director

We operate our trains based on Merseytravel’s zonal map which incorporates all modes of public transport, not just rail. We do aim to keep our fares as low as possible and remain one of the cheapest rail operators in the country. There are also ticketing options that provide great value for money for longer journeys such as our Day Saver which is available to purchase online.

Why are there so many train failures when you have new rolling stock unused?

Response from Zoe Hands - Chief Operating Officer

Despite running some of the oldest stock in the country, it is still generally very reliable. Our new fleet of trains is going through a period of testing and more on the phased introduction later this year and into next year will be made available as soon as possible.

Will Walton and Rice Lane stations get step-free access?

Response from Mike Jones - Head of Network Development

We are currently in discussions to expand our Access for All schemes for new lifts to be installed to further stations across the network. As soon as any new schemes are confirmed these will be communicated publicly.

Will the new fleet have scouse voice announcements?

Response from Zoe Hands - Chief Operating Officer

We have received plenty of positive feedback about the voice that currently makes the announcements on board the train, which is that of a well-known voice over artist. Most significantly, the feedback we received from partially sighted and blind passengers for whom the voice announcements are a vital part of their journey, was very much in favour of retaining the current voice.