The closure of Lime Street station and leaves on the line have been causing headaches for passengers travelling on the Wirral train line between Chester and Liverpool over the past few weeks.

Now Merseyrail has announced it is making changes to its Wirral line timetable after admitting the service has not been good enough recently.

Many services to Chester have suffered delays and disruption, with trains often running straight through from Birkenhead Central to Hooton.

The travel operator says the delays have been caused by slippery rails “caused by leaf fall”, as well as by the fact that trains are busier because of the Lime Street closure. The line has also suffered “infrastructure failures”, the Liverpool Echo reports.

So starting from Monday, trains from Chester “will depart earlier than currently timetabled and arrive in Liverpool later than timetabled”.


Meanwhile trains from Liverpool “will depart at the same time as is currently timetabled, but arrive in Chester later then timetabled.”

Full details of the timetable changes will be revealed later today. Jan Chaudhry-van der Velde, Merseyrail’s managing director, said: “We recognise that recently, Wirral line train performance has not been as good as it should be.

“We have worked with Network Rail and Merseytravel over the last few days to make changes which will add some resilience to the timetable in the short term.

“This is designed to reduce the number of times trains have to miss stops to get them back in their timetable slots, providing a more predictable service for Wirral line passengers.”

On Twitter, Wirral South MP Alison McGovern retweeted two people complaining about the Merseyrail service.

Lisa Johnston said: “The recent move to swapping trains to be express /non stop between bhead central & Hooton has become routine. Happens to one an hour.”

And at 3.23pm, Peter Winstanley wrote: “Already, today, seven services have run express or been cancelled.”

That led Ms McGovern to ask Merseyrail: “What is going on?”