Is it time for Liverpool John Lennon airport to have a dedicated rail link? With Manchester Airport - LJLA's main competitor - already benefitting from a long established rail link, as well as a forthcoming HS2 station should Liverpool John Lennon airport now be exploring the options for more effective local and regional rail connections to allow a real alternative international airport for the north of England and beyond?
Liverpool John Lennon airport has seen steady growth over the last 15 years, largely fuelled by the arrival of budget airlines such as Easyjet and Ryanair. Today the airport is one of the UK's key regional airports and provides routes across Europe.
LJLA is connected to regional and local rail links via a bus link to Liverpool South Parkway in minutes. Our visuals explore how a rail link would remove a final obstacle to a much smoother connection to the airport that could provide a fast direct link to Liverpool City Centre via the city's underground Merseyrail Northern Line which in turn would connect with Liverpool South Parkway for regional rail links to Manchester, North Wales, Leeds and the wider north of England.
What y-imby envisages would be the creation of a northern line extension to the airport that could be created by effectively sinking the line below ground south of Liverpool South Parkway station's northern line platforms. The relatively short extension would be completely underground and end directly below Liverpool's main airport terminal building. The station and link approach would be orientated to allow for further future extensions through Speke and on to Runcorn/Halton as well as provide a southern rail approach to the terminal for national rail links to eventually connect directly through a spur from the West Coast Mainline near the Jaguar Car Plant.
Our designs are conceptual and do also explore a redeveloped Liverpool John Lennon airport terminal building which would be more viable with better links to the airport itself. Until now the airport has been developed in a modular and phased fashion and still includes much of the original 1980's terminal building structure. A rail link and developed terminal could form part of a wider effort to attract more long haul flights as well as hasten original plans to extend the airports runway for long haul flights.
It is vital that Liverpool looks to comprehensively develop it's key infrastructure both for the city and for the wider north of England and y-imby believes Liverpool John Lennon airport is in need of a much more ambitious strategy for growth and investment in order to provide the Liverpool City Region and the north of England with a second major international airport as part of a wider Northern Powerhouse.