Three Queens: Full event transport plans back on

Categories: News

Plan how you’re going to get to the event and home… that’s the message for people getting ready to see Cunard’s Three Queens make maritime history when they visit Liverpool later this week (24th-26th May).

The advice follows the calling off a national rail strike, meaning original transport plans for the event have been reinstated.

Thousands of people are expected to flock to both sides of the Mersey, most notably on Monday 25th when all three will come together on the River Mersey, increasing demand on the transport network.

There will be changes to Merseyrail services, timetables and city centre stops, strengthened services on the City line, more buses on key routes and a one-way system at Liverpool Lime Street to safely manage the large number of people using the station. Park and Ride will be available for those people viewing from Wirral – particularly helpful for those visiting from further afield.

Merseytravel, bus and rail operators, Network Rail, Liverpool, Wirral and Sefton Councils and other organisations have been working together to strengthen services on key routes and to ensure people will be supported and safe in getting where they want to go.

Event goers are being encouraged to visit a special online transport information hub at which offers people options and advice based on where they are travelling from so they can make informed choices about how to get there and home.

Key tips :

• If you’re local, consider staying local. The Three Queens will be a full waterfront and coastal spectacle with opportunities to view from Liverpool, Wirral and Sefton. Walking or cycling may be the quickest and easiest way for you to get to and from the event
• If you’re in the Liverpool City Region, use public transport. Services will be strengthened.
• Rail services from Manchester, Wigan and Crewe directions will be particularly busy. If you live in the area and normally take the City line into Liverpool you may want to consider the bus as an alternative.
• If you’re visiting from further afield and planning to view the event from Wirral, park and ride is available.
• Be prepared and be patient as it will be extremely busy. Leave plenty of time to get where you want to go.
• Some of the weekend’s events will finish late putting significant demands on transport services from 10pm. Don’t leave it too late. Allow time to get to the stop or station and for queues when you get there.
As is the case during any big event, unforeseen events may impact on the transport network and services at short notice. Travel updates and alerts will be updated on . Consider following @Merseytravel, #3queenstravel , on Twitter
Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson, said:
“Without a doubt it’s going to be exceptionally busy on both sides of the river and our transport network will be put under a great deal of pressure and we want visitors to plan their journeys as much as possible. 

“For more than a year we’ve been working with transport partners and Merseyside Police to make sure the city rises to the challenge for what could be one of the busiest weekend’s the region has experienced.

“I have no doubt that Liverpool will shine under the international spotlight and this will be an unforgettable moment in the city’s history for all the right reasons.”

Said Liz Chandler, Merseytravel’s director of Corporate Development and Chair of the Major Events Transport Board:

“The focus can now be rightly back on the event, rather than transport. It will be a showcase event making maritime history.

“For many months, and in the immediate run up to the event, a whole host of organisations have been working together over many months to make the transport offer fit for the event. We’re now asking visitors to play their part by planning their journeys, being prepared and being patient and leaving plenty of time to get where they want to go.”

The transport hub pages on Merseytravel website will assist people in their travel planning wherever they’re coming from, providing, or signposting to, detailed information.

As a quick guide, key information, and what organisations are doing to support the event, is below.

Liverpool Lime Street

Liverpool Lime Street is likely to be exceptionally busy over the bank holiday weekend, particularly on Monday 25 May. A one way system will be in place to safely manage the high number of people using the station.

Passengers are urged to allow extra time to make their journeys and be prepared to queue to enter the station to catch their train on Monday night and be aware of your last three trains and plan to catch the earliest one possible

Chris Littler, area manager for Network Rail, said:

"We are working closely with all organisations to raise awareness amongst passengers of the need to plan their journeys and allow a lot of extra time to catch their train. Expecting to catch a train in the usual way, especially on the Monday, is likely to lead to delay and disappointment so it is essential to research your last three to four services and plan to catch the earliest one possible."

Merseyrail is keen to support the Liverpool City Region during this high profile event and changes will be made to the timetable to ensure the network is best geared up to meet demand.
Passengers are advised to check before travelling.
Saturday 23rd May: a normal service will run on all lines

Sunday 24th May: all Merseyrail services will start one hour earlier, ahead of the arrival of the Queen Mary

Monday 25th May: to ensure crowds are managed safely and passengers have an enjoyable travel experience, access to city centre stations will be restricted at key times:

• From 1pm, no Northern line trains will stop at Liverpool Central station. Northern line passengers are advised to use Moorfields station
• James Street station will close at 1pm. Wirral line passengers should use Liverpool Central or Lime Street low level station
• The Wirral line platform at Moorfields station will remain closed for refurbishment during


Northern Line

• All trains will run every 20 minutes from the start to the end of service on every route

Wirral Line

• Between 7am and 7pm, there will be six trains per hour to and from New Brighton
• From 8am till 6.30pm, trains to and from Chester will run every 15 minutes
• Trains for West Kirby will run every 15 minutes from 6.51am till 6.36pm
• A rail replacement bus will run between Ellesmere Port and Hooton from 8am till 7pm. This will allow six-car trains to cover parts of the network where large crowds are expected. Before 8am and after 7pm, there will be a normal service.

Commented Alan Chaplin, interim managing director at Merseyrail:

'We recognise that transport contributes significantly to the overall success of events on this scale, and we’ve made changes to the timetable to enable as many people as possible to get to and from key locations over the three days. There will be more services, additional carriages, and we will work hard to ensure that the Merseyrail experience is as pleasant and hassle-free as possible.'

Northern Rail is providing extra trains and carriages on Sunday 24 May and running a revised timetable on Monday 25 May to help spectators get in and out of Liverpool for this historic event.

It will also be operating four-carriage electric trains over the weekend which will provide much needed space for customers.

Further information and the latest timetables can be found at

We have been working closely with our colleagues across the industry to ensure that this event is a great success.

We will be running additional services and providing extra carriages; strengthening key trains to and from Liverpool Lime Street.

For further information regarding our train times can be found at

Arriva Merseyside services will operate normal Saturday and Sunday timetables over the event weekend. A Sunday timetable will operate for all services on Bank Holiday Monday, with extra buses on standby if there are particularly busy periods during the day.

Howard Farrall, area managing director Arriva Merseyside:

“The Three Queens is set to be another spectacular event for Liverpool. It will be a busy weekend in the city and we ask our customers to plan ahead with their travel arrangements where possible. For more information on bus services and times, visit and follow @Merseytravel throughout the event weekend for travel information.”

A normal weekend service will run, with a Sunday timetable for all services on Bank Holiday Monday. Extra buses will be made available for busy routes.

Elisabeth Tasker, managing director of Stagecoach Merseyside and South Lancashire:

“The Three Queens event promises to be a fantastic day for Liverpool and we’re looking forward to seeing our brilliant city showcased on a global scale across the weekend. The Stagecoach team will be working hard to ensure that people are able to make the most of the experience.” 

“It will be service as usual across all our routes, and passengers shouldn’t experience any disruption. Service times and information are available on the Stagecoach website, and passengers can also keep up to date with live travel updates via our Twitter feed @StagecoachMCSL .”

Huge crowds are expected in the city centre on the Bank Holiday Monday. Road closures will be in place around the waterfront from 9am to 4pm. People planning to attend the event are urged to plan their journeys and give themselves plenty of time.

Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson, said:

“Without a doubt it’s going to be exceptionally busy on both sides of the river and our transport network will be put under a great deal of pressure and we want visitors to plan their journeys as much as possible. 

“For more than a year we’ve been working with transport partners and Merseyside Police to make sure the city rises to the challenge for what could be one of the busiest weekend’s the region has experienced.

“I have no doubt that Liverpool will shine under the international spotlight and this will be an unforgettable moment in the city’s history for all the right reasons.”


Big crowds are expected on the Wirral side of the Mersey on Monday 25th May. In order to manage the increased numbers of vehicles expected that day, Wirral Council will be operating a free ‘park and ride’ facility for up to 6,000 vehicles on New Brighton Dips, accessed from the Harrison Drive end of the resort. Shuttle buses will take people to viewing points at New Brighton resort centre and Seacombe.

Signs will guide vehicles onto the Dips from Junction 1 of the M53 and motorists heading to the event are advised to follow these signs.

Parking restrictions and traffic management arrangements will be in place along the busy A554 route and those residential roads leading down to the river.

Mark Camborne, Wirral Council’s Head of Corporate and Community Safety:

“Wirral has a proven track record in planning for and managing large volumes of visitors for a variety of events. The views on offer from Wirral are bound to attract people from far and wide and we look forward to welcoming them. It will be busy and visitors will need to be patient, but if they heed the travel messages and make their journey using the most appropriate form of transport for them, it will be a spectacle to remember for all the right reasons.”

Details of Wirral’s plans and essential information for residents and visitors alike can be found at

• Anyone planning to travel to the area is asked to walk, cycle or use public transport. Parking will be significantly restricted.
• On May 25, there will be no public car parking available along the Crosby seafront as the car park at Burbo Bank will be used for Blue badge holders only. Parking on nearby streets will also be restricted (except for emergency vehicles)
• On the day there will be an incoming tide and visitors to the beach are asked to stay within 50 metres from the promenade and watch for any tidal movement. Visitors to the coast are recommended not to go past Crosby Coastguard Station in a northerly direction

Alan Lunt, Sefton Council’s Director of Built Environment:
“Safety is paramount on the Sefton coastline as this unique event takes place.
"If you do watch this spectacle from the Sefton coastline, stay safe, don’t get caught by incoming tides,  remember to give yourself plenty of time for your journey and please leave the beach as you find it either by taking your rubbish home with you or using the bins provided.”

Highways England will be deploying more signing and extra resources, including recovery vehicles and traffic officers, to keep traffic moving on the M53, M56 and other routes during the event weekend.  
Highways England emergency planning manager John Hope said:

“We’ve been working hard to plan for this event and warn people that motorway routes around Merseyside are likely to be exceptionally busy even for a bank holiday weekend.   We’ll be monitoring traffic conditions carefully from our regional control centre at Newton-le-Willows and have drafted in extra traffic officers and recovery services to help keep people on the move in the event of incidents or breakdowns.

“However, drivers also have a role to play in planning journeys, checking for incidents and congestion before setting out, making sure they are prepared in case of queues and heeding any information we issue through the travel media or on our electronic signs.”

Special cruises are scheduled during the three days of the event meaning that there will be no normal cross river services operating. The majority of cruises will offer a round trip back to the point of departure. More details on the event cruises can be found at

As a cross-river alternative, consider taking the train to and from Hamilton Square on the Wirral line of the Merseyrail network.

British Transport Police has increased its deployment of officers to cover the event, offering reassurance to the travelling public and station and rail staff.

Superintendent Eddie Wylie, who is coordinating the BTP activity at the event, said:

“Our primary concern is that visitors enjoy the event and travel in safety.
“This promises to be a magnificent event and we want everyone to enjoy it. The rail network and stations will be very busy so passengers should make sure they keep an eye on their belongings and know to expect busy services and queues.”

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