IT could finally be full steam ahead for plans for the new Warrington West station following a ‘hike in costs’ from Network Rail which threatened to derail the project.

Warrington Borough Council has made a new bid for government funding to build the new station at Chapelford.

It comes after a previous bid to the New Stations Fund was turned down.

At the time the council put together an alternative funding package of £13 million only for Network Rail then to increase the estimated cost by several million pounds.

The latest bid for £4 million, if successful, could mean construction starting next year.

Balfour Beatty and AECOM are the council’s project partners and will be undertaking some investigation and survey work at the Chapelford site next week.

Steve Parish is a borough councillor for the Chapelford and Old Hall ward.

And he is hopeful the new bid will prove to be successful.

He added: “It has been quite hard work getting the funds together for this vital project, and the hike in costs by Network Rail was a blow.

“We hope this latest bid will succeed and work can begin soon.”

The expected hourly pattern of service is for two slow trains from Liverpool to Manchester to call at the new station, and also a fast train between Liverpool and Manchester Airport, which under the latest rail franchises would replace the Transpennine Express service to Yorkshire that will no longer call at Warrington.

A new through service from North Wales to Bradford and Leeds would link Warrington Bank Quay with Transpennine services at Manchester Victoria and Leeds.

Sankey station would remain open but only for one service in each direction in the morning and evening peak periods.