COSTS to build the Warrington West railway station in Chapelford have increased by £1.5 million – and the opening date has been pushed back.

The site had been due to open this summer but Network Rail, the operator of the rail network, has confirmed it is aiming to open it to passengers when timetables change in December.

In 2015, Warrington Borough council stated the scheme would cost around £12.66 million to deliver.

But more recent estimates saw the figure jump to £19 million, however, it can be revealed this has now increased to £20.5 million.

The council is putting more than £7.38 million towards the project.

Around £6.53 million is coming from the Local Growth Fund via the Cheshire and Warrington Local Enterprise Partnership, £4.23 million from the New Stations Fund and £1.85 million from developers via section 106 and other agreements.

A council spokesman said: “The reported forecast cost increase is due to changes in scope of the overall build and the need to ensure that railway safety checks on the new infrastructure have been implemented.

“The overall increase in cost has been funded from underspends elsewhere in the wider transport investment programme.”

Warrington Guardian:

The construction of Warrington West railway station is nearing completion

It also emphasised the station opening date is subject to ongoing dialogue with Network Rail, the Office of Road and Rail and the train operating companies Arriva Northern and East Midlands Trains.

The spokesman added: “The construction of the station itself is now approaching completion, after which a series of safety inspections and tests will need to be undertaken.

“This is called an ‘entry in to service’ process, which all new stations must go through to ensure that they comply with all safety standards.”

Network Rail confirmed the construction of Warrington West will be completed ‘very soon’, which will pave the way for safety testing.

A spokesman said: “Alongside these rigorous safety tests and inspections by the Office of Rail and Road, Network Rail will also be installing new signalling equipment for trains.

“We are consulting with train operators and the local council about our aims for Warrington West to open to passengers when timetables change in December 2019.”

The facility will benefit from a 250-space car park and secure parking for 50 bicycles.

It is set to cost £1 per day for motorists to park at the site.