THE delayed £20.5 million Warrington West railway station in Chapelford will open on December 15.

The development, which is nearing completion, had been scheduled to open in the summer but was hit by delays.

During last week’s supporting the local economy policy committee meeting, David Boyer, Warrington Borough Council’s operational director of transport and environment, confirmed the scheme is almost finished.

He also said Network Rail, the operator of the rail network, has been a ‘key partner’ but ‘at times they are not the easiest people to deal with’.

The council, Network Rail and Northern have issued a joint statement.

A spokesman on behalf of the three organisations said: “Although it has taken slightly longer than anticipated, we’re very excited that Warrington West station will open in December.

“As mentioned in August, there is some remaining work to complete before the station can open – this includes final snagging work, signal panel updates to include the new station on the signalling network, train driver training and completing the necessary safety checks.

“We’re working together to complete this and look forward to opening the doors to the public on December 15.”

As previously reported, the council ‘reluctantly agreed’ for services at Sankey for Penketh Station to be cut to four trains per day as part of the development of the new site in Chapelford.

Once it opens, the trains calling at Sankey for Penketh will be the 0745 to Liverpool Lime Street and 0820 to Manchester Oxford Road, the latter not getting to Oxford Road until 0903.

And the evening trains calling at the site will be the 1716 from Oxford Road and 1719 from Lime Street.

Labour’s Chapelford and Old Hall councillors Steve Parish, Rebecca Knowles and Paul Warburton have been monitoring the situation.

Cllr Parish said: “Timing that would allow an extra stop on earlier trains to Manchester looks difficult but (probably too late for December) we’re asking if one of the earlier trains from Liverpool to Warrington might call at Sankey to connect at Central with semi-fast services to Manchester.”

The council says it continues to be in dialogue with Northern regarding future services at Sankey for Penketh.

A spokesman added: “We are committed to improving services at all stations in the borough and will continue to work in partnership with train operating companies and other rail industry partners in order to achieve this.

“The timetabled peak hour services from Sankey for Penketh Station are in line with the train service requirements set out in the Northern franchise.

“Timetables are determined by the rail industry and we will work with partners in the industry to review the timing of services from Sankey for future timetable changes.”