01/01/2024 43comments  |  Jump to last

The Liverpool City Region Combined Authority is working with Everton to develop a Fan Management Zone (FMZ) for Sandhills station to support the new Everton Stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock, says a statement for the body.

"The scheme is currently being reviewed prior to submission to Liverpool City Council for the necessary planning permissions in early 2024. In addition to the work on the FMZ, the Combined Authority is also working with Merseyrail to design further enhancements to the station, including a potential additional station footbridge that will enable the station to accommodate the expected increase in matchday passenger volumes."

The Echo reports that, "the number of trains which operate from the station would support the expected number of fans arriving at the 52,888 capacity stadium. However, the station itself, particularly the access to the station, is currently unable to cope with around 3,000 passengers per hour.

"The Fan Management Zone would allow fans to queue at the station and be let onto the platform as space becomes available. Funding for the design development has been secured, while the works for the additional entrance will be completed in Spring 2024."

» Read the full article at Liverpool Echo

Reader Comments (43)

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John Raftery
1 Posted 01/01/2024 at 18:29:39
Fan Management Zone? A new euphemism for a long queue?!
Brent Stephens
2 Posted 01/01/2024 at 18:37:03
"The number of trains which operate from the station would support the expected number of fans arriving at the 52,888 capacity stadium."

Round objects! It's what happens after the game as well. Three-coach carriages (which is the norm) leaving Sandhills for Southport after the game are heaving much of the time. And that's before fans get on at Bank Hall.

Pete Neilson
3 Posted 01/01/2024 at 19:39:29
I think a walk down to Bank Hall might be in order rather than joining the “Fan Management Zone” (who comes up with this bullshit?).

Presumably the FMZ will be a similar experience to the less succinctly named “Man City Etihad post match tram queue”.

Paul Ferry
4 Posted 01/01/2024 at 19:49:59
I've been thinking for a while about transportation, access, parking (etc.) and the new stadium.

We rightly burst with pride when we see Everton Stadium rising from the ground. That's going to be ours!!! But look a little east and, quite frankly, the area is a bit of a shithole. The dock road often looks a little desolate. Don't get me wrong, I love the Victorian docks and their high walls. I used to love the old fella driving us along the dock road into town and the walls, railway lines, cobbles, majestic warehouses, glimpses of the river, a ship or three.

The walk from Sandhills to the dock is erm pretty shitty. Pubs? A chippy? Greggs? A newsagent? One reason I'm not unhappy that the opening has been pushed back is that it gives us more time to work on access etc. There must be some Scouse entrepreneurs seeing an opportunity for big sponds days with a nicely located new alehouse (mind you, once a fortnight?).

Can someone reassure me that I am wide of the mark here? I don't live in the city now and last saw the ground/area in 2022. I'm not thinking about bars and foody places in the stadium and its immediate surroundings inside the walls. Maybe that's enough for most of us? I've always loved the walk up County Road, turning right at The County, car parked, pointing back towards Crosby.

Sandhills station is a dump, although it does get trains on all routes. Surely, there would need to be a large-scale redevelopment of the station and the clock is ticking? How many extra trains are we talking about? Does Merseyrail actually have the stock? The dock road is not actually flush with buses, I assume more will be put on for the match. Walking from town is fine, but not everyone would or could do that.

A monorail? Trams?

Am I over-thinking this and creating issues where they do not exist?

Mark Murphy
5 Posted 01/01/2024 at 19:55:22
I'm not from round der but from the Mersey ferry it didn't look too far from Liverpool centre to Bramley-Moore Dock. Is it reasonably walkable from the Denbigh Castle / Shenanigans??
Brian Williams
6 Posted 01/01/2024 at 20:04:04
It's 25-30 minutes walk from the Liver Buildings.
Brent Stephens
7 Posted 01/01/2024 at 20:06:43
Mark 1.6 miles if you don't stagger.
Rob Dolby
8 Posted 01/01/2024 at 21:02:52
Paul 4,

Not sure what you expect the surrounding areas to be like when bmd opens?

I am hoping this will kickstart a regeneration of the area and cater for more than just fans arriving 20 odd times a year.

Wouldn't it be good for the city to attract new businesses and investment.

I would hate it to be just a football ground in the middle of nowhere not providing anything for the people of the city.

John Raftery
9 Posted 01/01/2024 at 21:12:22
Paul (4) You are right. To use another
euphemism, the area is ripe for redevelopment.

As regards Merseyrail, as Brent says, they can’t provide sufficient trains to deal with the current match day numbers. The fact we are still waiting for the full roll-out of new trains due in 2020 suggests they will be unable to increase capacity without impacting other services across Merseyside. They make a special effort for the Aintree Grand National meeting but that is once a year.

The solution to transport access will need to come from a combination of buses, taxis and walking. Those with a death wish might try cycling.

Allen Rodgers
10 Posted 02/01/2024 at 08:51:20
It will likely be a similar situation to Wembley Park where fans are corralled and let onto the station in stages. There's a train from Sandhills to town every five minutes as it stands so no scope for increasing the number of trains (except on Sundays). The train lengths can be increased if Merseyrail have the stock.

However, it will probably be quicker to walk to town than queue. Better still, have an after-match pint at the ground and let the crowds disperse.

Bill Fairfield
11 Posted 02/01/2024 at 10:07:51
Let's be honest, the railway experience in this country is mega crap. Can't see Sandhills station being any better.
Danny O’Neill
12 Posted 02/01/2024 at 10:20:54
Depending on your health, it is walkable from James Street.

Those control systems at Wembley, the Emirates, the Tottenham Stadium and the London Stadium are an absolute nuisance.

Repeat warning (again). Build a monorail from Brunswick station to Sandhills. It won't just serve Everton but the City. And a modern tribute to the Overhead Railway; the Docker's Umbrella.

Danny O’Neill
13 Posted 02/01/2024 at 10:34:56
I forgot to mention the 140-plus steps to get into the away section at St James's Park
Joe McMahon
14 Posted 02/01/2024 at 10:41:02
Does this mean a lot of criss-cross railings like at airports?
Danny O’Neill
15 Posted 02/01/2024 at 10:59:00
Not quite, Joe. In my experience of the grounds I reference, they channel and herd you. When you get close to the station, you are put in a holding pattern.

I don't think it's as bad for those on the coaches.

Jim Donnelly
16 Posted 02/01/2024 at 2024/01/02 : 14:59:21

Just interested if anyone has any informaton on Safe Standing in the new stadium?

It seems that Liverpool FC are having problems with the new Anfield Road Stand with people being asked to leave for not sitting down.

With the south stand of the new Everton Stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock being the new home end, I can envisage problems… but at least there is time now to sort things out.

John Chambers
17 Posted 02/01/2024 at 15:24:42

Supposedly the ground is being built to support safe standing so, in theory, we should be able to have it from Day 1.

Ian Pilkington
18 Posted 02/01/2024 at 18:22:07
After reading Michael's article I sent this email to Merseyrail:

“I have just learned that Liverpool City Region is supposedly working with Merseyrail to create a “fan management zone” at Sandhills for the new Everton Stadium, clearly a euphemism for queuing in the wind and rain.

I have used Kirkdale for many years to get to Goodison Park. On four match days this season a relief train to Ormskirk was commendably provided but otherwise there is frequent overcrowding and it is obvious that Sandhills, with its narrow island platform and the addition of Southport line passengers, will be hopelessly inadequate.

Why has the proposed station at Vauxhall been abandoned and why has nothing been planned at Sandhills until now?”

I will post Merseyrail's response on here as soon as it is received.

I suspect that many will give up on Merseyrail and walk to the city centre but I have no choice, travelling by car to Maghull North.

The new four-car trains have increased capacity with more standing space than the old three-car units and, after they are introduced onto the Southport Line this year, it will be possible to run eight cars at peak times, so the problem will simply be access to the platform at the station.

Incidentally, for anyone wondering about the walk from Sandhills to the stadium, it is slightly shorter than that from Kirkdale to Goodison and more agreeable than the rubbish-strewn streets of Kirkdale and Walton.

Paul Hughes
19 Posted 03/01/2024 at 11:12:15
I'm not familiar with the control systems in London, but I am with the ones at Old Trafford Metrolink station. They just prevent too many people getting on to the platform.

They work fine, but require trams coming every few minutes to clear the queues quickly. I doubt Merseyrail could manage that, but 8 car units would help.

Paul Kossoff
20 Posted 03/01/2024 at 20:01:15
I've said for a while about my concerns regarding safety for fans getting to the ground. It's too far to walk from town to the ground, and that dock road is not safe or built for pedestrians. Heavy traffic both ways, and not just cars.

How are fifty-odd thousand fans walking the same road, traffic both ways, especially at night… twice, and even walking from Sandhills across two major roads going to be safe?

When I saw where the new ground was going to be, I thought that's a bad location to get to safely. I don't think it's been taken into consideration the safety of the fans. If I was on the council and deciding if Bramley-Moore Dock was a good location for a new ground, my vote would be (for safety reasons) No.

Don Alexander
21 Posted 03/01/2024 at 20:16:25
With our busted-flush owner in charge, we can be pretty sure the financial onus for transport development will devolve to the public pocket, the recent spenders of that august pocket currently being investigated for gross financial impropriety.

The public purse for Liverpool City is empty.

Brian Williams
22 Posted 03/01/2024 at 20:33:25
Paul #20.

The dock road is perfectly safe for pedestrians, don't be dramatic!

Rob Halligan
23 Posted 03/01/2024 at 21:01:04
Paul # 20.

There are thousands walking down Walton Lane after every home game, with cars, lorries and buses going in both directions. I've yet to see anyone injured or in any kind of accident in all the years I've made that walk down to Queen's Drive, which, funnily enough, is also busy with cars, lorries and buses, and I've yet to see any kind of accident there either.

As for it being too far to walk from town to Bram;ey-Moore Dock, well I suppose it depends on whereabouts in town you are?

If you're at the top end of Bold Street, then yes, maybe it is a bit far to walk, but if you're somewhere around the Pier Head or Albert Dock area, then it's probably about a 15- to 20-minute walk, 30 minutes tops, probably about the same time it takes to walk from where my mate parks his car to Goodison.

I don't know if you've ever made the walk from Spurs to Seven Sisters tube station. There are literally thousands walking down Seven Sisters Road, for a walk that can take upto 45 minutes. Now that can be a nightmare!!

Paul Kossoff
24 Posted 03/01/2024 at 22:20:16
Brian, I hope you are right, but the dock road is not built for pedestrians at all, especially fifty-odd thousand.
Brian Williams
25 Posted 03/01/2024 at 22:28:57

I've walked it numerous times and it's perfectly safe, and there won't be 50k walking to the stadium from town – that's for sure.
In fact there'll be plenty, I'm guessing, who will park where they park now, and walk it.

That's what we're considering, and drinking in the same pub as we do now.

Paul Kossoff
26 Posted 03/01/2024 at 22:37:21
Good luck with that, Brian – but not everybody is blessed with your obvious athleticism. 😀
Colin Metcalfe
27 Posted 03/01/2024 at 22:59:14
I walked from Water Street to the stadium via the dock road on Christmas Day and it's a fine walk, not too far (about 25 minutes) and to say it's not safe is not true as most of the traffic is along Derby Road.
Don Alexander
28 Posted 03/01/2024 at 23:14:41
The stadium is essentially on a water surrounded peninsula with access to the city only by way of one of its short sides. I do hope it works well for us fans but, as ever under Moshiri and his late unmissed chief puppet, I have my doubts.

The fabulous Cardiff dome is also riverside but three of its sides are city-central, leaving but a relative few to gaze upon the Taff as they walk to hit the city and its many bars just across the street after full-time.

By the time those relative few get to them they're stuffed full of fans though, who were able to get there five minutes earlier.

Maybe the venerable but bog-standard Bramley Moore pub can somehow acquire funds for a thousand-folk extension on match-days though.

Here's hoping!

Eric Myles
29 Posted 03/01/2024 at 23:17:35
Paul #19,

It makes sense what you say about controlling the numbers on the platform at any one time, but is the platform long enough to take 8 cars?

As for safe walking, would it be possible to close the Dock Road to traffic say 1 hour prior to and after a match?

Matt Traynor
30 Posted 04/01/2024 at 09:47:40
Eric #29, Merseyrail/Network Rail is currently undertaking the necessary works. The new 4 car trains have 50% more capacity than the 3 car units they are replacing.

The end cars of the new 777s only have one set of doors, set back from the cab, so an 8 car set will overhang the platforms at either end, but the doors will be at the platform.

I believe only the Southport line will see 8 car trains. By the time BMD is ready, the full fleet of 777s will be operational, and all of the 507s and 508s will have gone to Sims in Newport, to be turned into cutlery.

Danny O’Neill
31 Posted 04/01/2024 at 10:32:57
I'll keep saying it. Monorail.

Maybe build a new station between Moorfields and Sandhills? Bramley Moore?

It has been mentioned before. How about a ferry terminal by the stadium.

Transport for London has its River Service as part of the London transport system and the Ferries as well as being a tourist attraction, sit under Merseytravel.

Pier Head and the Wirral to Bramley Moore Dock.

Just ban any Gerry Marsden songs when Everton are at home.

Stephen Davies
32 Posted 04/01/2024 at 11:54:27
Danny... that would all make sense to a forward-looking looking group consisting of the Local Authority, Everton FC, and the Passenger Traffic Executive.

Were right next to an empty dock but I suppose the cost of it being used every couple of weeks is probably prohibitive but it would be a great help for the thousands who travel over from the Wirral.

I know there's been some mention about the crowd dispersing from Goodison. The difference with Bramley-Moore Dock is that everyone will be exiting onto the Dock Road as that is the only place to exit.

A monorail would be great and a chance to build something iconic. I remember reading about a specific Monorail in Germany where the carriages 'hang down' from the rail in a city centre location...

Express trains to Sandhills would be very helpful.

I'm sure at some stage there will some kind of barge service operating from the Pier Head (similar to what they have at Old Trafford) but this can only transport a minimal amount of people.

Dave Waugh
33 Posted 04/01/2024 at 13:57:15
I've always said we needed a ferry landing stage! Only now is it dawning on the powers-that-be that there could be a problem with access.

Goodison was a stadium of so many 'firsts'. Why couldn't the new stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock be the first football stadium with its own ferry landing stage?

Danny O’Neill
34 Posted 04/01/2024 at 14:54:56
That is in a city called Wuppertal, Stephen.

A monorail and the additional ferry terminal wouldn't just serve Everton. Part of the wider picture as I understand is to regenerate the northern docks, so it serves the city and improves the transport infrastructure.

Ian Pilkington
35 Posted 04/01/2024 at 18:28:05
Eric @19,

Yes, the platform at Sandhills is long enough for 8-car trains.

Danny @31,

A Monorail is a non-starter – not just on infrastructure cost but also capacity.

Tom Hughes
36 Posted 05/01/2024 at 08:47:22

Monorails can have similar capacities to any other mass transit system. The key factor is the segregated track, allowing it to avoid all congestion, meaning just a few trainsets can provide headways of just minutes, giving good line capacity.

A system running along the waterfront from Sandhills to Brunswick would serve all developments along that route and relieve some of the pressure on existing city centre Northern line stations, giving greater coverage. It also has the historical context of the overhead railway.

Liverpool waters, Ten Streets, Liverpool One, Albert and Kings Dock, Arena/Convention centre, Baltic Triangle, Pier Head and the new Everton Stadium all combined could merit a dedicated system pulling it altogether into the city centre.

John Griffiths
37 Posted 06/01/2024 at 17:36:37
Fleet of Tuk Tuks from James St Station return
Danny O’Neill
38 Posted 07/01/2024 at 17:30:00
The Docklands Light Railway in London serves the regenerated docklands very well and is integrated into the Transport for London system.
Brian Wilkinson
39 Posted 08/01/2024 at 22:30:07
I mentioned last year, Dan, about a possible ferry service, with a park and ride over the water to ease part of the traffic as an idea.

Monorail could certainly work, the tram system they have in Manchester works well for trams to Old Trafford. I always thought a similar idea was possible by a tram system from near Lime Street, down to the Pier Head and then on to Bramley-Moore Dock.

However, Liverpool has just completed a major revamp on pedestrian and cycling lanes, so I doubt the City Council will look at that option now.

Will Mabon
40 Posted 09/01/2024 at 19:06:17
Finally it looks like the problem of getting large crowds of people to and from sports stadiums will be resolved after more than a century. Oh, wait...

It doesn't help to have only 180 degrees of the circle to approach from though. Nor does going anti-car.

I'm on the monorail dreamers list, but a dream it will likely remain.

Ian Pilkington
41 Posted 10/01/2024 at 00:20:43
Brian @39,

The stadium would require its own tidal landing stage for a ferry service.

That would be even less realistic than a monorail.

Laurie Hartley
42 Posted 10/01/2024 at 03:44:49
I posted a suggestion for “trackless trams” a couple of years ago.


These trams could be used on other routes on non match days.

The tracks can be laid quickly with minimum disruption.

They look like a low cost solution to me.

One way or another they are going to have to get this sorted out before Euro 2028. The Liverpool City council have a vested interest in coming up with a good solution.

Laurie Hartley
43 Posted 10/01/2024 at 06:50:47
For a more extensive explanation:-

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