New Brighton to Bebington

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crosscity

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My wife and I will be travelling soon from New Brighton to Bebington to visit the Lady Lever Art Gallery. We will each have a £2.80 Anytime Day Return with Senior railcard.

The two stations are on the Wirral, but on different routes (Bebington is on the Chester line). On the face of it, we need to change at Birkenhead Hamilton Square because going under the Mersey to one of the Liverpool loop stations entails a 'double-back' between Hamilton Square and Liverpool James St.

However the routeing guide shows that both New Brighton and Bebington have a routeing point of Liverpool Group which seems to imply that crossing the Mersey is OK on this journey.

Do the tickets we will have, allow us to:
a) change at any of the Liverpool loop stations on the outward journey and just catch the next Chester train from the same platform; and
b) break our return journey in Liverpool to do a bit of shopping/sightseeing/eating and drinking on the return journey?

We would be mortified if we were nobbled by a Merseyrail inspector for being off-route.
 
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Ianno87

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Happy to be corrected, but I think that, unless an easement applies, where two stations share at least one common routeing point (in this case Liverpool) then the only permitted route is the shortest one, so changing at Hamilton Square.
 

tony_mac

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You can double-back through Hamilton Square and James St, as they are part of the Liverpool Group of stations.

However, the rule allows this 'for interchange purposes only'; so stopping off in Liverpool (and getting in/out of the barriers) may be problematic.

(It's 5.20 per person for a Saveaway, which is valid after 09:30, and would also enable you to take the Ferry across the river, if you were interested in that - or even to visit Chester instead of Liverpool).
 
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crosscity

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Thanks for all your help, each of you has given us food for thought.

Firstly, confirmation that we can go via the loop to change trains is good, as it means we don't have to change platforms.

Secondly the bus option has some merit, as we are staying closer to the bus than the station; against that, the journey time by rail is shorter, even with the extra walk to the station and the change at Hamilton Square.

Thirdly a Saveaway ticket is a good suggestion, especially if we decide to go on the ferry.

We're not going for a couple of weeks, but I will let you know the what we did.
 

tony_mac

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If you don't want to change platforms, it's probably best to change at Moorfields for the best choice of seats (you won't be able to see the trains' destination on first arrival at James St).

Apart from the commuter services, the Saveaway is the cheapest option for a ferry trip. You can't buy a Saveaway at the ferry terminal, so you may need to plan ahead a little.

There are also frequent buses from New Brighton to Liverpool. Depending on the timing, it can be quicker than walking to the station and waiting for a train. Obviously it's more likely to suffer traffic delays, and the train route is generally nicer.
http://www.merseytravel.gov.uk/travelling-around/timetables/AllTimetables/432%20New%20Brighton%20-%20Liverpool%20(from%2024%20January%202016).pdf

(If you fancy it, the walk from the ferry to New Brighton is about 2.5 miles - it's waterfront promenade all the way so it's nice and easy.)
 

Statto

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Thanks for all your help, each of you has given us food for thought.

Firstly, confirmation that we can go via the loop to change trains is good, as it means we don't have to change platforms.

Secondly the bus option has some merit, as we are staying closer to the bus than the station; against that, the journey time by rail is shorter, even with the extra walk to the station and the change at Hamilton Square.

Thirdly a Saveaway ticket is a good suggestion, especially if we decide to go on the ferry.

We're not going for a couple of weeks, but I will let you know the what we did.

Saveaway is defiantly the best option, however to use the Ferries or going through the loop you'll need an all area Saveaway which is £5.20, also
• For cross river journeys only on Mersey Ferries.
To enjoy the full, continuous River Explorer
Cruise you can either buy a supplementary ticket
for your Saveaway or Trio or you can buy a full
River Explorer Cruise ticket from the terminal
when collecting your boarding pass.

http://www.merseytravel.gov.uk/Documents/MT Tickets Adult.2015.pdf
 

Ianigsy

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I would be very surprised if Merseyrail were to penalise anybody travelling with a Senior Railcard for using the Liverpool loop section on a journey between two Wirral Line stations. The camber on the Liverpool bound platform at Hamilton Square and consequent gap between the train and platform, combined with the fact that the interchange with the Chester line is via an overbridge, make this very unattractive for a lot of older and/or less agile folk.

When my grandmother was alive in the 1990s, the service pattern actually had trains from New Brighton and West Kirby heading to Chester and Ellesmere Port, rather than back to their origin point- on Sundays coming back from Chester or visiting family at Spital, it made a nonsense as changing at Hamilton Square simply meant sitting on the platform for 15 minutes waiting for the unit you'd just left to travel round the loop and come back!
 
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