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The newly refurbished Ainsdale station on Merseyrail’s Southport line has won a prestigious sustainability award a year after it opened its doors to the public.

Ainsdale is the most environmentally friendly on the network after extensive renovations, and has gained an ‘Excellent’ rating from CEEQUAL – Civil Engineering Environmental Quality Assessment and Award Scheme – in recognition of its green credentials.

The previous booking office was demolished to make way for a new building, complete with solar panels, low energy LED lighting with smart controls and rainwater harvesting tanks to serve the toilet facilities.

Passengers now also enjoy a redeveloped car park, modern and bright booking office, improved waiting facilities and customer information screens with state-of-the-art equipment.

Funding came from Network Rail’s maintenance budget and National Station Improvement Scheme, and Merseytravel also contributed with funding for customer enhancements.

The certificate was presented to Merseyrail, architects Owen Ellis, principal contractors Morgan Sindall, Network Rail and Merseytravel.

Andy Heath, Managing Director at Merseyrail said: “Ainsdale station has been a collaborative effort between Merseyrail, Merseytravel, Network Rail and the Department for Transport, and the final product is something we can all be really proud of.

“It represents the best in being environmentally friendly and provides our passengers at the station with better technology, facilities and an overall improved experience.

“Merseyrail have taken significant steps in recent years, and by embracing the CEEQUAL process for our significant schemes and the achievement of our Excellent rating for Ainsdale we are continuing to lead the way in being environmentally friendly.”

Cllr Liam Robinson, Liverpool City Region Combined Authority Transport Portfolio Holder, said: “These new facilities have been of huge benefit to the community and with the green technology that has been incorporated, are a great representation of the forward-thinking that is taking place across the Merseyrail network.

“We have further ambitions for improving the city region rail network over the coming years and will continue to do so with the plans we have set out in our Long Term Rail Strategy.”

David Sides, Route Asset Manager at Network Rail, said: “The newly revamped Ainsdale station has provided passengers with a better, more modern space and created a more economically friendly and sustainable station that the Liverpool City Region can be proud of.

“Our platform upgrades – completed in February this year – have also prepared the station for the arrival of new trains and their sliding step, which will provide level access for all passengers on and off the train.

“It’s been fantastic to work with Merseyrail and Merseytravel to make this happen and is another great example of the Great North Rail Project in action.”

Funding for the station redevelopment came from the National Station Improvement Programme (NSIP) and further contributions from Merseytravel and Merseyrail.

The station is part of several significant developments on the Merseyrail network, including the opening of the new Maghull North station and the introduction of new state-of-the-art trains from 2020.