MERSEYRAIL has partially reversed its original decision to shut the Ellesmere Port line during the Liverpool Giant Spectacular festival – but not everyone is happy.

The rail operator sparked a backlash on Thursday when it announced it was making alterations to its timetable so it could "assist with the large volume of passengers attending" the final Liverpool Giant Spectacular event from Thursday, October 4 to Sunday, October 7.

Part of the changes meant closing the Ellesmere Port line altogether on Friday and Saturday, October 5-6, and opening Ellesmere Port Station from Sunday.

The move meant people from the Ellesmere Port area wanting to go to the festival would have to travel to Hooton Station first, or find an alternative mode of transport into Liverpool.

It also caused dismay with commuters between the two areas.

However, Merseyrail has since announced a rail replacement bus service will run from Ellesmere Port Station on Friday and Saturday, October 5-6.

In a statement, Merseyrail said: "Earlier Merseyrail released its special events timetable from Friday to Sunday, October 5-7, to accommodate the high number of passengers expected to use the network during the Giant Spectacular event. This included a limited stop service across the network and no services between Ellesmere Port and Hooton stations.

"Merseyrail has announced that following feedback from its passengers over the course of the day, rail replacement buses will now run between Ellesmere Port and Hooton stations on Friday and Saturday, October 5-6. A rail service was already planned to run on the line on Sunday, October 7."

Andy Heath, managing director at Merseyrail, added: “Following feedback from our passengers I am pleased to announce that rail replacement buses will run between Ellesmere Port and Hooton.

"It’s important that we do everything we can to meet the expectations of our passengers and I hope that our customers using Ellesmere Port will be pleased with this news.”

But Ellesmere Port and Neston MP Justin Madders, who originally tweeted to Merseyrail: "How dare you decide at two weeks notice to shut the Ellesmere Port line", still has concerns.

Responding to the news on Twitter that there will be a rail replacement service, he tweeted: "Pleased to hear this but the fact you were going to shut the line at two weeks notice for apparently nothing more than the convenience of other people reinforces the view amongst some passengers in the area we are an afterthought. You need to think about all your customers."

The MP has also had constituents contact him about the fact stations such as Bache and Capenhurst are still to remain closed from Friday-Sunday, October 5-7, and has enquired if there will be rail replacement services for those stops.

Passengers have pointed out to the rail operator that, for Bache in particular, the closure of that station will be inconvenient for patients and NHS staff at the nearby Countess of Chester Hospital.

No Merseyrail trains will be calling at Little Sutton, Capenhurst, Overpool or Bache from Friday to Sunday.

For passengers commuting between Chester and Liverpool, they will have to change trains at Hooton as a 20-minute train shuttle service between Chester and Hooton will be in effect.

Lime Street low level and James Street stations will be closed and all Wirral line passengers are to use Liverpool Central station.