In the 1960s Merseyrail was being designed with an outer rail loop that circled the city. The proposal was to use the former Cheshire Lines Committee's North Liverpool Extension Line route through the eastern suburbs of Liverpool and the north south crossrail Northern Line that runs under the city centre to form the complete Outer Loop. The proposal advanced into one large outer loop with two sub loops, one for the northern section of the city and one for the southern. A part of the proposal was that passengers on the mainline radial routes into Lime Street entering from the east and south could transfer on to the electric urban Merseyrail rapid-transit network at interchange stations on the Outer Loop to access outer suburbs and avoid the need to travel into the city centre. Liverpool South Parkway and a station to have been at Broad Green in the east of the city, were to be the interchange stations. The eastern section of the Outer Loop was abandoned as was the interchange station at Broad Green. The eastern section of the Outer Loop was mothballed. Liverpool South Parkway was eventually completed in 2006 approximately 30 years late.
As there was no eastern section of the Outer Loop to distribute passengers to the east of the city, the impetus to eventually complete the station was to improve public transport access to the expanding Liverpool John Lennon Airport, and also to provide new journey opportunities for rail passengers in south Liverpool by giving easy interchange between Northern Line, City Line and West Coast Main Line services. Construction began in 2004. The main line platforms at Liverpool South Parkway are on the site of the former Allerton station, which closed in 2005 to allow the required rebuilding work to commence. The Northern Line platforms are completely new, replacing a station at Garston which was slightly further west of the current station. The concourse, bus station and car park are built on land that was once the home of South Liverpool F.C. An information board situated on the footpath towards the main road explains the history of the site.
At the time of opening, the Merseyrail City Line service (which had been hourly at the former Allerton station) was increased to half-hourly. The station also became an additional stop on the Liverpool-Birmingham service (then operated by Central Trains). From 11 December 2006, the Monday-Saturday evening service on the Northern Line was increased to run every 15 minutes, instead of half-hourly as previously. Initially, many long-distance services omitted Liverpool South Parkway from their timetables, however more train services were gradually introduced. In December 2008 the Birmingham service was doubled in frequency, and East Midlands Trains services began calling at the station. In December 2010 a further service was introduced, when First TransPennine Express services added the station as an extra stop on their services from Liverpool to York and Scarborough. In May 2011, Blackpool North services which operated from Lime Street were extended to start and terminate at Liverpool South Parkway. The service is operated by Northern and does not call at stations between South Parkway and Lime Street. The service from Lime Street is unchanged. Trains travelling from Blackpool North to Liverpool South Parkway have a 15-minute dwelling time at Liverpool Lime Street.
On the Northern Line (Platforms 5 and 6), trains run every 15 minutes, Monday to Saturday, to Southport via Liverpool Central, with a half-hourly service on Sundays. On the high-level platforms (1 and 2), Northern provide two trains per hour in each direction on the City Line between Liverpool Lime Street and Manchester Oxford Road. On Sundays an hourly service operates. The East Midlands Trains service from Liverpool to Nottingham and Norwich) serves the station hourly. London Midland services between Liverpool Lime Street and Birmingham New Street call at Liverpool South Parkway. The service runs half-hourly Monday to Saturday, and hourly on Sundays. Selected services use platform 3. TransPennine Express services from Liverpool call at the station as of 12 December 2010. Most services continue to York and Scarborough via Leeds. There is also limited direct services to/from Newcastle. Platform 4 is used for Northern services to Preston. Virgin Trains services do not serve the station and there are no plans to do so in the future. The platforms are not long enough to accommodate Virgin's Pendolino trains, and the location of this station, with a bridge at the north end and Allerton Junction at the south end, makes platform extension difficult. Bus services run from the station to Liverpool John Lennon Airport, Aigburth, Dingle, Mossley Hill and Liverpool City Centre. Services are operated by Arriva North West, Stagecoach Merseyside and HTL Buses. Passengers can use local services 80A and 86A for transfer to/from the airport. Combined bus-rail tickets are available for rail passengers wishing to travel to the airport. During the summer months, a shuttle bus provides a link to the National Trust's property at Speke Hall, running weekends and bank holidays between April and September.
Liverpool South Parkway has full disabled access. Platforms are accessible via lifts. There is an induction loop, help point, and lost property. There are 6 platforms (four high-level platforms on the West Coast Main Line and a further two on the Northern Line). A 5-stand bus station for local bus services. A 16-space taxi rank. Provision for a proposed extension of the now-shelved Merseytram system towards the airport. A 240-space car park for use as a Park and Ride facility. Storage facilities for 65 bicycles. A café and adjacent passenger lounge with wifi.
The station has been designed to use environmentally friendly techniques wherever possible. Some of the building's electricity is provided by Photovoltaic cells. A 700,000 litre rainwater harvesting system has also been installed to reduce the use of mains water. This water will be used for cleaning and washing, as well as toilet flushes. All timber used has been certified by the Forest Stewardship Council as being from a well-managed forest. The roof is made from recycled aluminium instead of virgin materials. The automatic doors at each of the five bus stances open only when a bus arrives, enhancing safety but also retaining heat within the building and avoiding excessive openings of the doors. The free-access main entrance uses a revolving door to avoid draughts. In June 2009 the station underwent some enhancements, and saw the introduction of a new travel centre and a heated passenger lounge with wifi internet access, comfortable chairs and free newspapers, adjacent to the café; ticket barriers at both ends of the concourse were also installed. A ticket vending machine, allowing collection of tickets booked online, was installed in July 2014. Bus Connection Timetable. Or NextBus for live departures.
Local Taxis: 0151 427 7909, 0151 486 7777
Connections: 166,266 (Belle Vale Interchange), 786 (Halewood), 80,80A,82,82D,86,86A,86D (Liverpool ONE bus station), 167 (Grassendale), 201 (Royal Liverpool Hospital), 787 (Hope University), 80A,86A (Liverpool John Lennon Airport), 80,80E,201 (Speke), 188,288 (Halewood Shopping Centre)