Everton seeks to ease new stadium travel with Council tie-up

Cllr Marion Atkinson (L) and Alix Waldron (R)

Featured image credit: Everton FC

Everton has entered into a partnership with Sefton Council that is designed to further enhance the transport offer from the borough ahead of the Premier League football club’s new stadium opening at Bramley-Moore Dock.

The two organisations said they will work in unison with the ultimate goal of promoting the effective arrival and dispersal of supporters to and from Sefton.

The collaboration will focus on public transportation links, active travel opportunities, parking, leisure opportunities utilising the new stadium and around Bootle town centre, as well as respective events programmes that might attract fans before and after matches at the 52,888-capacity waterfront stadium, which is set to open in the summer of 2025.

Cllr Marion Atkinson, leader of Sefton Council, said: “This is an exciting time for Bootle town centre and with Everton Stadium little more than a goal kick away, it makes absolute sense for the Council and Everton to work together to make sure fans have a range of choices in how they arrive and depart from the new stadium.”

With Bootle Strand Bus Station and the town centre offering park and ride opportunities for supporters, Sefton Council is also pointing to investment plans for the nearby Strand Shopping Centre and the development of Salt & Tar – a 3,000-capacity event space featuring street food, bars and live entertainment – as a potential pre-and post-match venue close to the transport hub. 

Given the relatively close proximity, both parties said they are committed to working to improve transportation to and from the stadium, with many supporters travelling through the borough to arrive at the facility. This is likely to include a park and ride scheme, involving shuttle buses to and from Bootle Strand and using public and private car parks in the borough. 

The partnership will also investigate active travel opportunities, while promoting better information around the local train network that caters for the Southport to Liverpool and Ormskirk to Liverpool lines – both of which stop at Sandhills Station, close to Everton Stadium. 

Alix Waldron, director of stadium development at Everton, said: “By working with Sefton Council we can continue to strategically review all of the different opportunities and impacts our new stadium will have to support the borough and its residents.

“We have been very open about how Everton Stadium can offer ‘once in a generation’ opportunities and we have seen this already with a clear boost to the local economy, the direct and indirect number of jobs being created and the tourism boost our new home will give to our city region.

“This agreement will look at how we can work jointly to not only harness the socio-economic opportunities for Sefton but also facilitate and manage real-world logistics like supporters travelling through the borough and liaising on potentially competing events in the same area.”  

Both parties have committed to joint engagement and management of public messaging relating to transportation arrangements before, during and after any matches and large-scale events. Atkinson added: “It’s incumbent on us all to make sure the right information is available for fans to make informed choices about their travel arrangements and matchday choices.

“We have been supportive of Everton throughout the planning and development phases of the stadium. We are delighted to continue that relationship through the promotion and alignment of our respective investments, and through a commitment to providing fans with the best and most up to date travel information and leisure opportunities.”

The agreement will also explore wider partnership opportunities, including the joint promotion and marketing of respective events, commercial place-making proposals that offer mutual benefit to the club and local authority and Sefton Council’s increased engagement with the team’s charity, Everton in the Community. 

Earlier this month, Waldron told TheStadiumBusiness.com how one of, if not the biggest fanzone space in English football, is set to revolutionise the matchday experience for fans of Everton, when its new stadium stages its first games ahead of the 2025-26 season.