A MEMBER of the royal family paid a visit to Halton yesterday, Monday, to celebrate Runcorn train station's 150th anniversary.

His Royal Highness, The Duke of Gloucester, visited the borough to mark three major milestones for the station including the anniversary, plans to re-open to Halton Curve rail link and Halton Council's Runcorn Station Quarter regeneration project.

His Royal Highness, accompanied by Cheshire Lord Lieutenant, David Briggs MBE, was greeted at The Brindley Theatre by Halton’s Mayor and Mayoress, councillors John and Marjorie Bradshaw, the High Sheriff of Cheshire, Mrs Alexis Redmond MBE, council leader councillor Rob Polhill, and chief executive David Parr.

He was shown a presentation on the first passenger services on the new Halton Curve, which links Liverpool with Chester.

After unveiling a plaque to mark the Runcorn Station’s anniversary, His Royal Highness visited the site of the Runcorn Station Quarter works to cut the first sod.

This will mark the official start of work on road improvements that will improve the connectivity between Runcorn Station and Runcorn town centre.

Balfour Beatty is responsible for the demolition of an existing redundant section of elevated highway, the construction of a new roundabout and improvement of the associated highways infrastructure in Halton and Widnes.

Paul Weaver, managing director of Balfour Beatty’s North & Midland regional business West Delivery Unit, said: “It was an honour to welcome His Royal Highness the Duke of Gloucester to Runcorn today, to break ground and celebrate the redevelopment of the Station Quarter.  

"The redevelopment will significantly contribute towards Halton Council’s ambitious wider regeneration plans, developing a more efficient highways network to benefit the local community and the travelling public for years to come.”

Halton Borough Council leader, councillor Rob Polhill, says: "We are thrilled that His Royal Highness came to Halton to mark these major milestones and cut the first sod for the Runcorn Station Quarter project.

"The council is committed to the regeneration of Runcorn, and the opening of the Mersey Gateway gave us this opportunity to transform the area around the station.

"Runcorn Station is an important asset for Halton, and the Halton Curve will further increase passenger numbers into the area, so it is vital the station’s setting is improved."