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Southport Reporter®

Edition No. 217

Date:- 04 September 2005

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Overnight tunnel closures for vital safety improvements

OVERNIGHT closures will come into force in the Queensway Tunnel, from Liverpool to Birkenhead, as part of a series of vital safety improvement works.  The works are part of Merseytravel’s £7million investment in extra emergency escapes within the Queensway Tunnel.

Nearing completion, the major project will bring safety and security measures within the 2.23mile tunnel up to tough European safety standards.

A Merseytravel spokesperson said:- “Rigorous safety legislation is coming in across Europe. Although it doesn’t apply to Mersey Tunnels, safety is a paramount concern, and this investment will help Mersey Tunnels meet these new international safety standards. We are nearing completion of the emergency escapes so these will be some of the last overnight closures linked to this work.”

The closures, on Lanes A and B, will mean that during the hours of 7.30pm and 6.30am on weekdays during the closure period, the tunnel will be closed to all traffic from Liverpool to Birkenhead.

The closures will operate as follows:-

• 7.30pm on Monday 12 Sept. until 6.30am on Tuesday 13 September
• 7.30pm on Tuesday 13 Sept. until 6.30am on Wednesday 14 September
• 7.30pm on Wednesday 14 Sept. until 6.30am on Thursday 15 September
• 7.30pm on Thursday 15 Sept. until 6.30am on Friday 16 September
• 7.30pm on Friday 16 Sept. until 6.30am on Saturday 17 September

The Birkenhead to Liverpool lanes will be open as normal, as will the Kingsway (Wallasey) Tunnel.

People are being urged to allow extra time for their journeys.


A number of local companies have worked together to provide and install a new heating and hot water system in the Samaritans office in Warrington.

Sentinel, Caradon Ideal, Stelrad, PSP and Plumb Centre have all supplied the necessary products and materials while Stockton Heath Plumbing and Heating installed the system – all free of charge.

Sentinel Sales Manager John Lynch explained:- “The Samaritans needed a new heating system at the office as their boiler was very old and their gas fires had been out of action for many years. They were relying on electric radiators which were both costly to run and inefficient and we wanted to do something to help so we called a few of our contacts to see if they would also like to get involved. We were really pleased with the positive response we received from all of them and delighted to make this gesture of support to a valuable service in our area.”

Lynn Parish, Director of the local Samaritans branch, said:- “All the volunteers were touched by the level of support these companies have shown us. Our branch covers Warrington, St Helens and Halton and we provide a listening ear to more than 400 people a week – it costs around £50 - £60 per day to run the service and we rely purely on fundraising and private donations to keep us going so we are extremely grateful for their help. Our new heating system is far more efficient so we’ll be saving money on our fuel bills which we can utilise elsewhere.”

But the new system is not just helping them save money, as Lynn explains:- "Much of the work we carry out is by telephone but we also deal with some people face to face and it’s important to provide a comfortable, welcoming atmosphere for them. The office is now a warmer and more inviting place and this all helps create a more conducive environment within which they can talk openly and confidentially to us.”

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