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Southport Reporter® covering the news on Merseyside.

Date:- 16 April 2007

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Unexplained death on the M53

MERSEYSIDE Police officers are investigating the unexplained death of a woman on the M53 motorway have confirmed the identity of the woman as 42-year-old Jacqueline Sandra Pye of Higher Bebington.

Just after midnight on Monday, 9 April 2007, the deceased's body was found beneath a bridge on the southbound carriageway of the M53 motorway between junction 4 and 5 at Clatterbridge.

The motorway, between Junctions 4 and 5, was closed to traffic whilst Crime Scene Investigators carried out investigations at the scene.

Senior Investigating Officer, DCI Mike Parkinson said:- “I would appeal to anyone who was driving along the M53 motorway just before, or just after, midnight who may have seen anything which could help with our investigation to contact the police on 0151 777 2265, or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

We believe that the deceased had been to a party on Sunday night and would appeal to anyone who may have further information which could help us build a picture of the events leading up to this lady's death to contact us.”

Four people (three men aged 47, 40 and 18 years from the Wirral and an 18 year old woman from Wirral) arrested in connection with the unexplained death of 42 year old Jacqueline Pye on the M53 motorway have been released on police bail pending further inquiries.

A post mortem to establish the cause of death has concluded that Jacqueline Pye died as a result of head injuires consistent with a fall from a height.

Detectives are continuing their inquiries into the circumstances surrounding the death and senior investigating officer DCI Mike Parkinson, said:- "A number of witnesses have come forward as a result of appeals in the media and I would like to thank them for their assistance.

The investigation into Jacqueline Pye's death is continuing and I would urge anyone who hasn't contacted us, who has information that could help with our investigation, to come forward and contact the police on 0151 777 2265.  You can also contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 at any time of day or night."


PASSENGERS in Merseyside are set to benefit from Network Rail's third phase of track renewal of the underground railway. The £3.3 million project is part of a wider £15 million scheme to replace the entire track that runs beneath the city centre by the end of 2009.

Work starts on Saturday 21 April and continues until Monday 28 May 2007, during which time all services from the Wirral lines will terminate at James Street station. A bus shuttle will run from James Street to Lime Street station only. Northern Line and main line services are not affected by the work.

Simon Whitehorn, Network Rail's area manager Merseyside said:- "The renewal of the track brings benefits for everyone. Passengers get a better quality ride, it causes less wear and tear on Merseyrail's fleet of trains and the new track needs less maintenance by us."

The work uses rail fixings manufactured in Australia. These Vipa base plates have been shipped half way round the world in time for the latest stage in the project. They are used to hold in place the two rails that make up the railway track. They also cut down on noise and vibration, so rail passengers get a smoother, quieter ride.

The underground system in Liverpool is unusual compared to conventional railway tracks. Most track systems consist of two rails held in place on sleepers by steel clips. The sleepers, which can be either wooden, steel or concrete, are packed into grey stone chippings known as ballast.

However, the four mile long Liverpool underground system constructed in 1971 consists of a circular loop line in a single bore tunnel. The railway lines sit on Vipa base plates which are bolted to a solid slab of concrete that takes the place of the sleepers and ballast. This system is used because of the limited clearance in the tunnels and the need to ensure that the track does not move out of alignment.

Two more phases of work are needed to complete the entire track renewal.

Phase four sees the renewal of track between Birkenhead Park and Hamilton Square. This is proposed to take place in February 2008 before the Capital of Culture celebrations begin in earnest, and will only be for 10 days. Network Rail is investigating the possibility of keeping the Wirral Lines open during the work.

The final phase will be the section of track between Moorfields and Lime Street. Work is expected to take place in 2009, but no specific dates have been proposed.

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