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Flawed flyover removal nears halfway stage

Highway to history - Churchill Way Flyovers in Liverpool City Centre is being deconstructed in pre-planned phases.

CONTRACTORS for the mammoth deconstruction scheme will be taking down the 7th and 8th Span of the City's flawed highway in the sky and then it's spans 9 and 10 come down over the next few days leaving 50% of the gargantuan task will then be completed. The remaining 10 spans will be removed by mid-December. The major Central Spans; on both the North and South Flyovers; which presented the biggest challenge, given they sat 50 feet above Byrom Street and the traffic using the nearby Birkenhead (Queensway) Tunnel; have now been removed. This week's phase is on the South Flyover with the 2 spans; weighing more than 500 tonnes; running above the Dale Street Exit from the Birkenhead Tunnel.

Councillor Sharon Connor, Liverpool City Council's Cabinet member for Highways, said:- "The deconstruction of the Churchill Way Flyovers is a hugely complex process but the engineers are doing a tremendous job, with the removal fully on schedule to be completed by mid December. Although disruption has been unavoidable a huge amount of effort has been invested to minimise inconvenience to City Centre traffic and surrounding buildings. We're almost at the halfway stage now and we remain thankful to everyone for their patience and understanding whilst work continues."

On Sunday, 27 October 2019 the 60 foot long concrete sections will both be down, to be cut up further at the site compound. These smaller pieces will then be taken to a holding facility in North Liverpool to be crushed. Once this is completed, the Dale Street Junction off the Birkenhead Tunnel, will reopen, at 7am, on Wednesday, 30 October 2019, as will the pedestrian crossing at Byrom Street.

Preparation for the next major phase of the Churchill Way flyover deconstruction will begin on Monday, 28 October  2019, and covers the final 2 spans of the North West section of the North Flyover. The 9th and 10th span are scheduled to be removed by the end of the week.

On the same day Byrom Street will close Northbound from 7pm through to 5am the next morning on Tuesday, 29 October 2019, with lane restrictions on the Southbound Carriageway. This will enable the central reserve column to be removed. This task has been planned to coincide with a pre-arranged, night time maintenance closure of the Birkenhead Tunnel (which will re-open at 6.30am).

Pedestrians needing to get to the LJMU campus on Byrom Street can go via:- Hatton Garden to Great Crosshall Street or via William Brown Street, Islington and Hunter Street (when not fully closed).

Stephen McFaul, Contracts Manager for GRAHAM, said:- "This is a critical project on behalf of Liverpool City Council and will support the continued transformation of the flyovers into a safe, secure area. We are currently working on a number of projects throughout the City and will once again apply our collaborative approach and technical expertise to maximise the success of this project."

The complex removal of Liverpool’s Churchill Way flyovers will hit a key landmark next week - as engineers reach the halfway stage.

Flyover Deconstruction - The Process:-

The removal of the 50 year old Churchill Way flyovers is currently the most complex highways engineering scheme in the UK. The North and South flyovers; each of which are 800 feet in length; are being removed in a pre-determined sequence to mitigate impact in a very busy part of Liverpool City Centre.

The 4 month long deconstruction programme has necessitated an innovative approach and this has been devised collaboratively between Amey Consulting, GRAHAM and their specialist contractors.

The phased dismantling of the 2 flyovers; which connect Lime Street to Dale Street and Tithebarn Street; have also been devised to minimise vibrations to protect antique art and cultural collections, as well as wildlife housed, at the:- Walker Art Gallery, Central Library and World Museum Liverpool; all of which sit next to the South Flyover.

Liverpool City Council approved this hyper sensitive approach at a cost of ₤6.75m, after the 2 lane highways were closed, at the end of September 2018, following the discovery of construction flaws.

Once the deconstruction is completed in December 2019, alterations will be made to the highway layout around the Hunter Street to Byrom Street to Queensway Tunnel entrance, to improve traffic and pedestrian movements.

The site compound at Fontenoy Street, at which the sections are cut into smaller pieces, has required tree removal, but the City Council has plans to double tree numbers as part of a new post flyover master plan for the area.

Road closures currently in place for the scheme:-

Fontenoy Street will remain closed until 29 November 2019.

Surrounding car parks at:- Fontenoy Street, Dale Street, Primrose Hill and Hunter Street have now all closed and will re-open as phases complete from mid November to late December 2019.

Information for motorists:-

If car journeys are necessary, motorists are being redirected to nearby car parks at:- Victoria Street, Mount Pleasant, Queen Square and St Johns Shopping Centre.

For more flyover information including all road closures and diversions go to:- Liverpool.Gov.UK.

Funding for the deconstruction comes from the Liverpool City Centre Connectivity (LCCC) Phase 1 Grant Fund Agreement, which is supported by a ₤38.4m grant from the Local Growth Fund with City Council match funding of ₤8.7m. Local Growth Funding is awarded to the Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and invested through the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority through its Strategic Investment Fund.

Men are nearly twice as likely to be convicted for motoring offences than women

MEN are nearly twice as likely to receive a driving conviction than women, according to a new study from CompareTheMarket.Com looking at the best and worst drivers across the UK by driving convictions. The research found that 65% of convictions were from men while 35% were from women. Men were also found to be more than 2 and a ½ times more likely to have a drink driving conviction than women. Drivers in Surrey topped the list for having more convictions than any other area. Back in 2018 83,230 people took part in a surrey, that's 7% of the county's population, had reported a conviction on their car insurance quote. The new research, which looked at the number of people who reported a driving conviction on their insurance quote, found that the worst Region for drink driving is Lancashire, which last year accounted for 6% of drink driving convictions across the country. This is closely followed by Cheshire, Cornwall, Shropshire and Northumberland. Drivers in the worst 5 Regions for driving while over the limit are 4 times more likely to be convicted for being under the influence those in:- Middlesex, Bedfordshire, Cambridge, the West Midlands and Leicestershire.

The UK's top 5 Regions for bad drivers:-

Drivers with declared convictions as % of local population

Surrey 7.0%  
Lancashire 7.0%  
Cheshire 6.7%  
West Yorkshire 6.5%  
Rutland 6.4%  

Speeding is the most common driving offence across the UK, accounting for 65% of all driving convictions. Driving uninsured is the next most common offence, responsible for 7% of all convictions, while drink drivers are responsible for 5% of all driving convictions.  Drivers living in Essex have been penalised the most for using their phone in the driver's seat and are over 10 times more likely to have convictions for being on their phones than those in:- North Yorkshire, Leicestershire and Merseyside. Derbyshire residents have the most convictions for driving without a licence, followed by:- Essex, Durham, West Yorkshire and Hertfordshire.

Dan Hutson, Head of Motor Insurance, CompareTheMarket.Com, said:- "During 2012, the rules were changed by the EU so that insurance premiums could not be based on gender. However, this clearly shows that many male drivers are not doing themselves any favours and goes someway to demonstrate why men could still be paying more for insurance than women on average. Convictions on your driving record could have a serious impact on the premium you could be quoted. Poor and unsafe driving practices are rightly having a punishing impact on the cost of running a car."

People in the North West experience more dental anxiety symptoms than anywhere else in England

A new survey has revealed that people living in the North West of England experience more symptoms of anxiety when waiting for a dental appointment than anywhere else in the country. The survey, carried out on behalf of solicitors, the Dental Law Partnership, asked 1,000 UK adults about their experiences of visiting the dentist and how it made them feel. The data shows that 94% of respondents in the North West have experienced some of the classic signs of anxiety when waiting to see a dentist. This is compared to 79% in East Anglia, 84% in the South West of England and 87% in London. These anxiety symptoms include:-

Feeling restless, on edge or panicky.
A feeling of dread.
Dizziness, feeling faint or nauseous.
Shortness of breath or a dry mouth.
A headache or heart palpitations.

Survey respondents in the North West said that it was the fear of pain that they disliked most about dentists visits (48%), but the prospect of needles (29%) and bad memories of previous dental care (21%) also featured highly on their reasons for worry and anxiety.

50% of those surveyed in the North West said they'd had a bad experience previously at the dentist, the 2nd highest figure in England (after East Anglia - 51%), with 80% citing pain during treatment being their main concern. Other bad experiences included:- hearing other patients screaming, shouting or crying (11%), a rude dentist (24%) and a lack of trust that their dentist knew what they were doing (27%).

Critically, over 85% of respondents in the North West agreed that their bad experience had made them more anxious about visiting the dentist again, with 33% saying they had missed or cancelled a dental appointment since due to this worry.

Chris Dean of the Dental Law Partnership commented:- "It's really important that people visit the dentist regularly to look after their oral health and catch any potentially serious problems early. Dental anxiety is a very real barrier to this and, sadly, we weren't surprised by the results of this survey because we speak to people every day who have had a bad experience at the hands of a dental professional which has affected the way they feel about dentists.  Most dentists are highly skilled and provide the high levels of care to their patients, but when dental care professionals are negligent, it can have a huge impact on the patient; both physically and psychologically. We think it's important that people know they are able to make a complaint when they receive dental care that is substandard, and they may even be able to claim compensation for what has happened to them."

The NHS website offers tips for those suffering from dental anxiety. These include:-

Finding an understanding dentist with experience of helping nervous patients.
Visiting the practice to look around before you join.
Picking an appointment early in the day so you have less time to worry.
Taking a friend or family member with you to your appointment.
Agreeing a signal with your dentist that you need to take a break.

Do you agree with these finding?  Please email us your thoughts on this via:- News24@SouthportReporter.Com.

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