Building the Mersey Tunnels

The Art Deco portal to Queensway the first Mersey Tunnel

www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/17-deaths-250-tonnes-explosive-13696923

The Liverpool Echo has the story on its web site – see link above

These are the tickets my family were given when we walked through the new (2nd) Tunnel in 1971, the day before it opened to vehicles.

This is the front page of the booklet produced to celebrate of the opening of Kingsway Tunnel in 1971.

I have always been fascinated by the Mersey Tunnels, their history and how they were constructed. This Liverpool Echo article gives an interesting insight into both of them.

Merseytravel – Work due to start on refresh of the Mersey Tunnels Toll System

The Art Deco portal to Queensway the first Mersey Tunnel

From a Merseytravel press release, it may be of interest if you are a user of the Mersey Tunnels

Mersey Tunnel users are set to benefit from an improved travelling experience as work gets underway on a refresh of the toll system in both tunnels next month (September).

Improvements that will be introduced through the refresh, some of which are the result of feedback received from tunnel users, include:

· New toll machines on both the Birkenhead and Wallasey Tunnel toll plazas

· The machines will include an improved positioning of both the coin basket and the “reject coin” slot (making it easier to collect coins not accepted)

· Improved coin analysers, ensuring the cash transaction is quicker for customers.

· A change to the process of the “staffed” lanes, where payment will be taken by the attendant rather than the cash being handed back to them to make payment at the machine – again speeding up the transaction for the customer.

· The introduction of contactless card payment into every lane, to be in operation from early 2018.

· Digital displays to indicate information about your transaction in live time as well as the status of Fast Tag account balances.

· A new, improved website for Mersey Tunnels and the Fast Tag system

A decision was taken to “refresh” the current system rather than wholly replace it, so as to minimise the disruption to the public and also allow long-term planning for any major changes in the future.

Some preparation work has already taken place for the refresh, with two test lanes installed into the Birkenhead Tunnel in late July along with work to update the systems behind the scenes.

The £3.1m scheme will see the current toll machines (which were first installed in 2001) replaced on a lane-by-lane basis from late September to January to minimise disruption for tunnel users, although customers are being advised that there may be some congestion during peak periods while the work takes place.

Once that work in all toll lanes is completed, work will begin to install the contactless card payment equipment into each lane early in 2018.

The new Mersey Tunnels website, incorporated into the main Merseytravel website with a user-friendly interface including a mobile site, is also due to launch in December.

These are the tickets my family were given when we walked through the new (2nd) Tunnel in 1971, the day before it opened to vehicles.

Mersey Tunnel (Kingsway) – 75 miles of new electric cables!

This is the front page of the booklet produced to celebrate  of the opening of Kingsway Tunnel in 1971 when my family walked through it the day before it opened.

This is the front page of the booklet produced to celebrate of the opening of Kingsway Tunnel in 1971 when my family walked through it the day before it opened.

Kingsway Tunnel rewire has begun

75 miles of cable– the equivalent distance of Liverpool to Leeds – will be installed as part of a major £7.5million project to rewire and replace the lighting in the Kingsway (Wallasey) tunnel.

The work started on Tuesday 3rd May is part of an on-going 10 year tunnels investment programme and is expected to take 18 months to complete, with the majority of work taking place overnight, causing minimal disruption to tunnel users.

The existing lighting will be replaced with more efficient LED units with a lifespan of at least 20 years, reducing Co2 emissions by around 450 tonnes per year and making up to £90,000 savings on the electricity bill per annum.

The existing electrical infrastructure will be replaced with modern cables which will be installed in the tunnel invert below the road surface. This will allow easier maintenance, minimising the need for the tubes having to be closed in the future – again maximising convenience for our customers.

Interesting facts

• 75 miles of cable will be installed

• 1600 light fittings will be replaced

• 6.5 miles of cable tray and baskets will be used

• 4.5 miles of steelwork and brackets will support the new installations

The Liverpool City Region approved the investment for the re-wire project in November 2015.

The 1.5 mile (2.4 km) Kingsway tunnel opened in 1971 and was built to accommodate the rise in traffic when the Queensway Tunnel, which was built in the 1930s to carry vehicles between Birkenhead and Liverpool, was unable to cope with the rise in post-war traffic.

My thanks to Sefton Councillor John Dodd for spotting this story