Regular users of the Mersey tunnels have been told to prepare for disruption when work on renewing the Wirral loop line track gets under way in the new year.
Both the Birkenhead and Wallasey tunnels will be taking the strain for the first six weeks of the year, when there will be no cross-river rail services between the Wirral and Liverpool at all from January 3.
Merseytravel’s figures show that an increase of just 10 per cent on peak morning and afternoon traffic flows in the tunnels would lead to significant levels of congestion.
This would not only have an effect on existing tunnel users, but would also slow down rail replacement and cross-river bus services – the main travel alternatives during the works.
Merseytravel advised drivers to travel out of peak times where possible or to allow more time for their journeys.
Meanwhile, rail users are being encouraged to stick to public transport – express rail replacement services, existing cross-river buses and the Mersey Ferries – to help keep the tunnels and surrounding routes flowing.
Wayne Menzies, chair of the Liverpool City Region’s major events transport board and head of rail at Merseytravel, said: “Wirral line rail users will be well aware of the impact the track renewal work will have on their journeys, but regular tunnel users may not be aware that it’s likely to have an impact on their journeys too.
“Like rail users, they need to be prepared and to consider their options.
“Encouraging rail users to stick to public transport, and regular tunnel users to consider when they travel, can help manage the flow of traffic through the tunnels for everyone’s benefit, including those on express rail replacement or cross-river bus services.”
For more details on the Wirral loop line track renewal, visit www.merseyrail.org/trackrenewal