Chance to find out what goes on beneath the Mersey on tunnel tour

Chance to find out what goes on beneath the Mersey on tunnel tour

Tour guide Alison Smith watches traffic at the entrance to one of Queensway's refuge points. Picture: Craig Manning

Frank Rogers on path leading to refuge room. Picture: Craig Manning

Pick axe used by Sir Archibald Salvidge to break through the tunnel at start of work on April 3, 1928

Frank Rogers linked up to police control room in Queensway refuge room. Picture: Craig Manning

First published in News
Last updated
Wirral Globe: Photograph of the Author by , Chief Reporter

THE Mersey Tunnels are something millions of motorists on both sides of the river take for granted every year.

According to Merseytravel, an estimated 25 million vehicles pass through them every year, carrying around 37 million passengers.

A new behind-the-scenes tour of the Queensway Tunnel gives the public a chance to find out what goes on beneath the Mersey.

Frank Rogers, Merseytravel’s deputy chief executive. said the aim of the tour is to raise awareness of how the tunnels operate.

All funds raised from the tour are used to pay the tour guides.

An interesting fact is that in case of emergency, there are seven refuge rooms for motorists under the roadway of the Queensway Tunnel.

The rooms are kept well-lit, have seating, and supplies of bottled water.

They're linked to a control room at Wallasey police station. The rooms have only been used once, in 2012, when a vehicle caught fire.

Mr Rogers said safety is of paramount importance when people are in the refuge areas: "When you open a door you are directed along to another refuge, because we wouldn't want you to end up in a dangerous place like a pump system.

"The last thing you want in the refuge room is for the lights to go out.

"So we have a have a back-up uninterruptable power supply. The fan room is also said to be home to the ghost of a engineer who died in the 1950s."

Alison Smith, tunnel tour guide, said: "We call him 'Gillie the Ghost'.

"There's a story that he walked past a member of staff one night, dressed in 1950s' clothes.

"When the member of staff turned round, the man had gone.

"I've actually done this tour for seven years, but have never seen him yet."

Tunnels Trivia

Queensway, which links Birkenhead to Liverpool, opened in 1934; Kingsway in Wallasey opened in 1971.

The tunnels have 5,428 light fittings.

44 fans, eight ventilation stations, 30 pumps to remove ground water and 11 standby electricity generators, with capacity to power 2,700 homes. The electricity bill is £1m a year.

There are also 400 CCTV cameras linked to a central control room to assist in assessing traffic flow and in the event of accidents and emergencies.

Tickets and further details on the tour are from tours@merseytravel.gov.uk or www.merseytravel.gov.uk

 

Comments (4)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

1:37pm Fri 24 Jan 14

WirralAl says...

Great so how do you get tickets!
Great so how do you get tickets! WirralAl
  • Score: 2

4:06pm Fri 24 Jan 14

ballacrain says...

Is the tour suitable for folks with disabilities?
Is the tour suitable for folks with disabilities? ballacrain
  • Score: 1

3:12pm Sat 25 Jan 14

bigfoot says...

Do we find Miserytravels hidden treasure?
Do we find Miserytravels hidden treasure? bigfoot
  • Score: 1

11:26pm Sun 26 Jan 14

benny07 says...

THESE TOURS SHOULD BE FREE WERE CHARGED OVER £ 4 MILLION A YEAR OUT OF OUR COUNCIL TAXES TO SUBSIDISE ARRRIVA & MERSEY TRAVEL ,BET YOU DID,NT KNOW THAT,PEOPLE.
THESE TOURS SHOULD BE FREE WERE CHARGED OVER £ 4 MILLION A YEAR OUT OF OUR COUNCIL TAXES TO SUBSIDISE ARRRIVA & MERSEY TRAVEL ,BET YOU DID,NT KNOW THAT,PEOPLE. benny07
  • Score: 1

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree