THE main road connecting Hoylake to West Kirby is to be closed for two weeks.

The emergency measure will begin this Tuesday to allow urgent repairs to a collapsed sewer drain.

The Drive will be shut from the roundabout at Kings Gap in Hoylake to its junction with Morpeth Road.

Through traffic will be diverted via Black Horse Hill, Frankby Road, Pump Lane, Heron Road and vice versa.

More than 129 diversion signs will be set up.

The diversion route is approximately seven miles long -  about 17 minutes' travel time.

The repairs follow detection of large depressions in the carriageway.

It is not possible to carry out the work one lane at a time as the sewer runs beneath the centre of the road.

Wirral Globe:

A statement from Wirral Council said: "For road safety reasons and due to the nature of works involved it will be necessary to install an emergency road closure to enable the contractor to carry out essential operations and ensure a safe working area is maintained.

"United Utilities have been instructed to complete this urgent work at the earliest opportunity to avoid any conflict with preparations for the Open Golf Championship event."

The work will be carried out seven days a week during Wirral schools' Easter break, and several measures have been undertaken to ensure disruption is kept to a minimum.

Polly Rourke, from United Utilities, said: “We’re really sorry to have to do this, but we need to fix a sewer under the A540 Meols Drive and at 3.5m deep there’s no way of doing it safely without temporarily closing the road.

“Work starts after rush-hour tomorrow (Tuesday, April 15) and will take a maximum of 14 days.

“But if all goes to plan, and by working through weekends, we hope to be able to dramatically reduce this.

“It’s important that we do this now because it will prevent worse problems happening in the future.”

Advanced information boards have been set up to pre-warn drivers of emergency works.

Consultation has been carried out with Merseyside Police and other emergency services.

Paul Murphy, Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service's Wirral district manager, said: “We are aware of the road closure. We do not expect that this will affect our ability to respond to emergencies.”

The council apologised in advance for any inconvenience and said it will "endeavour to keep  disruption to a minimum."

Ms Rourke added: "We hope people will bear with us. There are things people can do to help us keep their sewers healthy. 

"Fat, oil and grease set solid like concrete when they hit the cold of a sewer and are a major source of sewer blockages and even flooding.

"Always put them in the bin and never put them down the sink.”