COMMUTERS are being reminded to follow travel advice and stick to public transport to help them cross the Mersey during the final phase of the Wirral loop line track renewal works.

With phase three beginning on Tuesday, May 30, the three-week full closure will take place during the week and weekends will come to an end on Sunday, June 18.

For 20 days, all Wirral line trains will start and terminate at Birkenhead North and Birkenhead Central.

Rail replacement buses will run between Wirral and Liverpool stations.

Alternative transport services will also continue to run at the weekends during phase three and the Mersey Tunnels are proving to be flowing freely at weekends which means that driving may be an option without creating congestion in the tunnels.

Merseytravel chief executive Frank Rogers said: "The response of our City Region travellers during these works, particularly in phase one, has been exceptional and we are asking for their support for this final leg of the investment journey.

"We can't afford to be complacent for phase three so if people continue to follow the travel advice, as they have been doing, we will continue to monitor services and do everything we can to keep people moving".

Network Rail has been replacing sections of a concrete based track in the 'loop' – originally laid in the 1970s, while making the most of the opportunity to carry out other work, including replacing conventional track under the riverbed.

The work, which also supports a new set of Merseyrail trains due to be on the network from the early 2020s, is part of a £340m investment in the Liverpool City Region's rail network over the next three years.

Jan Chaudhry-van der Velde, managing director of Merseyrail said: "With light literally at the end of the tunnel, phase three is the final furlong to upgrade track in the tunnel and under the riverbed.

"Like phase one, these few weeks are likely to be disruptive, but there will be plenty of rail replacement buses in service.

"We ask passengers to bear with us over this relatively short period before the Wirral line is once again running as normal".

In phase three commuters also need to take into account the closure of the Wirral Dock Bridges along the Tower Road and the Mersey Tunnel traffic flows which have changed due to an increase in traffic.

Businesses and organisations are also advised to put flexible arrangements back in place to support staff, customers and contractors.

Merseytravel is issuing this key advice to commuters:

  • Don't take the car, use public transport: The Mersey Tunnels and surrounding routes can accommodate additional buses but they will not be able to cope with an increase in cars at peak times. Congestion will increase journey times for everyone.
  • Avoid travelling at peak times where possible: If you work, speak to your employer about whether there is any flexibility in working times or times you could avoid travelling altogether. If you can, you may want to leave work later and make the most of restaurants, shops and other leisure activities on whatever side of the river you’re travelling home from.
  • Leave more time for your journey: Whether you travel cross-river, within the rail network in Wirral, or usually make use of the underground rail ‘loop’ to get around the city centre, you will need more time for your journey to take account of the changes.
  • Consider your options: Different ways of travelling may suit your needs depending on where you need to go and at what time.

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