A WIRRAL MP today blasted plans to close the Liverpool Coastguard station as a dangerous cost-saving exercise that will put lives at risk.

The station in Crosby is one of eight earmarked by Transport Minister Phillip Hammond due to close next year.

Wallasey MP Angela Eagle said: “This is all about saving money, not safety. "It’s dangerous and will put safety at risk.

"Phillip Hammond has made some concessions by keeping 11 stations open, which is good.

“There’s still 12 weeks of consultation. But there real issues which need to be addressed.

"For example, a coastguard operator based in Northern Ireland will know nothing about what’s going on in Liverpool Bay.

"We have a huge maritime history and it’s being eroded by these cuts.”

While watering down plans to drastically reduce the number of coastguard centres, the Crosby station was not spared the axe.

Original proposals envisaged cutting the centres from 19 to nine, with three remaining open 24 hours a day.

The Transport Secretary announced that 11 centres would remain and they would all be 24-hour operational.

Labour spokeswoman Maria Eagle, Angela's twin sister, said the Government's decision to revise its original plans was a tribute to the coastguards who had campaigned against the closures.

But she told Mr Hammond: "However, this announcement means the loss of just under half of all Britain's coastguard stations.

"That is a devastating blow to those stations which you propose to close - to the coastguards, their families and the communities they serve and in which they are held in such respect."

Fred Caygill from the Maritime and Coastguard Agency said: "We continue to believe that operationally the proposals to modernise will deliver the benefits of a fully networked national, resilient coordination service, with appropriate resourcing and efficient and effective command and control."