The River Mersey. The Mersey Tunnel. The Queensway tunnel. Mersey Tunnel tours. Tours of the Mersey Tunnel.
THE MERSEY FERRY
The Queensway Mersey Tunnel was built between 1925 and 1932 at a cost of £8 million.
Designed by civil engineer Sir Basil Mott and the exterior entrances designed by architect Herbert James Rowse, the tunnel was the longest sub aqueous tunnel in the world for the following 24 years after it's completion.
The tunnel which is two miles long and carries traffic from Liverpool city centre to the Wirral Peninsula was officially opened on 18th of July 1934 by King George V.
One thousand seven hundred men excavated 1.2 million tons of rock, gravel and clay - by hand - before going on to build the circular tunnel, which claimed the lives of 17 of it's workforce.
( Image courtesy of quakdave, wikimedia commons)
Today the tunnel, which is one of two ( The Kingsway Tunnel was completed in 1971) is owned and operated by Merseytravel and policed by it's own force.
Four traffic lanes, two running southbound and two running northbound, run between the city of Liverpool and the town of Birkenhead.
The tunnel has 7 emergency refuges, capable of holding 180 people, each measuring 69 ft by 10 ft, which contain fire resistant doors, wheelchair ramps, a supply of bottled water, toilets and videolink to tunnel police.
It's main entrance and toll booths are situated at only one end, the Birkenhead side, with just a tunnel entrance on the Liverpool side.
Fire and police vehicles,situated at it's Birkenhead entrance, and videolink and 24 CRT cameras, situated at it's control tower at Georges Dock, are in 24 hour operation in order to safeguard the tunnel from it's worst potential emergency, fire and for the lesser charge of vehicle breakdowns.
The tunnel's main tower and ventilation shaft, which also houses offices and a control centre, are situated at Georges Dock on Liverpool's Pier Head.
( Image courtesy of oosoom, wikimedia commons)
It is from this grade II listed tower, that the public are able to partake in the Mersey Tunnel Tour, a two to three hour behind the scenes guided tour of the tunnel control room, the under tunnel road surface, it's ventilation stations, emergency escape refuges and to learn all about how this engineering masterpiece was constructed.
The tour takes in the climbing of many steps, which is taken in a, cold, working environment, so please be advised to wear warm clothing that are not considered your Sunday best.
Please be aware that people with walking or breathing difficulties may find the many steps over exerting.
Unfortunately only children over ten years of age are allowed to take the tour and no more than two children are allowed to be accommpanied by one adult.
Tours take place every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings, starting at 5 PM and Saturday mornings, starting at 10 AM.
All tours must be pre - booked in advance.
Tour admission is £5.00 per person.
The Georges Dock Building is easilly accessible by car, bus, metro and Mersey Ferry.
For transport details ring 0871 200 22 33.
Car parking can be found at nearby Pier Head, Albert Dock and Liverpool City centre.
The Georges Dock Building can be found at Georges Dock Way, Pier Head Liverpool, L3 1DD.
Telephone number 0151 330 4504.
E - Mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org
( Image courtesy of Terry Walsh, wikimedia commons)
( Title image of the Mersey Ferry courtesy of tagishsimon, wikimedia commons)
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