The Kingsway Tunnel (or Wallasey Tunnel) is a toll road tunnel under the River Mersey between Liverpool and Wallasey. The 1.5 mi (2.4 km) tunnel carries the A59. It was built because the Queensway Tunnel - which was built in the 1930s to carry vehicles between Birkenhead and Liverpool - was unable to cope with the rise in postwar traffic.
The Liverpool Entrance of the Kingsway Tunnel
|Opened||24 June 1971|
|No. of lanes||4 (2 in eastbound, 2 westbound)|
The project was authorised by the Mersey Tunnel (Liverpool/Wallasey) etc. Act 1965. Edmund Nuttall Limited began work in 1966. Construction took five years to complete. The approach to the tunnel on the Wirral side uses the former railway cutting that carried the Seacombe branch line. It was officially opened by Queen Elizabeth II on 24 June 1971. At first, only the southernmost tube was open for traffic, one lane in each direction. The northernmost tube was completed in 1974 and opened to traffic on 13 February 1974.
Kingsway comprises identical twin tubes. Each has two 12 ft (3.7 m) lanes. They carry on average 45,000 vehicles a day (almost 16.4million per year). As of 2017[update], a single car journey through the tunnel currently costs £1.80. Staffed and automatic tollbooths are located on the Wallasey side. Of the two tunnels crossing the River Mersey, Kingsway is the only one able to take heavy goods vehicles (HGVs).
Over 75 miles (120 km) of wiring was installed in the tunnel as part of a 2016 upgrade to the lighting, which saw the tunnel fitted with more energy efficient and longer-lasting LED lights.
- ICE Virtual Tour[permanent dead link]
- "Mersey Tunnel Users Association - History". Tunnel Users. Retrieved 12 April 2017.
- "MERSEY CROSSING STUDY - The Mersey Gateway Project" (PDF). Mersey Gateway. Retrieved 29 September 2014.
- "Mersey Tunnels - Tolls Fees and Charges". www.merseytunnels.co.uk. Archived from the original on 8 April 2018. Retrieved 5 April 2018.
- "THE EUROPEAN TUNNEL ASSESSMENT PROGRAMME (EUROTAP) 2005 INSPECTIONS" (PDF). The AA. Retrieved 29 September 2014.
- "Major Kingsway Tunnel rewire begins". www.merseytravel.gov.uk. Retrieved 22 December 2017.