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Drivers continue to ignore bridge flood warning signs
4:58pm Monday 24th September 2012 in News
MOTORISTS are ignoring electronic warning signs at a notorious flooding blackspot – raising fears they will become marooned under a bridge.
As torrential rain continues across St Helens this evening, the council urged people to people to avoid using Peasley Cross Lane as water fills up under the bridge.
Despite electronic warning signs being activated, motorists are continuing to use the route – leading to fears that vehicles will become stuck, causing even more severe delays.
Last month a woman had to be rescued from a car after becoming stranded beneath the bridge Other places affected by the downpours include a brook in Watery Lane, which has burst its banks. The area has been closed and sandbags issued to residents. The Environment Agency are involved and a helpline number issued – 08459881188.
Sandbags are also being deployed to West End Road, near Blackbrook where the Sankey Canal has burst its banks and water is up to some doorsteps. Drivers are also being urged to take extreme care on other routes in the borough, including Linkway East, Watery Lane, Traverse Entry in Bold and Rainford Road, Billinge through to Crank where water is cascading down from fields.
Motorists, meanwhile, are being urged to reduce their speed and increase their distance during rush hour this evening.
A number of roads in the county have flooded and there are large amounts of surface water on many more. Several A-roads in west Wirral have been particulary badly affected.
Police officers are working with other emergency services, the Highways Agency and local authority highways departments to deal with incidents when they occur.
Inspector Joe Danher from Merseyside Police’s roads policing department said keeping speed down and increasing braking distances between vehicles was crucial to drivers staying safe this evening.
He said: "Visibility has been very poor for much of the day and will only get worse as more cars go onto the roads for rush hour.
“In such bad visibility, it is important that people keep their speed down and give themselves plenty of time and space from the car in front in case they have to brake suddenty.
"People should be particularly careful if they are traveling home on the motorways and busy main roads tonight as surface water can easily catch you by surprise and people tend to stamp on the brakes or swerve erratically to avoid it and can then lose control.
"My advice would be to slow right down, keep to a steady speed and keep a safe distance from the car infront so that you have plenty of time to deal with any hazards.
"The police are working with the other emergency services and the Highways Agency to close roads that are flooded and to divert traffic along safer routes.
“Motorists can play their part by leaving plenty of time to complete their journey, check weather and road conditions before they leave, and remain patient if they do hit delays."
The Highways Agency offers a number of services to help people make decisions about their journeys.
Up-to-date information on road conditions on England's motorways and trunk roads is available on the Agency website at www.highways.gov.uk/traffic or by calling 0300 123 5000. For information on weather conditions, visit the Met Office website www.metoffice.gov.uk.
For flood alerts, visit http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk