Bank holiday Mondays in New Brighton already bring thousands of people in to take advantage of all the visitor attractions on offer in the resort.
However, the second May bank holiday this year – May 25th – is likely to see that volume of tourists swell to even greater proportions as people from near and far seek to take advantage of the unique view from Wirral across the Mersey to watch Cunard’s three flagship cruise liners sail in formation down the river for the first time.
The Three Queens – Queen Elizabeth, Queen Victoria and Queen Mary 2 – will be on Merseyside to celebrate Cunard’s 175th anniversary in what is the company’s spiritual home.
Celebrations in Liverpool will be taking place across three days – May 24th-26th – as the liners come and go in stages. However, in Wirral, the focus is on the bank holiday Monday when the Three Queens rendezvous near New Brighton at the tip of the peninsula and sail down together towards the Liverpool waterfront.
Tens of thousands of visitors are expected to converge on New Brighton and Wallasey to watch the spectacle and Wirral Council, along with traffic and transport partners and the emergency services, have been working together on a plan to ensure a safe and efficient passage in and out of the borough for visitors and minimal disruption for local residents and businesses.
Traffic management plans are taking shape, which include the provision of around 6,000 additional free parking spaces on the Dips, with vehicles being directed to the car park from junction 1 of the M53.
The main A554 road from Woodside, past Twelve Quays, into Seacombe (Brighton Street / King Street) and through New Brighton – Seabank Road, Rowson Street, King’s Parade, Coastal Drive – will be a designated ‘Blue Route’ on Monday 25th May.
This means that there will be no on-street parking permitted along this entire stretch of carriageway, except where there are dedicated parking bays. This is to ensure there is a safe passage for emergency service vehicles should they be required. Residents or visitors who usually park their cars on this road are asked to find an alternative place for their vehicle while this event is taking place.
At the entrance to roads leading down to the promenade signs will be put up informing motorists that parking on these streets is for residents only. Other public car parking places in the area will be open as usual, with the exception of the bays on Marine Promenade, which will be dedicated parking for Blue Badge holders only on Monday 25th May, and Fort Perch Rock car park, which will be used as a gathering place and vantage point for pedestrians that day.
Visitors to New Brighton will be encouraged to use the facilities and services offered by existing local businesses and the Council will take enforcement action against any people seeking to trade illegally on the street.
In areas along the promenade towards Seacombe Ferry, where there are few public facilities or services, the Council are supplying public toilets and licensing a small number of refreshment concessions. Dedicated litter patrols will be taking place along the promenade throughout the day.
Mark Camborne, Head of Corporate and Community Safety for Wirral Council, said: “We have held a couple of informative sessions with local businesses in the area to talk about the visit of the Three Queens and the opportunities this might open up for them as well as how our arrangements for the event are progressing and how New Brighton is likely to be affected by the influx of visitors.
“We are drawing on all the experience we have had in welcoming tens of thousands of people to Wirral for events such as the Open Championships and the Tall Ships race to make this another occasion to remember for everyone involved, for all the right reasons.”
For details of the whole Three Queens event and Cunard’s 175 anniversary celebrations, visitwww.onemagnificentcity.com. For details of Wirral’s plans for Monday 25th May, go towww.visitwirral.com/threequeens