Keith, Graham and Iain

Your Lib Dem team for Cheadle & Gatley Learn more

Read more on this

Read more on this

A visit beneath Merseyway

by Iain Roberts on 19 November, 2013

Back in 1935 the good people of Stockport decide to build a road over the River Mersey through the town centre, to relieve traffic on Chestergate and Princes Street. At the time the river was badly polluted and that section ran between the backs of factories and warehouses, so much as it might seem like a bad idea today, I can understand why people thought it was the right thing to do.

In the 1960s the road was built into the Merseyway shopping centre and today there are many visitors who don’t realise the river is flowing beneath their feet.

The concrete structure requires ongoing maintenance from the Council, and because there are bats roosting in the structure they’re limited to around 18 weeks a year for the work. I went down to take a look.

One of a small number of entrances to underbelly of Merseyway.
19 Nov 2013 11:11

The concrete structure bridges the River Mersey.
19 Nov 2013 10:55

Underneath Mersey Square, looking towards the bus station.
19 Nov 2013 10:54

A gap at the rear of the Chestergate pub is the only opening from above.
19 Nov 2013 10:50

View from under Merseyway towards Mersey Square
19 Nov 2013 10:49

This patch of brickwork is from a 19th century building, partially demolished when the original road was built in the 1930s and left as part of the tunnel wall.
19 Nov 2013 10:40

This view is at the other end of Merseyway, looking out towards Tiviot Dale.
19 Nov 2013 10:38

A lot of the maintenance work is done from a moving gantry that can travel up and down the tunnel – this is a view from the gantry.
19 Nov 2013 10:23

And here’s the gantry.
19 Nov 2013 10:23

   6 Comments

6 Responses

  1. Tom says:

    Interesting images – I just wish the river could be opened up again. A beautiful river instead of a concrete shopping centre would revolutionise Stockport

  2. Robert Taggart says:

    Agreed Tom. Methinks Merseyway looks better underneath !

  3. Robert Cohen says:

    fascinating! is it possible for people to do an authorised visit?

  4. Pete Wintergreen says:

    As you say, it probably seemed like a good idea at the time to bury the River Mersey in a concrete tomb, but wouldn’t it be wonderful to open it up again to the sky?
    Demolish the Merseyway shopping mall (move the tenants into the empty units in the old town) and have a thriving historic town centre with a beautiful riverside…….

    • Iain Roberts says:

      If money were no object! It might not work that well though – you can see from the photos that the river runs quite deep – it wouldn’t be lapping at the banks, but 30 feet down, even without the shopping centre.

  5. Steve says:

    It would be like the river seine flowing through Paris with the beautiful Plaza in the background.

Leave a Reply

You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>