Queens Drive reopened after tragic deaths

A major Liverpool road has fully reopened to motorists almost six months after a married couple died in flood waters.

Elaine and Philip Marco, aged 75 and 77, died after their car became submerged by water in an area of Queens Drive in Mossley Hill on August 26.

Weeks of remediation work have been undertaken to make the carriageway and surrounding areas fit for purpose once again – with road diversions in place during the closure.

A senior Liverpool city councillor has thanked residents for their patience following the long period of closure in the south of the city.

Cars were let back through the area a little after 10am today after local authority officials were satisfied the upgrades made were robust enough to allow traffic once again. Ever since the tragic death of the couple, the road has been shut between its junctions with North Mossley Hill Road and Dovedale Road.

A series of upgrades have now been installed around the road including barriers and flood sensors. Replacement gullies, upgraded street lighting and pothole maintenance was also undertaken during the lengthy closure.

As well as measuring water levels, the new sensors will provide long term data which will show how quickly or slowly water is getting through. 

The Marcos, who were well-respected members of the city’s Jewish community, were described as a “quiet and humble couple” who were “very dedicated and devoted grandparents.” An inquest into the couples’ death will take place later this month.

Coroner Andre Rebello has previously said that there are crucial questions to ask of several authorities about the incident that unfolded last summer.

Councillor Dan Barrington, Liverpool Council cabinet member for highways, said: “We would like to take the opportunity to thank local residents and road users for their immense patience whilst we have carried out work at this location. The road was significantly damaged in the flood meaning the carriageway and footway had to be replaced. 

“In addition to this we have installed sensors, and temporary signage and barriers. Thank you again to everyone for bearing with us while we have made sure everything is operational before reopening the road.”

Cllr Richard Kemp, who represents the Penny Lane ward in which the tragedy occurred, was on site for the road’s reopening. He said the route was “vital” for the south of the city.

He said: “The past five and a half months have caused major problems to the people of the area and the motorists who drive through it.

“The pressure has been specifically felt on Briardale Road, Rose Lane and Penny Lane with difficulties turning on to North Mossley Hill Road and Dovedale Road. However this should not have taken all this time to fix. 

“I don’t think that the council devised a coherent strategy at the beginning of the process or near the beginning. That meant that a considerable part of the delays have been caused by things like the CCTV cameras being added on as an afterthought rather than being incorporated into a comprehensive plan.”

Image: LCC

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