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Merseyside is divided into two parts by the Mersey Estuary; the Wirral is located on the west side of the estuary, upon the Wirral Peninsula and the rest of the county is located on the east side of the estuary. The eastern part of Merseyside borders onto Lancashire to the north, Greater Manchester to the east, with both parts of the county bordering Cheshire to the south. The territory comprising the county of Merseyside previously formed part of the administrative counties of Lancashire (east of the River Mersey) and Cheshire (west of the River Mersey). The two parts are linked by the two Mersey Tunnels, the Wirral Line of Merseyrail, and the Mersey Ferry.

Green belt

Merseyside contains green belt interspersed throughout the county, surrounding the Liverpool urban area, as well as across the Mersey in the Wirral area, with further pockets extending towards and surrounding Southport, as part of the western edge of the North West Green Belt. It was first drawn up from the 1950s. All the county's districts contain some portion of belt.


Ipsos MORI polls in the boroughs of Sefton and Wirral in the 2000s showed that in general, residents of these boroughs identified slightly more strongly to Merseyside than to Lancashire or Cheshire respectively, but their affinity to Merseyside was more likely to be "fairly strong" than "very strong". [6]

Local government

Coat of arms of the former Merseyside County Council. Arms of the Merseyside Metropolitan County Council.svg
Coat of arms of the former Merseyside County Council.

Metropolitan boroughs

Merseyside comprises the metropolitan boroughs of Liverpool, Knowsley, Sefton, St Helens and Wirral.

County-level functions

Following the abolition of the county council some local services are run by joint-boards of the five metropolitan boroughs; these include the:

Liverpool City Region

The Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, which includes the five boroughs and the Borough of Halton headed by a mayor, Steve Rotheram, elected in May 2017. [7]


This is a chart of the trend of regional gross value added of Merseyside at current basic prices published (pp. 240–253) by Office for National Statistics with figures in millions of British Pounds Sterling.

Liverpool Pier Head from ALbert Dock.jpg
Liverpool, Merseyside's most populated city
Merseyside UK locator map 2010.svg
Coordinates: 53°25′N3°00′W / 53.417°N 3.000°W / 53.417; -3.000 Coordinates: 53°25′N3°00′W / 53.417°N 3.000°W / 53.417; -3.000
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Constituent country England
Region North West England
(Local Government Act 1972)
Time zone UTC±00:00 (Greenwich Mean Time)
  Summer (DST) UTC+01:00 (British Summer Time)
Members of Parliament
Police Merseyside Police
Largest city Liverpool
Ceremonial county
Lord Lieutenant Mark Blundell
High Sheriff Nigel Lanceley [1] (2021–2022)
Area645 km2 (249 sq mi)
  Ranked 43rd of 48
Population (2021)1,423,065
  Ranked 9th of 48
Density2,200/km2 (5,700/sq mi)
Ethnicity91.8% White British
2.7% Other White
2.2% Asian
1% Black
1.6% Mixed
0.8% Other
YearRegional Gross Value Added [note 1] Agriculture [note 2] Industry [note 3] Services [note 4]


Transport in Merseyside consists of travel by roads, rail, air and water. Motorways serving Merseyside include M53 motorway in Wirral, M57 motorway, M58 motorway and M62 motorway. Rail travel is provided by Merseyrail, Network Rail and Wirral Tramway (since 1995) with major stations at Liverpool Lime Street, Liverpool Central, Liverpool James Street and Birkenhead Hamilton Square.

Merseyrail commuter lines

Aviation and air travel is provided by Liverpool John Lennon Airport, the oldest provincial airport in the United Kingdom. Major cycling routes on the National Cycle Network (such as National Cycle Route 56 and National Cycle Route 62) pass through the region too such as New Brighton and the Wirral Way. Major bus companies are Stagecoach Merseyside and Arriva North West. Liverpool One bus station serves as a terminus for national coach travel.


Liverpool Cruise Terminal provides long-distance passenger cruises, Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines MS Black Watch and Cruise & Maritime Voyages MS Magellan using the terminal to depart to Iceland, France, Spain and Norway.


Prince's Landing Stage, Pier Head, Liverpool serves Isle of Man Steam Packet Company summer service to the Isle of Man (and Mersey Ferries). Twelve Quays, Birkenhead ferry port serves winter Isle of Man ferry service and Stena Line to Belfast, Northern Ireland.


The Port of Liverpool handles most commercial shipping, but several other ports on the Wirral peninsula, such as Great Float and Queen Elizabeth II Dock, operate too.

River and Canal

The Mersey Ferry has operated since the 1200s, currently between Seacombe, Woodside and Liverpool Pier Head. Leeds and Liverpool Canal and Manchester Ship Canal are the main canal systems.


Merseyside is host to several football league football clubs including Liverpool F.C., Everton F.C., Tranmere Rovers F.C. and Southport F.C. Golf courses include Royal Liverpool Golf Club, Royal Birkdale Golf Club and Southport and Ainsdale Golf Club. Cricket clubs include the historic Aigburth Cricket Ground, Liverpool. Aintree Motor Racing Circuit hosted the British Grand Prix. Aintree Racecourse hosts the Grand National and there is also Haydock Park Racecourse. Totally Wicked Stadium hosts Rugby League and Hoylake hosts sailing (such as Southport 24 Hour Race) and is Britain's premier location for sand yachting. A ski slope facility is found at The Oval (Wirral).

Places of interest

See also


  1. Components may not sum to totals due to rounding
  2. includes hunting and forestry
  3. includes energy and construction
  4. includes financial intermediation services indirectly measured

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Metropolitan Borough of Sefton</span> Metropolitan borough in England

The Metropolitan Borough of Sefton is a metropolitan borough of Merseyside, England. It was formed on 1 April 1974, by the amalgamation of the county boroughs of Bootle and Southport, the municipal borough of Crosby, the urban districts of Formby and Litherland, and part of West Lancashire Rural District. It consists of a coastal strip of land on the Irish Sea which extends from Southport in the north to Bootle in the south, and an inland part to Maghull in the south-east, bounded by the city of Liverpool to the south, the Metropolitan Borough of Knowsley to the south-east, and West Lancashire to the east.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Merseyrail</span> Commuter rail network in England

Merseyrail is a commuter rail network serving the Liverpool City Region and adjacent areas of Cheshire and Lancashire. Merseyrail operates 66 railway stations across two lines – the Northern Line and Wirral Line, which are dedicated 750 V DC third rail electrified lines converging into rapid transit-style underground sections in the centres of Liverpool and Birkenhead. Merseyrail branding is also applied to stations and 'shared' services on the City Line, which are within the Liverpool City Region but operated by other train operating companies, predominantly Northern Trains. The City Line services operate on the Liverpool to Manchester Lines and the Liverpool to Wigan Line using a mix of AC electric and diesel trains.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Seacombe</span> Human settlement in England

Seacombe is a district of the town of Wallasey, on the Wirral Peninsula, England. Administratively, Seacombe is a ward of the Metropolitan Borough of Wirral in Merseyside. Before local government reorganisation on 1 April 1974, it was part of the County Borough of Wallasey, within the geographical county of Cheshire. At the 2001 Census, the population of Seacombe was 15,158,, increasing to 15,387 at the Census 2011.

Merseytravel is the passenger transport executive, responsible for the coordination of public transport in the Liverpool City Region in North West England. Merseytravel was established on 1 December 1969 as the Merseyside Passenger Transport Executive. From 1 April 2014, with the creation of the Liverpool City Region, Merseytravel expanded its area of operation from the metropolitan county of Merseyside to also include the Borough of Halton.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Wallasey</span> Town in Merseyside, England

Wallasey is a town within the Metropolitan Borough of Wirral, in Merseyside, England; until 1974, it was part of the historic county of Cheshire. It is situated at the mouth of the River Mersey, at the north-eastern corner of the Wirral Peninsula. At the 2011 Census, the population was 60,284.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Wirral Peninsula</span> Peninsula in North West England

The Wirral Peninsula, known locally as The Wirral, is an area in North West England. The roughly rectangular peninsula is about 15 miles (24 km) long and 7 miles (11 km) wide and is bounded by the River Dee to the west, the River Mersey to the east, and the Irish Sea to the north.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Liverpool City Region</span> Economic and political area of England centred on the city of Liverpool

The Liverpool City Region is a combined authority region of England, centred on Liverpool, incorporating the local authority boroughs of Halton, Knowsley, Sefton, St Helens, and Wirral. The region is in the historic counties of Lancashire and Cheshire. The Liverpool City Region has a population of 1.5 million. However, the metropolitan reach of the city is much wider with a population of 2.2 million.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Northern line (Merseyrail)</span> Line part of the Merseyrail network

The Merseyrail Northern line is a cross-city railway running from Hunts Cross in south Liverpool then to termini in the north at Southport (Merseyside), Ormskirk (Lancashire) and Kirkby (Merseyside). It and the Wirral Line are commuter rail services operated by Merseyrail, serving Merseyside. A third line, the City Line, is not owned or operated by Merseyrail, although stations inside Merseytravel's area are branded as Merseyrail. All three lines are funded by Merseytravel.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Wirral line</span> Commuter rail route in Merseyside, England

The Wirral line is one of two commuter rail routes operated by Merseyrail and centred on Merseyside, England, the other being the Northern line.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Liverpool Urban Area</span>

The Liverpool Built-up Area is a term used by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) to denote the urban area around Liverpool in England, to the east of the River Mersey. The contiguous built-up area extends beyond the area administered by Liverpool City Council into adjoining local authority areas, particularly parts of Sefton and Knowsley. As defined by ONS, the area extends as far east as St Helens, Haydock, and Ashton-in-Makerfield in Greater Manchester.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Spital, Merseyside</span> Human settlement in England

Spital is a village in the Metropolitan Borough of Wirral, in Merseyside, England. It is located mid-way on the Wirral Peninsula, and is mostly incorporated into the town of Bebington and the most westerly point of Spital forms the most northern edge of Bromborough.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service</span> Firefighter organization in Merseyside

Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service is the statutory fire and rescue service covering the county of Merseyside in north-west England and is the statutory Fire and Rescue Authority responsible for all 999 fire brigade calls in Sefton, Knowsley, St. Helens, Liverpool and Wirral.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Liverpool County Football Association</span> Regional football authority in Liverpool, England

The Liverpool County Football Association, simply known as the Liverpool FA, is the County Football Association in the city of Liverpool, England. It runs several league and cup competitions in the city.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Birkenhead Railway</span>

The Birkenhead Railway was a railway company in North West England. It was incorporated as the Birkenhead, Lancashire and Cheshire Junction Railway (BL&CJR) in 1846 to build a line connecting the port of Birkenhead and the city of Chester with the manufacturing districts of Lancashire by making a junction near Warrington with the Grand Junction Railway. The BL&CJR took over the Chester and Birkenhead Railway in 1847, keeping its own name for the combined company until it shortened its name to the Birkenhead Railway in 1859. It was taken over jointly, on 1 January 1860, by the London and North Western Railway (LNWR) and the Great Western Railway (GWR). It remained a joint railway until nationalisation of the railways in 1948.

The geology of Merseyside in northwest England largely consists of a faulted sequence of Carboniferous Coal Measures rocks overlain in the west by younger Triassic and Permian age sandstones and mudstones. Glaciation during the present Quaternary Period has left widespread glacial till as well as erosional landforms. Other post-glacial superficial deposits such as river and estuarine alluvium, peat and blown sand are abundant.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Beechwood, Merseyside</span> Housing estate in Merseyside, England

Beechwood is a housing estate in the west of Birkenhead, on the Wirral Peninsula, in Merseyside, England. Administratively it is within the Metropolitan Borough of Wirral as part of Bidston and St James Ward. The area is bounded by Bidston to the north, Upton to the west and Noctorum to the south. The elevation of Bidston Hill is immediately to the east.


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  5. High Sheriffs, The Times, 21 March 1985
  6. Sefton poll Archived 26 September 2006 at the Wayback Machine , where 51% residents belonged strongly to Merseyside, and compared with 35% to Lancashire; Wirral poll Archived 26 September 2006 at the Wayback Machine , where 45% of residents belonged strongly to Merseyside; compared with 30% to Cheshire. In both boroughs, "very strongly" ratings for the historic county were larger than that for Merseyside, but "fairly strongly" was lower.
  7. "Liverpool city region metro mayor: what is it, when will we get one and who will it be?". Liverpool Echo. 18 May 2016. Archived from the original on 23 July 2016. Retrieved 16 July 2016.
  8. "Art Galleries - Museum - Glass Blowing- Victorian Furnace". The World of Glass. Archived from the original on 8 December 2015. Retrieved 28 November 2015.

Further reading