A MAJOR emergency planning exercise is being held on the new Mersey Gateway this morning.

Members of the public may notice a lot of activity and vehicles on and around the new bridge, including blue flashing lights and sirens.

This is all part of the planned exercise and is not a cause for alarm.

Emergency services and the bridge maintenance team are conducting the emergency planning exercise to ensure police, fire and ambulance services and the bridge maintenance team are able to co-ordinate a response in the event of a real emergency.

Hugh O’Connor, general manager of Merseylink, said: “It is essential that we plan and prepare for all eventualities as part of being ready for the opening of the bridge and the approach roads.

“This means we need to work very closely not just with the council but also the emergency services and this live exercise is a very important part of that process.”

The new tolled bridge is due to open in the next few weeks.