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Grand National travel advice: What you need to know

Sefton is once again preparing to welcome thousands of visitors to the borough as part of the three day Aintree Grand National Festival, which starts next Thursday (April 4).

The local authority is one of the many agencies that will help thousands of festival goers get to and from Aintree Racecourse as smoothly as possible this week.

Working alongside Merseyside Police, Merseytravel and several other partners, the Council’s traffic management team helps coaches, cars, limousines and even horse boxes get to the right place at the right time.

They also help residents who aren’t attending the festival, and businesses who are potentially affected by it, to go about their daily business with as little disruption as possible.

A number of diversions and traffic management measures will be in place throughout the festival’s three days (Thursday, April 4 – Saturday, April 6) including temporary closures.

Residents who are not attending the festival are advised to avoid the A59 Ormskirk Road from Switch Island through to the Black Bull junction.

Ormskirk Road, as well as Park Lane between Bridle Road and Ormskirk Road, will be closed between 4pm and 9pm on all three festival days. Heavy traffic is expected on the A59 from 10am – 2pm.

During the closure, traffic will be diverted via Switch Island, Dunningsbridge Road, Netherton Way and Southport Road.

A spokesman for Sefton Council said: “Every year the Aintree Festival brings thousands of racegoers, tourists and visitors to our beautiful borough and once again all eyes will be on Sefton as the home of incredible international events.

“We are working closely with partners to help keep the borough moving during the festival and to keep disruption to a minimum.

“People wishing to attend the race meeting itself are encouraged to use the Merseyrail network and alight at Aintree station.

“After racing finishes on both Friday and Saturday buses will be operating from Park Lane into Liverpool City Centre and we would ask visitors who are in the region for a number of days to try and explore our wonderful borough even further.”

The festival has an excellent record of deterring crime and anti-social behaviour and the force has been working with the racecourse and the Jockey Club, local councils, Merseytravel and other partners to plan the event with public safety as a priority.

As a result, racegoers should expect to undergo a series of security checks, including bag and transport searches and badge checks. Only pre-booked vehicles will be allowed onto the Aintree site and there are restrictions on parking around the course which will be rigorously enforced.

Event Commander for Merseyside Police, Superintendent Louise Harrison said: “Year upon year, the Aintree festival is a fantastic occasion and a real opportunity to showcase everything great about Merseyside. It continually attracts hundreds of thousands of people- and TV viewers- from across the world and I have no doubt that this year’s festival will be no exception.

“We want people to have a safe and enjoyable time and make sure their day at the races is memorable for all the right reasons, so we are offering some tips and advice to ensure everybody’s day out runs smoothly.”