Merseyside. Conurbation in north-west England, centred on Liverpool, made a metropolitan county after local government reform in 1972. Encompassing the dormitory areas for Liverpool, Birkenhead, and Bootle, it thus included much of the Wirral peninsula (formerly Cheshire) and the west Lancashire coastal strip to Southport; divided into five districts, it had its own administrative metropolitan county council 1974–86. Integrated transport (rail and two road tunnels beneath the river Mersey, though nearly defunct ferries) aimed to assist commuters. A distinctive local dialect (‘scouse’) and wry humour contribute to a regional identity, with Liverpool as the main cultural focus. The metropolitan council was abolished by the Local Government Act of 1985 but the term ‘Merseyside’ remains in use as a geographical expression.
A. S. Hargreaves
Merseyside Metropolitan county in nw England, formed in 1974. It lies on both banks of the estuary of the River Mersey, and divides into five administrative districts. The major town is Liverpool. In the 19th century, shipbuilding and ship repair grew in importance, and Liverpool became one of Britain's leading ports. Industries: motor vehicles, chemicals, electrical goods. Area: 655sq km (253sq mi). Pop. (2000) 1,403,381.
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