M53 bus crash: major incident declared after school bus overturns with Merseyside Police in attendance

The bus had been taking students to West Kirby Grammar School for Girls and Calday Grange Grammar School
Large stretches of the M53 are closed this morning (Friday) due to an accident involving an overturned vehicle. Photo: Google MapsLarge stretches of the M53 are closed this morning (Friday) due to an accident involving an overturned vehicle. Photo: Google Maps
Large stretches of the M53 are closed this morning (Friday) due to an accident involving an overturned vehicle. Photo: Google Maps

A bus carrying pupils from two schools overturned on the M53 on Friday morning (29 September), with "a number of casualties" confirmed by Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service.

The coach struck a reservation on junction five of the northbound carriageway at around 8am, Merseyside Police said in statement. Emergency services and an air ambulance attended as large stretches of the motorway were closed.

Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service said: “Crews arrived at the scene to find an overturned bus with a number of casualties. The incident is ongoing and the carriageway will remain closed for some time.”

Councillor Sherin Akhtar of Upton By Chester said the bus had been taking students to both Calday Grange Grammar School and West Kirby Grammar School for Girls. Calday Grange Grammar School confirmed the Carvers coach had been carrying some of their pupils, adding: “We’re actively gathering details and assisting affected students and their families. Support is available.”

Wirral’s local football team, Tranmere Rovers have shared well wishes on social media. “We are saddened to hear the news of a bus accident on the M53 this morning,” the team said. “We hope our friends at Calday Grange Grammar School and West Kirby Grammar School are all safe. The thoughts and prayers of everyone at the Club are with those involved.”

A spokesperson for National Highways North West said: “The M53 in Merseyside is closed in both directions between J5 (Hooton) and J4 (Bebington) due to an overturned coach. The incident occurred shortly after 8am this morning. All emergency services are on scene along with North West Air Ambulance Services. National Highways Traffic Officers are on scene providing assistance with traffic management.”

Cheshire Police said the motorway is “likely to remain closed for some time” and asks drivers to “please avoid the area and follow any diversions signposted.”

As of 1.50pm, Alder Hey Children’s Hospital said it has now “de-escalated” from a major incident following the crash on the M53.

In a statement on X, formerly known as Twitter, the hospital said: “We’ve now de-escalated from a major incident, however our A&E remains extremely busy. Please only attend in cases of emergency.”

The hospital said anyone with an appointment on Friday should attend as normal.

Motorway Diversion Route

Northbound diverted traffic is advised to follow the solid circle diversion symbol:

  • Exit the M53 northbound at J5
  • At the roundabout, take the 1st exit onto the A41 southbound (New Chester Road)
  • At the B5133 junction, turn right onto the B5133 westbound (Hooton Road)
  • At the junction with the B5151, turn right and join the B5151 northbound (Birkenhead Road)
  • Continue to then re-join the M53 at J4

Southbound traffic is advised to follow the hollow diamond diversion symbol:

  • Exit the M53 southbound at J4
  • Take the 3rd exit at the roundabout onto the B5151 southbound (Mount Road)
  • At the junction with the B5133, turn left onto the B5133 eastbound (Neston Road)
  • Continue onward and then at the junction with the A41, turn right and join the A41 New Chester Road northbound
  • Continue to then re-join the M53 southbound at J5

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