Traveller funeral caused huge delays

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Police have defended their handling of a traveller funeral which caused lengthy traffic delays.

A force spokesman told how the funeral director had anticipated a procession of around 50 vehicles last Tuesday (July 22).

In fact, more than 200 vehicles joined the procession - leading to long tailbacks along the Rainford Bypass.

Police involvement included the deployment of the force helicopter.

The police spokesman, who confirmed that no crimes were committed in connection with the funeral on the day, said: “Prior to the funeral procession that passed through the Rainford area Merseyside Police was advised by the funeral directors that the procession would consist of about 50 vehicles. A contingency plan was developed on this basis in partnership with the local authority.”

“When the funeral procession reached the Rainford Bypass it numbered in excess of 200 vehicles. The increase in the number of vehicles involved caused traffic congestion in the area and the force worked closely with the local authority to minimise the disruption caused to the local community and any motorists in the area with traffic updates provided.”