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Merseyside is a metropolitan county, located in the North West of England. Merseyside is named after the River Mersey and comprises the conurbation by the Mersey estuary centred upon Liverpool. The county was created in 1974 by the Local Government Act 1972.
Merseyside contains the metropolitan boroughs of Liverpool, Knowsley, Sefton, St Helens and the Wirral. The county is divided into two parts by the Mersey estuary, the Wirral is located on the west side of the estuary, upon the Wirral Peninsula and the rest of the county is located on the east side of the estuary. The northern part of Merseyside borders onto Lancashire to the north, Greater Manchester to the east, both parts border Cheshire to the south.
The two parts are linked by two road tunnels, a railway tunnel, and the famous Mersey Ferry.
Other districts that are part of the urban area (but not part of Merseyside) are Ellesmere Port and Neston, West Lancashire and Halton, this area is known informally as "Greater Merseyside".
It is traditional to express location within the Merseyside area by the pronoun on, thus "on Merseyside" as opposed to "in Merseyside" (after all, one would be "on the side of the Mersey" not "in" it). Current usage seems to be to make a distinction between the geographical "Merseyside" (The "Greater Merseyside" referred to above) for which "on" is appropriate and the county, for which "in" is used.