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Fiddlers Ferry bridge collapse puts businesses at risk
CARAVAN owners have been left marooned after a bridge collapsed as they can no longer reach their parking sites.
Businesses now fear bankruptcy as they have been left with no vehicle access into Fiddlers Ferry trading estate.
Warrington Borough Council is unable to confirm when repair work will start, with ‘discussions’ on ‘various options’ ongoing.
Philip Parker who owns Fiddlers Ferry Caravans says his business faces closure as caravans can no longer get to the storage facility.
He said: “Basically we are stuck. The council’s failure to act will see all of the businesses go bankrupt.
“I’m getting it in the neck from customers who are upset because they can’t come and pick up their caravans.
“One came back from their holiday on Wednesday morning and is now stuck with nowhere to put their caravan.
“It’s not a nice end to your holiday.”
Numerous companies are based on the site.
Mike Mason, owner of Limos North West, said: “If this isn’t resolved we won’t be able to operate and are looking at alternative sites.
“Our problem is that if we can’t fill the bookings our drivers are down on wages so it’s negative for everyone.”
A bridge that offered the main access point collapsed on Thursday, September 5, when a lorry fell through it into the St Helens canal.
It was due to be replaced in November.
Workers have been using a smaller crossing beside the Ferry Tavern pub on Station Road, owned by Network Rail.
This has been supporting vehicles using the crossing, which needs to be operated with a key.
However, this support was withdrawn on Tuesday night as Network Rail says the bridge is not suitable for heavy traffic.
A spokesman said: “It is not designed, nor safe, to take high volumes of traffic and as a gesture of goodwill Network Rail has been manning the crossing for over a week.
“However we do not have the resource or the funding to man the crossing in the long term and have had to close it to all but registered users.”
Network Rail said discussions were ongoing with the council to fund support being reinstated.
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