Fight for all journeys over Halton's new bridge to be free for local residents

Runcorn and Widnes World: How the new Mersey Gateway will look How the new Mersey Gateway will look

PLANS to offer 300 free journeys a year over the new Mersey Gateway Bridge and the existing Silver Jubilee Bridge to anyone living in Halton have caused outrage.

Incensed residents blasted the scheme as being inadequate for people who cross the River Mersey daily to work, shop, study, attend hospital appointments or visit family and friends.

Halton councillors are inviting residents to register for £10 a year for the free trips. Other drivers face a £2 toll each way.

Lorraine Spencer said: “Me and my husband both have to cross the bridge to work and it’s going to cost us £500 just to get there and back.”

Steve Westhead said: “People will be disadvantaged. It’s discrimination and a disgrace that corporate greed is put before the interests of residents of Halton.”

Kevin O’Brien said: “Why should you pay anything to travel around your own borough?”

Jamie O’Connor said: “It’s a free road and shouldn’t be tolled.”

Halton Council leader Clr Rob Polhill said: “We have always been against tolls and have fought hard to get a residents’ discount.

“We feel it is wrong for people to pay to cross their own borough but the Government has said no tolls, no bridge.

“We desperately need a new crossing.

“To make it totally free for all Halton residents the project would need up to £8 million a year extra from Government.

“It’s great to have a new bridge but marred by the fact that local people have to pay. We will continue to lobby to get a better deal for residents.”

Halton MP Derek Twigg has secured a meeting with Chancellor George Osborne and MPs from Cheshire and Merseyside to improve the local residents’ scheme.

Mr Twigg said: “It’s got to be free for local people. The Government has dropped plans to charge a toll on the A41 in Cambridgeshire because it is an existing road. That is the same case for the A533 across the bridge.

“I am going to continue to keep the pressure up.”

Construction of the new six-lane Mersey Gateway is due to start in 2014 and open three years later.

Comments (3)

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4:02pm Wed 18 Dec 13

captainbirdseye says...

it is totally wrong that residents of Halton Borough have to pay to cross any bridge over the Mersey. Look out Warrington I think you are going to be a lot busier in 2017.
it is totally wrong that residents of Halton Borough have to pay to cross any bridge over the Mersey. Look out Warrington I think you are going to be a lot busier in 2017. captainbirdseye

8:55pm Wed 18 Dec 13

lisagordon says...

captainbirdseye wrote:
it is totally wrong that residents of Halton Borough have to pay to cross any bridge over the Mersey. Look out Warrington I think you are going to be a lot busier in 2017.
It's wrong that Halton residents are being penalised for working and living in their own borough. The fact that they have said 300 trips a year and capped at 25 trips per month is ridiculous as it means you can basically only get to work but not back!!!! Some people do work full time and pay their taxes and now the government want more money from us!!!
[quote][p][bold]captainbirdseye[/bold] wrote: it is totally wrong that residents of Halton Borough have to pay to cross any bridge over the Mersey. Look out Warrington I think you are going to be a lot busier in 2017.[/p][/quote]It's wrong that Halton residents are being penalised for working and living in their own borough. The fact that they have said 300 trips a year and capped at 25 trips per month is ridiculous as it means you can basically only get to work but not back!!!! Some people do work full time and pay their taxes and now the government want more money from us!!! lisagordon

3:55pm Sat 21 Dec 13

dong ding says...

With the announcement of millions of pounds being invested in warrington and chester i know where i will be doing all of my shopping in the future, thus denying my bourough of my support and money
With the announcement of millions of pounds being invested in warrington and chester i know where i will be doing all of my shopping in the future, thus denying my bourough of my support and money dong ding

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