RESIDENTS have complained about the number of trees being cut down across Halton to pave way for the Mersey Gateway bridge.

Around 4,500 trees will have been felled.

Halton Council and Merseylink today vowed to replace each one lost with a new one.

In a statement, they said: “We understand that local residents care passionately about the local area. The tree clearance that is happening in locations throughout Halton is an essential part of the preparation for the Mersey Gateway.

"The project is already bringing new jobs and investment opportunities to the area and this tree clearance work is absolutely essential to allow construction to take place.

"The total area of trees and vegetation cleared so far is around 20 hectares. This amounts to around 4,500 trees. For every tree that needs to be cut down, a new one will be planted within the Halton area as part of a landscaping and reinstatement scheme.

"The majority of this clearance work has taken place already so it didn’t interfere with bird nesting season later in the spring. Where appropriate, these new trees and vegetation will be planted along the route of the project as part of the Mersey Gateway landscaping scheme.

"The Mersey Gateway environmental trust is looking to replant an equivalent area of woodland elsewhere in Halton to ensure there is no reduction in the overall number of trees in the area."