HALTON Council today apologised for huge traffic delays which have gridlocked the bridge and both towns, leaving incensed drivers fuming in long queues.

The congestion was caused because Weston Expressway is being re-surfaced.

The problem has been exacerbated because emergency repairs had to be carried out on a bridge in Speke Road, causing further delays on the approach to the Silver Jubilee bridge.

A Halton Council spokesman said: “We apologise for the inconvenience caused while this essential work is carried out.

“The work on the Weston Point Expressway is carriageway resurfacing around Picow Farm Road junction. Due to the depth of carriageway being resurfaced, it is not safe to run live traffic next to where the work is taking place.

“The lane is closed on the bridge to prevent traffic ending up in a dead end on Weston Point Expressway where the work is taking place and to prevent vehicles getting stuck under the low bridge by Runcorn Station.

“We usually carry out these works in the summer holidays, but this will not be possible this year due to the start of the construction works for the Mersey Gateway, therefore we planned it for the half-term holiday when traffic flows are generally lower.

“We would not normally carry out two sets of roadworks on main roads at the same time, but unfortunately an expansion joint on the bridge over St Michael’s Road on the Speke Road started to break up and needed to be replaced urgently. Once this repair started it was a continuous process, hence the closure. Fortunately, when it was excavated, there was not as much work required as envisaged so it was completed in two days.

“It may appear to people that no-one is working, but this is due to the isolated locations of the works in relation to the diversion routes. People travelling the routes in the opposite direction will see work being carried out.

“On Speke Road, the work was carried out continuously over a 24 hour period, which meant it was completed during a dry period, as it was weather dependent.

“On Weston Point Expressway, they are working longer shifts, but due to nearby residential properties, overnight working is not permitted.”