Anti-toll campaigners battle for free bridge crossings

Anti-toll campaigners Gary Smart from Widnes and Jim Johnson from Runcorn outside Westminster

Anti-toll campaigners Gary Smart from Widnes and Jim Johnson from Runcorn outside Westminster

First published in News Runcorn and Widnes World: Photograph of the Author by , Chief Reporter

ANTI-TOLL campaigners have vowed to take their fight to Westminster.

They have formed an action group, Halton Against Tolls, known as the SJB group and hold their next public meeting on Saturday, July 12, at 11am in Mill Brow Snooker and Social Club, Mill Brow in Widnes.

Campaigning dad-of-six Conn O’Dwyer, from Runcorn old town, said: “The bridge provides a vital link road for homes and busnesses.

"This is a social injustice with vast inequalities throughout the community.

“Local hard working families will be hit hardest by the tolls. Along with the cost of living crisis, the ability to work further afield will be vastly reduced.

“As a result, residents will not be able to afford to travel to work and local jobs are in jeopardy because firms are not making enough money.

“We believe it is vital that residents and businesses should remain toll free on the bridges as the currnet situation has such a detrimental impact on the lives of working families.”

Halton MP Derek Twigg, who will address Saturday’s meeting, has lobbied Chancellor George Osborne with a cross party group of MPs to press for free tolls on both bridges for Halton residents.

He said: “Mr Osborne said he is considering it. I am waiting for him to come back to me with a decision.

“There is no other local road in the country which is free now and set to be tolled. The A533 is a vital link road that just happens to cross the river.

“This road is used for people to go to the doctors, hospital, railway station, to see relatives, go shopping, get to work and everday life.

“Tolls will reduce people’s income. This is the 27th most deprived borough in the country.

“I am working with Halton Council to get crossings toll free for local people.”


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