A GLOBAL logistics and supply chain specialist based in Widnes has been given a sneak preview of the new Mersey Gateway bridge ahead of its opening on Saturday.

Suttons Group will be one of the largest users of the new crossing.

John Sutton, chief executive officer Suttons Group said: “More than 55 years ago Suttons vehicles were amongst the first to cross the existing Silver Jubilee bridge.

“Now our trucks are once again leading the way proudly crossing the new Mersey Gateway prior to its opening.

“With our head office and main depot in Widnes we are expecting to make around 30,000 crossings every year.

“The opening of the new bridge will hopefully remove the congestion this region has suffered from over the last few years”.

Halton Council leader Cllr Rob Polhill said: “It’s fantastic to see Suttons Group welcoming our new crossing.

“As a global enterprise based in the borough we are delighted that they have registered all of its fleet vehicles with the Merseyflow tolling operation in anticipation of the bridge opening this Saturday.

“The Mersey Gateway bridge and improved road infrastructure in Halton will transform the way businesses can travel in the borough and across the north west and beyond.

“The crossing will bring with it numerous benefits to all users ensuring that they can move across the borough quicker, easier and much more reliably than before. There will be no more congestion, no more delays, and no more downtime.

“Early indications show that more businesses are moving into the borough than ever before.

“With support from businesses such as Sutton Group it is clear that the business community is recognising the vast improvements the new bridge will bring.”

A laser and fireworks show will be held on Friday evening.

The new bridge will open shortly after midnight as the Silver Jubilee bridge closes for repairs for a year.

A network of nine kilometres of new roads and junctions across Runcorn and Widnes will open at the same time as the new bridge.

So far more than 80,000 vehicles have been registered for discounts on tolls and people can still register after the new bridge is open, or pay for one-off crossings in advance or by 11.59pm the day after they travel.

Registering with merseyflow is the only way to get discounts on trips once you have paid the relevant administration fee.

To register visit merseyflow.co.uk, call into the Runcorn walk-in centre in Manor Park or call 01928 878 878.

Once the bridge opens tolls will be enforced immediately.

Dedicated cameras and sensors will read vehicle number plates and special merseyflow stickers to charge drivers.