A RUNCORN company who feared losing staff because of the Mersey Gateway bridge tolls has stepped in to foot most of the bill.

Tall Security Print Limited on Manor Park has offered to pay 75 per cent of the cost of crossing the bridge for workers who live outside the borough.

Financial director Bill Lamb said: “These are fully trained long standing employees with 10-12 years’ service.

“Two had handed in their notice because they wouldn’t have been able to afford the tolls. We need to hold onto our staff.

“We are paying 75 per cent of the tolls, towards £15,000 per year.”

He fears the tolls will deter employees travelling into the borough.

“The tolls will have a huge impact for businesses in Halton,” said Mr Lamb.

“Employment agencies have told us Runcorn will become an employment island. We won’t be able to get people from Merseyside or Lancashire and it will put off people from Frodsham coming into Widnes.”

The company supplies security print and payments for the UK’s major banks, blue chip companies and retailers.

Mr Lamb added: “We think the government should be paying the bill for this bridge.

“We have already been asked for extra charges for deliveries from suppliers.

“We tender for exports throughout the world. This will make us less competitive.”