The Manchester Ship Canal Company (MSCC) Ltd, owned by Peel Ports, has submitted an application to the Transport Secretary, under the Transport and Works Act 1992, for the proposed Rixton and Warburton Bridge Order.
The Order proposes new procedures for the operation of Warburton Toll Bridge, including byelaws, and collection arrangements, and includes proposals to increase the toll from 12p to £1.
Heavily used each week, the bridge is a vital link between local communities and is a key route for many travelling to work, to see family and for other local journeys.
It appears that Warburton Toll Bridge has not had any significant maintenance work undertaken for quite some time and it is long overdue investment. Many of my constituents are plagued by the problems associated with this bridge every day.
While I don’t dispute the need for both improvement works and the modernisation of the bridge, local residents should not be forced to foot the bill. The owner of the bridge is responsible for its upkeep, and it is the owner’s responsibility to carry out these works in a timely way.
The Order seeks to increase the charge of a one-way journey from 12p to £1. This is an eye watering increase of more than 700 percent and it comes at the same time that the cost of living continues to soar. The proposals are deeply unfair, and I will continue to oppose them on behalf of local residents.
I have made my views known to the Secretary of State and, I have called on him to consider scrapping the toll charge altogether.