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Last Updated: Tuesday, 30 November, 2004, 13:36 GMT
Mersey travellers face new tolls
A computer-created impression of the new Mersey Gateway bridge
The bridge could open in 2007 if government funding is approved
Drivers could soon be charged for crossing the River Mersey between Widnes and Runcorn.

But Halton Council says local residents could get discounts on the Runcorn Bridge and the proposed new crossing over the Mersey.

The council submitted the plans on Tuesday to the Government as part of a study on the impact of the new bridge.

The government is expected to make a final decision on the bridge - called The Mersey Gateway - early 2005.

In an ideal world we would not have to consider tolling
Councillor Tony McDermott
Councillor Tony McDermott, leader of Halton Council, said although the council would like free crossings over the Mersey, this was not viable.

A new bridge, without tolls, would cost 750m including the maintenance of the existing Silver Jubilee Bridge, the council study said.

Councillor McDermott said: "In our final submission to the Government, we have once again reiterated our desire for a free-to-user crossing, and in an ideal world we would not have to consider tolling.

"However... if it comes down to having no new crossing or a new crossing with tolls, I am sure local people and businesses who currently suffer the horrendous daily congestion problems experienced on the Silver Jubilee Bridge will join with us in agreeing that building The Mersey Gateway is the only solution."

200m bridge plan unveiled
08 Apr 03 |  Merseyside

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