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A bridge too far ?

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Seems the new toll ridge at Widnes won't be free to some local people, and as if to rub salt in the wound, neither will the old bridge; making bridge foot the only free crossing point of the lower Mersey. So can we expect even more grid lock at bridge foot ?

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only until the new road linking chester road is built then it will shift the gridlock to bank quay/wilson patten street area.

 

Don't panic according to our traffic planners "It's all in hand" (as the actress said to the bishop) :oops: :oops: :lol: :lol: :lol:

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What really grates with me is the fact that bridges in general charge tolls to what is a captive audience whereas the government will spend even more money on smart updates to motorways & bypasses  up & down the country without batting an eyelid.

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I've been trying to find the promise that it will be free to Warrington. Osbourne appears to say he will look into it but not actually confirm it from my research. If anyone can find the quote confirming categorically that he promised it then let me know. I don't count Twitter BTW from a personal account and indeed I would expect no one with a mind to either.

 

That said since day one its been known that in the event of tolls traffic will increase through Warrington. I think 15%+ was rumoured and the plans appear to have been based on hoping that the tolls will be free to Warrington. However other local authorities were never going to get it so traffic was always going to go up. Plans for this? None. So at least 2 maybe 3 years of gridlock from this Autumn. And as the new road is in part of open the land up to development, then I don't think this will make life any easier.

 

No one comes out of this looking good and to seek to blame it all on the MP is a tad disingenuous.

 

Now the announcement has been made, what are the very urgent plans that need to be adopted in say 9 months to cope with this.

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Now the announcement has been made, what are the very urgent plans that need to be adopted in say 9 months to cope with this.

Retirement to a nice warm country with lax tax laws and no extradition agreement with the uk. :ph34r:

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Well,to even things up the council would have to put tolls on Warrington & Kingsway bridges to all but residential traffic in order to discourage itinerant use as cut throughs when there are hold ups elsewhere.

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I've been trying to find the promise that it will be free to Warrington. Osbourne appears to say he will look into it but not actually confirm it from my research. If anyone can find the quote confirming categorically that he promised it then let me know. I don't count Twitter BTW from a personal account and indeed I would expect no one with a mind to either.

 

That said since day one its been known that in the event of tolls traffic will increase through Warrington. I think 15%+ was rumoured and the plans appear to have been based on hoping that the tolls will be free to Warrington. However other local authorities were never going to get it so traffic was always going to go up. Plans for this? None. So at least 2 maybe 3 years of gridlock from this Autumn. And as the new road is in part of open the land up to development, then I don't think this will make life any easier.

 

No one comes out of this looking good and to seek to blame it all on the MP is a tad disingenuous.

 

Now the announcement has been made, what are the very urgent plans that need to be adopted in say 9 months to cope with this.

Adrian you need to use the search facility on our main site - you can find lots of information on there.

Here is the story we covered at the time of the original announcement which quotes a "review of the charges with a view to removing them" and a bit of a broadside for Labour for originally proposing them in the first place - which i suspect is the reason why Labour politicans have been quick to pounce on Mr Mowat.

http://www.warrington-worldwide.co.uk/2015/04/24/chancellor-to-scrap-mersey-bridge-tolls-for-warrington-drivers/

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I think we need to review just what our road tax pays for, as the road goes over bridges, they should be free to all road tax payers.  The problem is, that we don't have a dedicated tax system; it all goes into one big pot, to be dispensed by the Gov. I recall a toll bridge to a Scottish Island being challenged some time ago, that's now free.

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Thanks Gary but that to me doesn't look like a promise to cut them but merely a promise to review the same with a view to cut them. A world of difference between the two.

 

The review it seems has found that its unsupportable due to intervention from other authorities. In which case the hullabaloo about promises and the MP standing down etc is somewhat misplaced. Again if there is a cast iron promise / guarantee then I'd like to see it and if so then I share some of the views about it now being withdrawn. if it doesn't exist, then perhaps we should cast the net wider as to where fault lies but aside from that, again I see no plans to deal with the fall out save for a petition which if successful will result in legal action which will delay matters further and guarantee nothing in the short term or indeed long term.   

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Thanks Gary but that to me doesn't look like a promise to cut them but merely a promise to review the same with a view to cut them. A world of difference between the two.

 

 

Quite agree there was not an actual pledge, and the statement was by the then chancellor and was confirmed as having been made by other parties at the time in the quoted story. This is not about Mowat he is just being used as a scapegoat in my opinion.

 

Terry O'Neill has repeatedly brought up the need for certainty over paying for the concession. He has known that the bill in Halton is split between the Council and Government. The recent announcement essentially told us that the reason it could no go ahead was the burden on the public purse and told us of the cost to local government. I suspect that the problem was that Warrington were not prepared to bear that cost with no income from the bridge to divert. It would have blown a big hole in next years revenue budget, we were not told how big for each council.

 

If that were the case, and there is some speculation there, then the people of Warrington would have asked why the council could put £5 million into reserves each year to pay for their New Offices/Bridge Street Rental opportunity rather than paying for the concession. In order to avoid that the classic smoke screen manoeuvre was deployed to blame Mowat and deflect any blame away from the council for allowing the charges to fall on the population of Warrington. Blaming a Tory always generates enough noise to cover up Labour falling of difficulties it seems. Just my two pennyworth!

 

 

Added later:  Looking at the enquiry documents for the bridge there is was an MoU draft that said Halton would contribute to solving extra traffic levels in Warrington if the toll level was set above the range expected. We as far as I can see it hasn't so Warrington will get no help because WBC did a poor negotiating job. Best blame it all on a Tory MP in the circumstances! The date on the draft MoU was January 2009 so practically no party has clean hands. Maybe I have just misunderstood, perhaps someone can clear it all up for me.

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