PROGRESS appears to be at long last being made on the proposed refurbishment of the swing bridges over the Manchester Ship Canal in Warrington.
A meeting was recently held between Warrington Borough Council and Peel Ports with contracting for the work now underway and an announcement due next month (March).
Stockton Heath based Steve Allcock, Conservative Councillor Candidate, who helps run the local Facebook Campaign group, Stockton Heath Matters, said: “Although we don’t have exact details from this meeting, it is encouraging that Peel are taking ownership and that the work will consist of structural and mechanical repairs and not just a paint job as previously feared.
“We have been actively liaising with both Peel Ports and the Transport Team at Warrington Borough Council and will continue to push them for updates in March when a further announcement is due.
“The community has had enough, so the sooner information is made available and work commences, the better.”
A Warrington Borough Council spokesperson said: “Positive discussions continue with Peel Ports regarding the engineering, refurbishment and painting of the swing bridges, with Stockton Heath earmarked to be the first project. Peel Ports are currently about to go out to tender for this work.
“At the same time, we are discussing with Peel Ports the implications for pedestrians and traffic of this work. A further announcement will be made in March.”
Former Warrington South MPs David Mowat and Faisal Rashid, opposition Lib Dem Councillors and newly elected MP Andy Carter, have all been campaigning for the work to be carried out.
It is hoped that in March it will be announced when work will start on the Stockton Heath bridge, followed by the other bridges at Latchford and Walton.
The main fear is how the works can be carried out without impacting on traffic issues in the town, which are already escalated every time a bridge swings and then worsened when they stick in the open position.