Warburton Toll Bridge charge rises from 12p to £1

The Manchester Ship Canal Company (MSCC) has hiked up its fares to use Warburton Toll Bridge.

There is currently a fee of 12p per vehicle to cross the toll bridge – which connects Cheshire to Greater Manchester and spans the Manchester Ship Canal – but this will increase to £1.

Warrington Borough Council – which had previously voiced its decision against the plans – has slammed the decision as a “significant disappointment”.

A public inquiry held in 2022 recommended the implementation of a Transport and Works Act Order to facilitate the toll increase, a recommendation that has been accepted by the transport secretary.

Objections

Hans Mundry, Warrington’s cabinet member for highways and transportation, said there had been many objections from local residents and businesses.

While the council acknowledges the importance of bridge upgrades and the introduction of an automated tolling system, it questions who will bear the cost of these improvements and is considering its next steps.

Trafford Council, although disappointed that their objections were not upheld, noted that the order includes discounts for nearby residents, a relief for those facing a rising cost of living. The announcement also revealed plans for the introduction of free-flow or cashless tolling.

Improvement works

MSCC owner, Peel Ports, defended the toll increase, asserting that the existing toll was notably low compared to other similar bridge tolls and that approval of the application meant it can start “much-needed improvement works”.

It pledged to collaborate with local authorities and communities in Warrington and Trafford and assured that no tolls would be imposed during the improvement works.

image: Google street view
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