The new Mersey Gateway bridge is scheduled to open in the Autumn – and for the first time travellers will be required to pay tolls to cross the river, on both the new bridge and the Silver Jubilee Bridge.
My position is clear – I believe that these toll plans are a tax on jobs, and an unacceptable barrier to people who may need to access services such as hospitals, education and training opportunities across the river, not to mention an additional burden for people who want to do something as simple as visit friends and family who may happen to live just a few miles away.
In 2015, Tory Chancellor George Osborne promised that residents of Cheshire West and Chester would be granted toll-free access to the bridge in line with the allowances for residents in Halton. However, in January 2017 it was announced that free tolling would not be extended beyond Halton Borough Council residents. I am fighting in parliament to demand that the current government keep their promise – I will be demanding a meeting with Chancellor Phillip Hammond to ask that the promise is kept, and I have also signed this motion calling on the government to think again.
I will continue to take action on this vital issue and will be running a major campaign over the coming months demanding a fair deal for all Weaver Vale residents.