Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

A Bridge Too Fare

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

A Bridge Too Fare

Article excerpt

FURIOUS LOCALS ARE NOW PAYING ROAD TOLLS FOR COMMUTERS STUCK IN LONG TRAFFIC JAMS WAITING TO DRIVE OVER SHIP CANAL

COMMUTERS who face daily tailbacks to cross a toll bridge for 12p have been saved their misery - as local residents are now paying for them all in one go.

In recent years, motorists have each gone through the timeconsuming process of handing their pennies to an attendant in the booth on Warburton Toll Bridge, the only route across the River Mersey and Manchester Ship Canal between the M6 and M60 motorways.

It has caused hours of delays on Warburton Bridge Road and surrounding routes as hundreds of drivers await their turn, with reports that gridlock sometimes lasts from 3pm to 10pm.

The traffic has even prompted the local bus operator to cut services around the area.

But desperate locals have found a temporary solution.

Residents in nearby Warburton village, who claim the privatelyowned bridge has left them 'prisoners in their own homes', have started bulk-paying the toll to ease the congestion - handing over around £120 a week.

Each afternoon, Diane Grant, 65, often aided by Marshall Butters, 28, braves the cold to walk down the road from their homes in Warburton, Trafford, to pay up to £30 and wave through hundreds of drivers in super-quick time.

Initially, Diane paid the fee out of her own pocket but thanks to a Facebook campaign by the Warburton Toll Bridge Action Group, they now receive donations.

Many drivers also drop cash at Diane's cafe in Rixton, while some even post money through her letterbox.

Please just in the morning, the Marshall When the M.E.N. joined Diane on Thursday evening, most motorists shouted a 'thank you!' from their windows as she waved them through.

Diane said: "I just find it so upsetting seeing people sitting there for hours in traffic. I suppose I'm quite a caring person and I want to help out.

"The past two years it's got very, very bad.

On certain nights it can backlog for miles - if there's an accident on the M6 it's even worse. …

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