MTUA HOME RUNCORN BRIDGE & MERSEY GATEWAY PAGES ON NO TOLLS SITE
Scrap Mersey Tolls FACEBOOK page
go to MERSEY TUNNELS NEWS pages
Mersey Gateway News inc Runcorn bridge (SJB)
2017 Gateway news
December 30 - MORE PLUGS
L'pool Echo 28 December "New Runcorn-Widnes bridge has come a long way over the past 12 months" L'pool Echo 24 December "Incredible pictures shows Mersey Gateway Bridge progress".
What a huge waste of effort. if they wanted to discourage people from crossing the river, they could have closed the Silver Jubilee bridge and hired a couple of leaky rowing boats.
December 22 - TAXIS AND THE DEATH STAR
Runcorn & Widnes World 21 December "Bridge sees dark forces at work" letter.
December 22 - LESS PAIN FOR XMAS, BUT LOOK OUT IN THE NEW YEAR
L'pool Echo 20 December "Festive cheer as roads re-open in Runcorn" L'pool Echo 13 December "Three-month road closure coming up in Runcorn in New Year".
December 1 - MORE SPIN
L'pool Echo 28 November "Winning road safety posters unveiled in Runcorn".
Perhaps someone could have suggested that for safety's sake, the hard hats go on the head :)
December 1 - A DAY AT THE BEACH
ITV 28 November "New Mersey bridge expected to open on time".
It must make it a bit easier to build a bridge when a lot of the time there is no water in the river :)
November 14 - NEW WAYS TO MAKE YOU PAY
Liverpool Echo 10 November "Proposed by-laws for Mersey Gateway Bridge to be reviewed by transport secretary".
November 14 - A BRIDGE NOT FAR ENOUGH
Scheme for a new bridge over the Mersey, though this being Merseyside this fantasy is of course not meant for road vehicles (though perhaps they will have a whip round so that Tunnels users can pay for the cost of it?) - Liverpool Echo 10 November "images of how Liverpool could look in the future" What Next Liverpool 15 October "Liverpool Bridge".
November 3 - NOVEMBER'S DOSE OF GATEWAY PAIN
Liverpool Echo 2 November "November lane closures planned for Runcorn and Widnes roads".
November 3 - LATEST SPIN
Liverpool Echo 1 November "Mersey Gateway crane operator reveals life in the sky above Runcorn and Widnes" Liverpool Echo 31 October "'Momentous occasion' as first stay cable connected on Mersey Gateway Bridge between Runcorn and Widnes".
October 26 - LATEST PAIN UPDATES
Liverpool Echo 25 October "Section of Astmoor Road in Runcorn to shut for six months" Liverpool Echo 25 October "Bridgewater Expressway westbound re-opens in Runcorn" as usual the last story is almost verbatim in another paper because almost everything that is written about the Gateway is based on PR press releases - Runcorn & Widnes World 23 October "New road junction opens on Bridgewater and Daresbury Expressways".
October 20 - GOOD NEWS IF YOU ARE A TROLL
Bad news for humans - Runcorn & Widnes World 20 October "Toll testing equipment being installed on approach to Runcorn Widnes bridge" Liverpool Echo 20 October "Bridge tolls test gantries installed in Runcorn".
There are no comments on the Echo story and only two comments on the World story, neither comment is bothered about either tolling or the spying. It shows what a wonderful job the PR people and the local press have done over the years to anaesthetise people.
October 20 - GOVERNMENT SAY OVER TO YOU
Liverpool Echo Oct 19 "Duty to assess bridge tolls impacts lies with council and city region says minister".
This is the usual claptrap: noise with no meaning.
The Mersey tolls scam was cooked up by Governments (Labour, and Tory / Lib Dem Coalition) and the Council. Whether the scheme went ahead, the level of tolls and any discounts have in effect been determined by the Government when deciding how much financial support to give to the Council and the banks. As for the City Region, the Echo story gives the impression that they have some say in this, but though Halton is part of it, the Region has no say in what happens with the two bridges, though Halton if it choses to can have a say on the level of Mersey Tunnel tolls.
This is the (written) questions that Luciana Berger asked in Parliament and the answer that she got (as you can see she also asked about Tunnel tolls):
Q46483 on 14 September "To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the effect of the tunnel and bridge tolls in Merseyside on the (a) finances, (b) employment levels, (c) employment choices and (d) road travel habits of residents of Liverpool, Wavertree."
Answer on 10 October: "Tolling levels for the Mersey Tunnels and the future Mersey Gateway Crossing are the responsibility of the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority and Halton Borough Council respectively. Any assessment of the local impact of these tolls is therefore a matter for these bodies rather than this Department. The Departmentís assessment of the business case for the Crossing included a consideration of the overall impacts effects of tolling levels on road users and showed that the new Crossing will reduce congestion and improve journey times for users. This assessment was not disaggregated to the level of individual local areas"
The Government are as usual misleading people. They say that "impacts effects of tolling levels on road users .. showed that the new Crossing will reduce congestion and improve journey times for users." The truth is that the studies showed that tolling would increase congestion as traffic would divert to other crowded crossings.
October 19 - MORE FROM THE TOLLS PR MACHINE
Runcorn & Widnes World 18 Oct "IN PICTURES: Fascinating bird's eye view of work on the new bridge".
More pictures of one of the most novel bridges in Britain: it is largely over earth, sand and mud rather than water.
October 19 - SJB WILL CLOSE FOR A YEAR WHILE THEY CONVERT IT TO A CYCLEWAY
Liverpool Echo Oct 17 "Silver Jubilee Bridge between Widnes and Runcorn could shut for a year over repainting work".
October 19 - NEW TOLL FREE BRIDGE OVER THE MERSEY
The catch is that it is not on Merseyside but in Greater Manchester: Construction Index Oct 14 "Planning approval granted for Stockportís Mersey bridge".
October 19 - MORE ON MISERY WORKS
Liverpool Echo Oct 14 "Daresbury Expressway westbound to re-open in Runcorn".
Reopening one of the roads that they closed may seem more like an end to Misery, but the story reveal new closures.
October 11 - TOLLS PR MACHINE BUSY
Runcorn & Widnes World 7 Oct "Major milestone for Mersey Gateway as bridge pylon reaches highest point" Liverpool Echo Oct 7 "Tallest point of Mersey Gateway bridge installed".
As usual the Echo and Runcorn & Widnes World have almost identical stories as they largely print whatever the trolls give them.
October 11 - POLICE STATE TO COME TO THE MERSEY
Liverpool Echo Oct 6 "Minimum 20mph speed limit proposed for Mersey Gateway bridge" Liverpool Echo Oct 4 "Powers granted for council staff to enter vehicles to check bridge tolls payment kit".
What the stories do not mention is that there will be fines at "Level 3 on the standard
scale", which is up to one thousand pounds, for breaking any of the thirty bridge and toll rules Halton Council "Mersey Gateway Bridge Byelaws 2016" (pdf).
October 1 - MISERY WORKS
Liverpool Echo Sep 30 "One road closes as another opens in Widnes in latest bridge works bulletin" Liverpool Echo Sep 21 "Mersey Gateway roadworks affecting busy Widnes junction to enter next phase" Runcorn & Widnes World Sep 20 "New road to open under Ditton junction for traffic from Liverpool to Runcorn bridge".
October 1 - PM DELUDED
Click Liverpool Sep 29 "Theresa May confirms commitment to Northern Powerhouse and a "successful Liverpool"".
The PM says that the Governmmet have given "£474 million" to the bridge. This 'may' be correct, but it is far more than what would have been the cost of a normal public untolled crossing and we could have had it by 2010. She is deluded if she thinks that this bridge scam is good news.
October 1 - FROM THE TOLLS PR MACHINE
Liverpool Echo Sep 24 "Mersey Gateway art exhibition showcasing children's talents opens in Widnes" Runcorn & Widnes World Sep 22 "New bridge inspires children to develop imaginative art skills"
Liverpool Echo Sep 14 "Mersey Gateway bridge machine named after Transporter engineer" Runcorn & Widnes World Sep 14 "Lunts Heath pupils christen new bridge building maching (sic)".
As usual the local new media print "stories" that are more like free adverts with 99% of the content handed to them. And of course the tolls are rarely mentioned.
October 1 - COUNCIL TO CONSIDER TOLLS ORDER
Halton Council Sep 14 see item 29: "Mersey Gateway Bridge", there are various links that you can click on but the main report is here: Halton Sep 14 "Mersey Gateway Bridge ĖRiver Mersey (Mersey Gateway Bridge) Order 2011 as modified by the River Mersey (Mersey Gateway Bridge) (Amendment) Order 2016 and Proposed Mersey Gateway Bridge and A533 (Silver Jubilee Bridge) Road User Charging Scheme Order" pdf.
The Council decided to bring in the Tolls Order with no further consulation and "no public inquiry". Naturally this little bit oif modern democracy was not reported in the "news" media.
September 10 - THE ONCE AND FUTURE JUNCTION
At the Public Inquiry we and others said that if they insisted on building the bridge in the wrong location then there would be chaos, particularly around Junction 12 and the Weston roundabout. Objectors said that they would need a new junction on the M56 between 12 and 11. The Council said that there were no plans for this, possibly because they realised that if they said this then it would increase the number of objectors or perhaps the Council just did not have a clue about the effects of their scheme. Now seven yaers after the Inquiry they have announced that there will after all be a new junction between 12 and 11.
Liverpool Echo Sep 9 "More details emerge of proposed M56 junction 11a options in Runcorn" Liverpool Echo Sep 6 "Two options being considered for M56 junction 11a in Runcorn" Chester Chronicle Sep 1 "New M56 Cheshire junction proposals to be unveiled at information event" Liverpool Echo Aug 25 "M56 junction 11a public information event in Runcorn".
September 10 - TROLL ASKS ABOUT DISCOUNTS
Liverpool Echo Sep 8 "MP seeks answers on Runcorn-Widnes bridge tolls discounts for drivers from neighbouring areas".
This is another example of the hypocrisy and short memories of politicians. Maria Eagle was one of those who voted for the Mersey Tunnels Bill in 2003. The Bill made it a lot easier to increase tolls and for Merseytravel to spend the tolls on whatever they liked (U-boat anyone?). The Bill was also supported by Halton Council as they wanted Tunnel tolls to be as high as possible so that they could set the planned bridge tolls even higher.
The Echo story implies that Maria asked one or two questions. In fact she went for broke and asked six very similar questions all on the same day. All the (written) questions that Maria Eagle asked in Parliament and the answers that she got are below. You may notice that Maria mainly asked about people who lived in Halton, Knowsley, Cheshire West and Warrington. She did not directly mention Liverpool though that is where most of her constituents live:
Q43726 on 20 July "To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether funding will be made available to Knowsley Council to enable residents who live in close proximity to the Mersey Gateway Bridge and Silver Jubilee Bridge to travel toll-free when those bridges open."
Q43666 on 20 July "To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will extend the local discount scheme to residents across Merseyside to allow them to travel toll-free across the Mersey Gateway and Silver Jubilee bridges when they open in 2017."
The identical answer that was given om 5 September to the above two questions: "My officials continue to work with the Department for Transport on the financial and contractual implications of any further extension of user discounts. A decision will be made on this in due course."
Q43608 on 20 July "To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent discussions he has had with the Chancellor of the Exchequer about the introduction of tolls on the Mersey Gateway and Silver Jubilee bridges; and whether a decision has been taken on discounts for local businesses and residents."
Q43610 on 20 July "To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what criteria he will use to determine eligibility for discounted travel as part of the local discount scheme when tolls on the Mersey Gateway and Silver Jubilee bridges are introduced."
Q43667 on 20 July "To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what funding he is making available to (a) Warrington and Cheshire West and (b) Chester councils to enable residents to travel toll-free across the Mersey Gateway Bridge and Silver Jubilee Bridge when they open in 2017."
Q43667 on 20 July "To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what progress he has made on ensuring financial support will be made available for local businesses in Knowsley and Liverpool once tolls are introduced on the Mersey Gateway bridge."
The identical answer that was given om 5 September to the above four questions: "Following the previous Chancellorís further statement in July 2015 that the Government is looking at extending Mersey Gateway bridge toll discounts to residents of Chester West & Chester and Warrington, officials are currently working through what the proposed further extension means for the scheme both by way of the cost to the Department but also and importantly what this would do to the commercial structure of the contracts already signed for the scheme. Once this is clear we will be able to provide more information."
September 10 - ANOTHER LEGACY FROM THE COUNCIL
Many of those who objected to the toll bridge plans had also unsuccessfully opposed the Council's support for an incinerator. Here is a recent story about the pollution:
Liverpool Echo Sep 7 "Plume Plotter maps 'reveal incinerator pollution over Runcorn and Widnes'".
September 10 - FROM THE TOLLS PR MACHINE
Liverpool Echo Sep 5 "Huge bridge building machines launch in Mersey Estuary between Runcorn and Widnes"  : Runcorn & Widnes World Sep 4 "Milestone reached in construction of £500m Mersey Gateway" Liverpool Echo Aug 29 "Mersey Gateway visitor centre in Widnes welcomes 10,000th guest".
September 10 - MORE ON MISERY WORKS
Liverpool Echo Sep 2 "Road routes in Halton affected by Mersey Gateway roadworks".
September 10 - M56 Problem
Liverpool Echo Aug 25 "Lead letter: Retired civil engineer and Halton mayor from Runcorn calls for action over M56".
What the letter writer and the newws media do not tell you is that the problem can only get worse because of the location of the "Gateway". Most of the traffic crossing the river is going to or from the area to the west of Runcorn (Liverpool, Knowsley, Chester, West Cheshire, North Wales). Any new crossing should have been built to the west of the existing crossing and to the west of junction 12, instead they are building it to the east. We tried to point this out at the Public Inquiry, but the Inspector said that it was not a matter that he could consider.
August 20 - MORE ON MISERY WORKS
Liverpool Echo Aug 15 "Central Expressway re-opens in Runcorn" Liverpool Echo Aug 10 "Mersey Gateway roadworks throughout August in Runcorn and Widnes ".
August 20 - MORE FROM THE PR MACHINE
Liverpool Echo Aug 13 "Mersey Gateway bridge progress charted in stunning pictures" Liverpool Echo Aug 6 "Gargantuan cranes in action to build collosal bridge-building machine in Runcorn" Liverpool Echo Jul 30 "Widnes students gain insight into Mersey Gateway progress" Liverpool Echo Jul 29 "Vast crane extended to height of 32 double decker buses as Mersey Gateway work continues" Liverpool Echo Jul 28 "Huge cranes the size of 32 double decker buses tower over the Mersey".
July 29 - TREES MORE MEDIEVAL THAN THE TOLLS
Another bizarre example of how the trolls supply the local news media with ready made stories about trivia while the big issues are ignored: Liverpool Echo July 28 "Stone Age tree trunk more than 6,500 years old uncovered in Widnes" Runcorn & Widnes World July 25 "Ancient 6,500 year old tree trunk discovered during excavation for new bridge".
July 29 - GATEWAY PROVIDING MORE WORK - FOR REST OF BRITAIN
Shropshire Express & Star 26 July "Barnshaw curves help raise Mersey bridge".
July 29 - MORE PAIN
Liverpool Echo 22 July "Road closures in place for Runcorn and Widnes as Mersey Gateway work continues".
And it seems that the authorities have also been raking in money by fining drivers breaking an illegal speed limit Runcorn & Widnes World July 20 "Drivers could challenge convictions after speeding charge is dropped".
July 18 - CANDIDATE FOR REGION MAYOR MAKES NO PROMISES ON TOLLS
Liverpool Echo 18 July "Metro mayor contender discusses tolls and high-speed rail during Mersey Gateway tour in Widnes".
The Mayor and the Region have no power over the Halton bridges, so they can do nothing about the tolls.
July 29 - MORE GUMPF FROM THE TROLLS PR MACHINE
Liverpool Echo 17 July "Runcorn pupils have honour of declaring footbridge open" Liverpool Echo 15 July "Degree students and school pupils gain career experience on Mersey Gateway bridge".
July 14 - SECRET GIFT FROM CHINA
Lots of coverage in the press about another bridge building machine, but not a mention that the machines come from China Liverpool Echo 5 July "Bridge building machine begins arriving in Runcorn for Mersey Gateway work" Runcorn & Widnes World July 1 "Work starts on outer road deck of Mersey Gateway" Liverpool Echo June 20 "Concrete pours as work begins on Mersey Gateway northern approach in Widnes".
July 14 - MORE CLOSURES
Liverpool Echo 5 July "Latest Mersey Gateway roadworks bulletin released".
July 1 - BREXIT EFFECT?
There have beeen some stories which say that the result of the EU Referendum may have an impact on infrastructure deals and might also have a negative impact on the Mersey Gateway financing and its Government guarantee. We would like to know more but of course the local news media have turned a blind eye to this issue.
July 1 - MORE CLOSURES
Liverpool Echo June 20 "Weston Point Expressway lane closures among latest Mersey Gateway roadworks in Runcorn and Widnes ".
June 21 - ANOTHER UKIP PROTEST
Liverpool Echo 13 June "UKIP protest against tolls to cross bridges in Runcorn and Widnes" Liverpool Echo 9 June "UKIP to hold protest against 'highway robbery' bridge tolls in Runcorn and Widnes".
June 21 - ECHO SAYS "MUCH MORE THAN A BRIDGE"
Liverpool Echo 12 June "The Mersey Gateway Bridge takes shape at 70 metres a month - and that's just the start".
One of the readers must also think that it is "much more than a bridge", their comment says:
"Built to make money only and it stinks, a toll charge to be put on the free silver jubilee bridge is disgraceful...Runcorn and Widnes have been decimated by the construction of the new bridge, the situation wasn't broke, but when there's cash to be made, there's always somebody to fix it."
June 21 - ECHO CLAIMS THAT BRIDGE HAS ALREADY "PUMPED" £129M INTO REGION'S ECONOMY
Liverpool Echo 2 June "Mersey Gateway has pumped £129m into regional economy already say bosses".
Even if you believe the figures, the firms that are benefitting are up to 30 miles away and many will be outside the Halton and Merseyside area. There is of course no mention of the money that will be coming out of the local economy and going to the banksters: over one billion pounds in tolls.
May 31 - MORE ON THE MERSEY MISERY TO COME
The Mersey Gateway will have "cashless" tolls. The Dartford Crossing over the Thames already has them and this is another report on what is in store for those who travel over the Mersey: Observer 8 May "Toll and trouble: Dartford cameras fine drivers for journeys they didnít make".
May 10 - PRIVATE SECTOR BOSS TO CHAIR THE GATEWAY BOARD
Liverpool Echo 10 May "Former Everyman director appointed Mersey Gateway board chairman".
The caption on the picture of the new chairman says 'DLA Piper Business Person Of The Year in 2012'. Could this be the same DLA Piper who steered through approval of the tolled bridges?
May 10 - HALTON ELECTION
Runcorn & Widnes World 3 May "Election eve - leaders and independents outline why Halton residents should vote for them".
The only party that raised the issue of tolls were UKIP as the other parties want to keep the people of Halton sedated and ignorant.
UKIP blame Labour for the tolls, but we don't see much difference between Labour, Tories and Lib Dems: they will all fleece drivers if they can get away with it. Though Halton Against Tolls and others did at least manage to get promises from the Government that Halton residents will not pay the tolls.
As usual most people did not vote and the turnout was only 27.3%. The result of the election was that the Lib Dems and Tories won one seat each with Labour taking 17. The composition of the Council is now 52 Labour, 2 Tories and 2 Lib Dems.
May 10 - BUSINESSES ASKED TO PAY TO BE TOLD ABOUT 'PROGRESS'
Runcorn & Widnes World 3 May "Update on new Mersey Gateway for Halton businesses".
May 10 - HALTON SCHOOLS ASKED TO 'CHRISTEN' CHINESE MACHINE
Runcorn & Widnes World 5 May "Children to christen second colossal bridge building machine" Liverpool Echo 2 May "Halton schools invited to name giant bridge building machine on its way to Runcorn".
April 30 - TWIGG PRESSES GOVERNMENT ON TOLLS, BUT GETS CONFUSING ANSWERS
Liverpool Echo Apr 28 "Minister pressed over small business tolls discounts by Halton MP".
It is good that Derek is now trying to do something about tolls for 'small busnesses', but at the Public Inquiry in 2009 he spoke in support of the Council and their bad mad scheme.
This is the written question that he asked on 23 March - "To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to his visit to the Mersey Gateway on 23 April 2015, what progress has been made on ensuring support will be provided to small businesses in Runcorn and Widnes when that bridge opens in 2017 related to the cost of tolls crossing the Mersey Gateway."
On 11 April the Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Transport answered - "Residents of Halton will already be able to use the bridges for free following previous Government decisions to fund an extension to the original, limited, residentís discount scheme proposed by Halton Borough Council. Heavy goods vehicles and coaches will pay the same wherever they are geographically based which will ensure a level playing field for businesses across the North West."
That answered sounded like a definite refusal.
On 20 April Derek had another go - "To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 23 March 2016 to Question 32463, what recent discussions he has had with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on his announcement of 23 April 2015 of a special scheme to help small businesses in Runcorn and Widnes using the new Mersey Gateway Bridge and the existing Silver Jubilee Bridge from 2017."
On the 25 April, the Minister answered - "The Secretary of State for Transport met with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on 29th February 2016 and discussion included discount schemes on the Mersey Gateway Crossing. Officials in the Department for Transport and Her Majestyís Treasury are continuing to work through the implications of any further extension of user discounts to the cost of the scheme and to the commercial structure of the contracts already signed for the scheme."
If the Chancellor made such an announcement in April 2015 and there was a meeting about it on 29 February this year, then why did the Minister give such a negative answer on 11 April? Are the Government so used to helping the Council to con the public that the right hand has no idea what the left hand is doing?
This story is also odd in that what the Chancellor said in April 2015 was that busineses WOULD HAVE TO PAY. The concession that he mentioned then (cars and small vans could have unlimited crossings for £90 a month) is already agreed and mentioned on the official Mersey Gateway site. So what game are they all playing?
Though the biggest question is why the Tory MPs for Warrington and West Cheshire constituencies are not pressing the Government on the concessions that were really promised a year ago, i.e that their residents would not have to pay any tolls.
April 30 - CHINA TROLLS
Liverpool Echo Apr 24 "Chinese engineering delegation tops off UK visit at Mersey Gateway construction site".
The Chinese have many of the longest bridges in the World Wikipedia "List of longest bridges in the world", and have nothing to learn from the bridge being built across the Mersey pond. But I.C.E. is a big fan of tolls, so perhaps they want to interest the Chinese into helping to fleece UK road users.
April 18 - TODAY'S UKIP DEMO IN WIDNES AGAINST BRIDGE TOLLS
Liverpool Echo Apr 18 "Ukip holds tolls protest at Runcorn-Widnes bridge" Runcorn & Widnes World Apr 18 "UKIP mounting tolls protest on Silver Jubilee bridge".
April 18 - GATEWAY PAIN
Liverpool Echo Apr 13 "Motorists reminded of Runcorn M56 junction's weekend closure" The queues approaching the roundabout at the end of the Weston Expressway are bad already due to roadworks, so will anyone notice that it is virtually closed?
April 18 - UPDATE ON THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE BRIDGE ON SAND
Runcorn & Widnes World Apr 15 "Historic bottles dating back 150 years unearthed during Mersey Gateway construction" - Will they give the same publicity if they unearth anything left over from chemical weapons production?
Runcorn & Widnes World Apr 14 "Giant bridge building machines reach new heights".
Like other PR handouts both above stories were also in the Echo, though they only managed to publish them on the 18th.
April 10 - UKIP DEMONSTRATE AGAIN AGAINST RUNCORN BRIDGE TOLLS
UKIP are having another Tolls Protest. This one will be on Monday 18th April at 7.30 am till 10.00 am on the Widnes side of the Runcorn Bridge/ SJB. They will be meeting at Irwell Street, West Bank, WA8 0DZ.
Directions to the meeting place:
From M56, on Bridge keep in left hand lane, take 1st exit off Bridge and turn immediate left and follow signs for Catalyst Museum, carry straight on and turn right at the roundabout then keep on and turn left when you see signs for Catalyst Museum, keep on until you reach the No Entry sign and turn right into Irwell Street.
From Liverpool, the Flyover to the Bridge is now closed so use the slip road following the Widnes signs and going through a set of lights, past a McDonalds to the next set of lights, then follow the signs to either the West Bank or the Catalyst Museum..
April 10 - UPDATE ON THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE NEW FORTH BRIDGE
BBC Apr 6 "Forth Crossing" video.
April 10 - GATEWAY PAIN
Liverpool Echo Apr 7 "Part of Ditton Flyover in Widnes to be demolished this weekend " Liverpool Echo Apr 6 "Runcorn slip road to shut permanently" Liverpool Echo Apr 6 "Roadworks throughout April announced in Runcorn and Widnes for Mersey Gateway Project" Runcorn & Widnes World Apr 4 "Weston Link 'loop' slip road to Southern Expressway to close permanently".
We were going to head some of this "April Fool", as it seemed too daft to be true.
April 10 - BIT MORE ON HALTON BUSINESSES ASK FOR LOWER TOLLS
Runcorn & Widnes World Apr 5 "Chancellor lobbied for discount bridge tolls for Halton businesses".
April 10 - APRIL FOOL?
Liverpool Echo Apr 4 "Letter outlining fresh Mersey Gateway funding arrangements set for rubber-stamping".
Construction work started on this scheme nearly two years ago and no tolls for residents was announced in July 2014, but we are now told in April 2016 that they have only just got a letter about the funding and the Council has yet to agree it. Oddest of all is that the news media are so bewitched by the tolls PR people that they don't question any of this!
April 10 - HOW TO MAKE A FORTUNE FROM DRIVERS WHO DON'T PAY THE TOLLS
The plan is that the tolls on the new bridge and the existing bridge will be cashless. So drivers will have to pay either before they cross or later the same day. Those who don't pay on time will be subject to punitive fines. The Dartford Crossing already have this system and they are making a fortune - at least it is a fortune if the drivers pay the fines -
News Shopper Mar 16 "Dartford Crossing earns £3m PER WEEK in driver fines".
April 2 - HALTON BUSINESSES ASK FOR LOWER TOLLS
Liverpool Echo Apr 1 "Halton Chamber to lobby chancellor over bridge toll discounts for borough businesses" Runcorn & Widnes World Apr 1 "Chancellor lobbied for discount bridge tolls for Halton businesses".
Why accept that you HAVE TO PAY any tolls?
April 2 - LIVERPOOL MAYOR JOINS IN PULLING THE OTHER ONE
Liverpool Echo Mar 24 "Unlock Runcorn promo video narrated by John Bishop launched as city mayor hails 'fantastic initiative'"
March 22 - COACH FIRM FEARS EFFECT OF TOLLS
Liverpool Echo Mar 22 "Runcorn coach firm seeks answers over bridge tolls 'highwayman'" Runcorn & Widnes World Mar 16 "Operators fear high coach tolls on Mersey Gateway could drive business out of Halton".
Update - Liverpool Echo Apr 1 "Campaign could be brewing over bridge tolls discounts for Halton businesses"
March 22 - UPDATE ON BRIDGE OVER SANDS
Liverpool Echo Mar 19 "New aerial image shows Mersey Gateway Bridge starting to take shape".
March 22 - JOBS FOR THE BOYS
Liverpool Echo Mar 16 "Runcorn recruits join Mersey Gateway project" Runcorn & Widnes World Mar 17 "Runcorn scaffolding apprentices hired for new Mersey Gateway".
As usual we have two identical 'stories' and pictures. They are identical because these are not news they are PR designed to distract people from the real issues such as how many of the people employed on the bridge are from Halton.
March 22 - GATEWAY PAIN
Runcorn & Widnes World Mar 21 "Weekend road closures at M56 junction 12 pave way for new Mersey Gateway" Liverpool Echo Mar 21 "Motorists urged to plan ahead as Runcorn M56 junction road closures loom".
Liverpool Echo Mar 16 "Latest roadworks announced in Runcorn and Widnes for Mersey Gateway Project" Liverpool Echo Mar 10 "Motorists warned to expect delays ahead of Ditton Flyover closing in Widnes" Liverpool Echo Mar 9 "Traffic hell awaits with permanent closure of Ditton Flyover, which links Widnes and Speke" Runcorn & Widnes World Mar 9 "Disruptions and delays expected as Ditton flyover closes on Easter Monday".
March 5 - PETITION AGAINT DEMOLISHING WATERLOO CENTRE FOR NEW BRIDGE ROAD WORKS
Liverpool Echo Feb 29 "Petition calls for Widnes building near Mersey Gateway Bridge path not to be demolished" inc link to petition.
Update - Liverpool Echo Mar 14 "Demolition of Waterloo Centre in Widnes goes ahead".
March 5 - GATEWAY PAIN
Liverpool Echo Feb 25 "Ditton Roundabout in Widnes to close over two weekends for Mersey Gateway roadworks".
March 5 - TOLL BANDITS MEET
Liverpool Echo Feb 23 "Mersey Gateway bridge works update looks at tolls legal wrangle and accident figures".
They seem to be worried that the Government will not give them permission to take stringent measures against those who don't pay the tolls. We don't understand why they are worried as both the local polticians and the Government are united in the aims of privatising the existing bridge and adding extra burdens on drivers.
March 5 - HOW TO BUILD A BRIDGE
Liverpool Echo Feb 21 "How do you build England's biggest new bridge?".
Perhaps the question should have been how do you pull England's biggest con trick?
This is the craziest bridge ever as the aim is to have less traffic crossing the river than thete is now. Almost no one believes this because the PR people have fed the news media with lots of 'nice' stories and made sure that the facts are ignored.
February 18 - PULL THE OTHER ONE!
Deluded local politicians say that demolishing access roads to the existing bridge and putting tolls on both the old and new bridges will mean more tourists come to Halton - Liverpool Echo Feb 17 "Comic John Bishop to narrate film and help turn Runcorn into a tourist attraction".
February 18 - CHILDREN ALLEGED TO BE THROWING STONES AT BRIDGE BUILDERS
Liverpool Echo Feb 17 "Bridge team and police make plea over children throwing logs at workers and entering building sites".
February 18 - NEW BRIDGE WORKS TURNS CANAL INTO DITCH?
Liverpool Echo Feb 16 "Concerns raised over dropping water levels at Widnes beauty spot".
February 18 - UNDER WAY
Liverpool Echo Feb 18 "Amazing pictures of Runcorn's Bridges show how Mersey landmarks were built" Liverpool Echo Feb 15 "First section of Mersey Gateway roadway deck span completed" Liverpool Echo Feb 5 "Giant machines to begin work on creating Mersey Gateway bridge deck between Runcorn and Widnes".
January 28 - REACTION TO GATEWAY PAIN
Runcorn & Widnes World Jan 27 "Driven mad by another round of road closures".
January 28 - GATEWAY TOLL EQUIPMENT TEST
Liverpool Echo Jan 26 "Temporary gantries ahead of Mersey Gateway Bridge opening could be placed in Runcorn".
January 28 - LATEST FROM THE GATEWAY SPIN MACHINE
Runcorn & Widnes World Jan 26 "Children showcase artwork inspired by the new Mersey Gateway bridge".
January 25 - GATEWAY CONSTRUCTION
Liverpool Echo Jan 21 "Vast bridge-building machine starts pouring concrete for Mersey Gateway in Widnes".
Unlike England, Scotland is currently building a major estuarial bridge which will not be tolled, and which is expected to open about the end of 2016 - World Highways Jan 6 "Scotlandís new Queensferry Crossing over the Forth Estuary".
January 25 - GATEWAY PAIN
Liverpool Echo Jan 19 "Latest Mersey Gateway roadworks in Runcorn and Widnes announced".
2015 Gateway news
A/cs from 1934