Gateway chiefs hail Weekly News ‘back the bridge’ campaign
The team behind the Mersey Gateway Project has hailed a campaign run by the area’s local newspaper, The Runcorn and Widnes Weekly News, to encourage local residents to show their support for the project.
The newspaper-led ‘Back the Bridge’ campaign, which attracted support from local industry, residents and local MPs Derek Twigg (Labour, Halton) and Graham Evans (Conservative, Weaver Vale), was submitted to government today with over 2,200 supporting signatures.
Cllr Rob Polhill, Leader of Halton Borough Council, said: “The Back the Bridge campaign is important as it shows that local people and local businesses are behind this project. The Weekly News is sometimes critical of the council, and we don’t agree on everything, but I am delighted that they have shown their support for this project, which is critical to the long term economic success and regeneration of Halton and the wider area.”
A copy of the paper’s covering letter to the government’s Spending Review team is included below:
AS YOU will be aware, there is much concern about the proposed Mersey Gateway, the second road crossing between Runcorn and Widnes, pending this autumn’s spending review.
The case for the bridge has been put very clearly by Halton Borough Council, neighbouring local authorities, North West MPs and leaders of industry.
But as a campaigning local newspaper, we also aim to provide a voice for our readers, who are concerned any delays in providing another crossing will condemn the borough of Halton, not to mention a large part of the North West of England, to years of congestion, misery and disruption – it is becoming clearer every year the existing Silver Jubilee Bridge is no longer up to the task.
For that reason we organised a petition calling on the Government to give the project the go-ahead, and in a very short time we have collected 2,252 signatures. The hard copy signatures are enclosed and you should be in receipt of website signatures by email.
I think you will agree that the signatures and comments reflect the degree of concern in the Halton area and I trust that the Government will take this into account when it makes its decision.
Yours sincerely, Mike Brennan Editor
Runcorn and Widnes Weekly News