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Business 'forced out of town' over bridge row
11:50am Sunday 8th December 2013 in News
BUSINESSES say they are moving out of town as the bridge row at Fiddlers Ferry continues to rumble on.
Mike Carroll has run fairground supply company Events With A Difference from the trading estate for 20 years.
He has already moved to equipment including a carousel often used in the town centre to Frodsham.
Problems with a replacement bridge installed at the site by Warrington Borough Council means part of the estate cannot be properly accessed.
Mr Carroll said: “Issues with the bridge means lorries and larger vehicles are unable to reach businesses.
“It is slowing us down and costing us money.
“Ultimately it will mean I have to move away.”
The temporary replacement bridge was installed in October by council workers.
From the outset, business owners have claimed it does not fit.
Mr Carroll criticised communication from the Town Hall.
He added: “It’s not the council’s fault the bridge collapsed, but the communication has been shocking.
“It’s like they are putting two fingers up and saying get on with it yourselves.”
Work on a permanent bridge is expected to start in February, six months after a lorry fell through Marsh House Bridge.
The council bought it from the Duchy of Lancaster.
Phil Parker owns part of the trading estate, and Fiddlers Ferry Caravans.
He provides storage for caravan owners and has lost 12 customers since the collapse as caravans cannot cross the bridge.
Mr Parker said: “The new bridge is supposed to be in in February, but with the council you just don’t know.
“We’ll have to wait and see.
“My problem is that owners will want to collect their caravans in March to use, so if it’s not sorted by then I’ll lose more customers.
“It’s a never ending, desperate situation and you never know where you’re up to.
“The council doesn’t seem to care.”
A spokesman for Warrington Borough Council said: “When the temporary bridge was installed there were a few minor issues but they were quickly resolved.
"Since then we have not been made aware of any issues but if businesses do have specific concerns they are welcome to contact the council on 01925 443322.”
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