LIBERAL Democrat councillors have slammed Peel Ports for refusing to listen to what the people of Warrington want.

Clr Brian Axcell is favour of reducing the number of times the swing bridges in Latchford, Stockton Heath and Walton are opened during peak times and is backing the Warrington Guardian’s campaign to find out more about the traffic nightmare caused by the bridges.

Clr Axcell said: “Peel Ports announced their intentions for a big increase in freight on the canal in 2011. At that time we argued that the town’s road network could not cope with all the extra disruption this would cause unless bridge movements were restricted to night times.

“More than three years on, we still strongly believe that the swing bridges should be opened only at quiet times on the roads if serious damage to Warrington’s social and economic life is to be avoided.”

Last week, the Warrington Guardian revealed that the swing bridges on the Manchester Ship Canal were expected to open more than 100 times during rush hour.

Clr Axcell argues that the Labour council needs to be more ‘robust’ with Peel Ports in order to prevent the problem from escalating any further.

In 2012, the Lib Dems presented a petition to Peel Ports with almost 4,000 names, calling on the company to come forward with measures to stop the traffic chaos.

He added: “Peel Ports claim that the times of ship movements on the canal are governed by the tides.

“However, this does not apply to tankers sailing between Stanlow and Carrington and to maintenance vessels which never leave the Ship Canal, all of which regularly pass through Warrington at inconvenient times for residents.

“At the moment, the whole of Warrington has to wait when a ship passes through the town.

“We think it should be the other way round. It is about time that Peel Ports listened to what residents are saying to them.”

To sign the Warrington Guardian’s petition click here.