THE battle to stop boats travelling along the Manchester Ship Canal during rush hour shows no signs of coming to a resolution anytime soon.
Frustrated residents have continued to voice their growing concerns after the Warrington Guardian revealed that the swing bridges in Warrington are expected to open more than 100 times during rush hour.
The bridges in Latchford, Stockton Heath and Walton often trigger traffic gridlock when opened during peak times causing motorists to miss appointments, arrive at work late and be delayed from dropping off and picking up children from school.
Great Sankey resident Dave Attew knows only too well the problems caused when the bridges are opened.
The 68-year-old, who is now retired, would face traffic ‘mayhem’ on a regular basis which would cause problems for his job, as a prescription delivery man for the Co-op.
He said: “The traffic in Warrington is bad at the best of times - never mind when the bridges are opened and the traffic would come to a standstill.
“This meant a lot of people would not get their medicine on the day they wanted it as I was held up in traffic. If it was an emergency, the pharmacist would have to drop them off on the way home.
“I am retired now, but I feel for the people of Warrington who get stuck in this all the time.”
Rachel Chorley, from Lower Walton, crosses the bridges on a daily basis but despite always arriving to work on time, she has witnessed emergency services stranded while the bridges have opened - sometimes to allow low level boats to travel along the canal.
She said: “Only last week an ambulance was stuck at the bridge. The emergency lights and sirens were on and the ambulance had no choice but to wait over 10 minutes. It could have been a matter of life or death.”
“I would say that the Chester Road bridge barriers are activated far too early and often traffic is stationary for over 10 minutes before the boat is even in sight.
“Peel should do more testing and rethink how early they realistically need to put the barriers down.”
Officers at Warrington Borough Council and executives at Peel Ports are scheduled to meet on Tuesday to discuss the ongoing issue surrounding the swing bridges.