WARRINGTON Borough Council has announced it has secured £225,000 to provide a permanent replacement to a collapsed bridge at Fiddlers Ferry - six months after the accident.

However, Town Hall bosses are unable to say when work will start as the cash is not yet available.

The council, which now owns the bridge, pledged a replacement would be installed last month, but there is no sign of when work will begin.

Clr Linda Dirir, executive board member for highways, transportation and climate change at Warrington Borough Council, backed the funding.

She said: “It is great news that we can now look to deliver a permanent solution to the issue of Marsh House Bridge.

“As soon as the grant is formally made available we can work on a programme of construction to build the new bridge that minimises disruption to businesses.”

Businesses at Fiddlers Ferry say they have been struggling to survive since a lorry fell through the bridge in September last year.

It provided access to the Riverside trading estate which houses numerous companies.

The council installed a temporary bridge in October last year, but workers say it does not fit properly, meaning large vehicles cannot use it.

Mike Mason, owner of Limos North West, said businesses are ‘treading on thin ice’.

He said: “Currently we are surviving based on the goodwill of the landlord who is allowing us to use a small electric gate.

“But we are treading on thin ice as larger vehicles cannot use the temporary bridge as it’s so narrow.

“Some of my vehicles have been damaged by others using the bridge because there is not enough room.

“The repairs have cost me about £2000.”

Other businesses at Fiddlers Ferry are also struggling.

Fiddlers Ferry Caravans has lost customers, while fairground company Events With A Difference is unable to get vehicles onto the trading estate.

The council said money for a permanent bridge has come from a £654,000 grant by the Coastal Communities Fund.

Cash will also be spent on improving economic growth on the Sankey Canal between Widnes and Warrington.

Twelve apprenticeships and two jobs will be created, according to the council.