WARRINGTON Borough Council continues to have 'real concerns' over how motorists will be able to cross the new Mersey Gateway Bridge for free following 'the lack of clarity' from Government.

Council leader Cllr Terry O'Neill has written to the parliamentary under secretary of state to 'remind him' of the Government's promise to waive tolls for Warrington residents travelling over the new bridge, which opens to traffic later this year.

In his letter to MP Andrew Jones – a copy of which has been sent to Warrington South MP David Mowat – Cllr O'Neill (LAB – Burtonwood and Winwick) asked for an update.

He also requested clarification on how the free crossings for Warrington residents will be funded.

The six-lane bridge over the River Mersey, between Runcorn and Widnes, will be tolled but in the run-up to the 2015 General Election former Chancellor George Osborne announced fees would be scrapped – a pledge welcomed by Mr Mowat and former PM David Cameron.

However, the council has still not yet received clarification over the funding and implementation of the move, which would save motorists £1,080 a year.

Cllr O'Neill said: "I am a supporter of the new bridge but have made it clear from the outset that I have real concerns over the people of this borough having to pay tolls to use it.

"This is a really important issue, which could impact on tens of thousands of motorists.

"That's why I'm concerned at the lack of clarity – since the initial promises were made – over how the free crossings will be funded.

"I have written to the Government previously on this issue but am yet to receive an update.

"As it stands, with the opening of the bridge fast approaching, we still have no idea how the Government's pledges will be implemented.

"I'll be doing everything in my power to resolve this.

"I hope to receive a response from the Government in the very near future and I will continue to pursue this until people get the clarity they deserve on this issue."

Both the new Mersey Gateway Bridge and the existing Silver Jubilee Bridge will be tolled when the new site opens.

But eligible Halton residents will be able to cross for free.