AMBITIOUS plans to honour the town's transporter bridge with world heritage status have moved a step closer.

On September 28 – at an international transporter bridge conference in Buenos Aires – a multinational accord was signed calling for UNESCO world heritage status for all transporter bridges across the globe.

If successful, the three British bridges in Middlesbrough, Newport and Warrington would be granted the prestigious title.

The town's Grade II listed site, which is the last remaining railway transporter bridge in the world, is situated across the Mersey, close to Bank Quay Station.

At Monday's full council meeting, Cllr Dan Price, executive board member for culture and partnerships, proposed a motion calling on John Glen, parliamentary under secretary of state for arts, heritage and tourism, to meet with Warrington representatives to discuss how the world heritage application can advance to the next stage.

He added: "Members, our railway transporter bridge is an impressive feat of engineering and the only one of its kind left in the world.

"This structure towers over Warrington as a symbol of Britain's proud industrial heritage and a reminder of how towns like ours were once the workshops of the world.

"It's fair to say that our bridge has seen better days.

"Significant repairs and restoration work are urgently needed if we are to have it moved off the heritage at risk register.

"But it’s worth noting that, unlike our fellow UK bridges in Newport and Middlesbrough, we haven't been the beneficiaries of significant heritage lottery funds.

"However, with Government backing, we can bring this industrial monument back into service and transform it into a visitor attraction, much like the UNESCO protected Vizcaya Bridge in Spain."

The motion was approved in the chamber in front of Friends of Warrington Transporter Bridge (FoWTB) chair Margaret Ingham, who attended last month's convention in Buenos Aires.

She said: "The representatives of the bridges signed a declaration that they would approach their local and central governments to progress the remaining bridges to follow the lead of the Vizcaya Bridge in Spain to become UNESCO world heritage sites.

"I gave a talk to the congress about our bridge and they were shocked at its state of repair.

"Our bridge is now the only one in the world that is not operational.

"However, the recent engineer's report commissioned by the council shows that it still has potential for restoration, should finance be found.

"The process to produce a case for world heritage status for the remaining seven bridges will take time and a great deal of international cooperation but it is good to have taken the first step.

"FoWTB hope that this will encourage companies to come forward to assist in the work to preserve and even possibly restore our unique rail transporter bridge."