A PARLIAMENTARY debate on the Mersey Gateway Bridge tolls will take place this morning, Tuesday.

City of Chester MP Chris Matheson applied for the debate in October.

Scrap Mersey Tolls campaign group believes 'tolls have a negative effect on a wide area and should be removed'.

It has been in contact with 25 MPs in the region to ask them to attend the debate.

Warrington South MP Faisal Rashid held a meeting with Jesse Norman, parliamentary under secretary of state who is responsible for the Mersey Gateway scheme, to discuss the issue and will be having a follow up meeting in the new year.

The Labour politician has again hit out at the Government ahead of this morning's debate, which he will be attending.

He said: "Like my constituents, I have been deeply disappointed by the Government's failure to act to help Warrington South residents affected by the Mersey Gateway tolls.

"While elsewhere tolls have been scrapped on the Severn Bridge and the Queensferry Bridge has opened without a toll, locally Warrington residents are being hit with bills of more than £1,000 a year to cross the new Mersey Gateway toll bridge.

"Overnight my constituents have seen the cost of their journeys to work or to attend hospital appointments rise and the volume of traffic congestion on roads soar. 

"As the MP, I have been calling in Parliament for the tolls to be scrapped to alleviate this financial burden on my constituents and businesses.

"I met the transport minister to raise these issues with him personally.

"I called on him to urgently right this wrong.

"During our meeting the minister agreed to go away and investigate options for alleviating the burden of the toll on constituents.

"This was a very important first step in making some progress on this pressing issue.

"I also called for an urgent meeting with Jake Berry, minister for the Northern Powerhouse and local growth, to call for action on these concerns.

"This meeting will take place later today, Tuesday.

"At a debate dedicated to the Mersey Gateway Tolls taking place today, I will once again be repeating my calls for these deeply unfair tolls to be scrapped, alongside my neighbouring MPs.

"I am absolutely committed to keeping up the fight on this crucial issue on behalf of Warrington South residents.

"It is time that Government ministers realised that this issue will not go away."

Warrington North MP Helen Jones also contributed to the debate and raised concerns over the 'extra traffic' on Warrington's road since the new bridge opened.

And she has asked Department for Communities and Local Government minister Jake Berry whether he accepted that 'the fact that people cannot cross the Mersey between Warrington and Liverpool without paying a toll – whether across the bridge or through the tunnels – is holding back the regional economy and, if so, could the situation be rectified'.

Mr Berry replied by saying that he 'held discussions' with Labour's Liverpool Metro Mayor Steve Rotherham 'who told me that he supported the toll charges'.

But Mrs Jones has questioned the 'accuracy' of the response.

She said: "I have seen a copy of a letter from Steve Rotheram to Jake Berry in which he makes it clear that he does not support tolling on the Mersey crossing and would never have said such a thing as it does not fall into the scope of the Metro Mayor.

"This is a serious matter.

"Steve Rotheram is demanding that the record is put straight and claims his views have been distorted and misrepresented.

"We need to urgently have the matter clarified and an apology needs to be issued by the minister."

The debate started at 9.30am in Westminster Hall.