CAMPAIGNERS are keeping the pressure on Peel Ports to carry out a much-needed £1.5 million paint job on the town’s swing bridges.

The three sites – which cross the Manchester Ship Canal – are situated on Chester Road, London Road and Knutsford Road.

The company has committed to the refurbishment of the 125-year-old bridges and has been holding discussions with contractors.

It previously confirmed it would cost around £500,000 to repaint each one.

Following talks with the firm and council, Warrington South MP Faisal Rashid has called for the operation to begin swiftly.

However, he raised concerns over a potential six-month closure for each bridge during the works.

READ MORE > Technical fault closes swing bridge at rush hour

On Saturday, Canaries on Tour campaigners Helen Gurnani and Tanya Baker, who are battling to protect sites across the borough from development, visited the swing bridges and imitated painting them to draw attention to their condition.

Council leader Cllr Russ Bowden has previously refuted the idea that the local plan is purely a ‘push for growth’ and told residents ‘retaining local control’ for development is essential for the future of the borough.

But residents remain critical about the authority’s controversial 20-year vision for the borough.

Mrs Gurnani said: “As usual, we are seeking to draw attention to Warrington Borough Council’s (WBC) ambitions for excessive, green space-damaging growth of our town as laid out in the local plan.

“We’re hoping to encourage many more people to engage in the process of shaping our town and unite in protecting it from these money and power-driven excesses, particularly with the ongoing public consultation on the local plan, which closes on June 17.

“We believe Peel are intent on doing away with the swing bridges to allow high-level crossings to replace them and assist in their Atlantic Gateway scheme.

“In this way, the fate of the swing bridges ties in directly to all the other stuff we are protesting about which ultimately affects all of us – north/south, all socio-economic levels, all politics and none because of the huge environmental and infrastructure issues which are being ignored, or responded to in a way which prioritises financial gains.”

The canaries did receive a visit from the police at the Knutsford Road bridge on Saturday.

READ > Residents voice mixed opinions after first local plan consultation

Mrs Gurnani added: "We must emphasise that we are not actually physically doing anything to the bridges, other than walking over them and waving decorating equipment as we are entitled to and, as the police officer who came round to check us out was satisfied, we are taking ample precaution not to cause  any obstruction and distraction by our activities.

"We would urge anyone who decides to get involved in this to exercise the same caution, please."

Mrs Gurnani and Mrs Baker frequently tour the town dressed up as canaries due to their association with the warning of danger, or pollution.

For more details, including about the next bridge 'painting' event on May 25, visit the Canaries on Tour – Save Warrington Green Space page on Facebook.