WORK to repaint Warrington’s three swing bridges is planned to begin next summer.

Concerns continue to be raised over the state of the three sites crossing the Manchester Ship Canal.

They are situated on Chester Road, London Road and Knutsford Road.

Peel Ports, which owns the bridges, has been in discussions with Warrington Borough Council over the long-awaited scheme to refurbish and repaint the structures.

In August, the company said it remains fully committed to the restoration of the three bridges, starting with the Stockton Heath site on London Road.

The council has provided an update on the planned project.

A spokesman said: “Peel Ports has indicated that they wish to undertake the work on the A49 London Road, Stockton Heath bridge first and they are currently undertaking a competitive tender process for these works.

“As part of this process, it will be determined how long these works will take and whether a full or partial closure of the bridge will be required.

“We will continue to work closely with Peel Ports to consider the implications of the refurbishment and repainting of the bridges – including the impact on residents, traffic and businesses – and will be looking to ensure that everything possible is done to minimise any the disruption.

“Once Peel Ports has completed their tender process, and more information is available, further updates will be provided.

“They have advised that they are looking to potentially commence the first stage of the project from next summer.”

Cllr Bob Barr, leader of the town’s Liberal Democrats, says his party welcomes the announcement that the first of the three swing bridges will be painted in 2021 but emphasised ‘we cannot forget’ that the campaign has taken some 15 to 20 years.

He added: “The level of disrespect to the people of Warrington shown by Peel cannot be overstated.

“The bridges must be painted promptly, efficiently and with minimum disruption to traffic.

“The cost is a tiny proportion of the hundreds of millions Peel is investing in ports and logistic operations.

“These plans include using the Ship Canal much more intensively. This will need locks to be rebuilt and faster swinging bridges to be installed.

“Peel should now share its plans with the people of Warrington and tell us how they plan to restore the canal infrastructure.”