ONE of the rarest bridges in the world could be moved to Widnes to make the new Mersey crossing even more appealing to tourists, according to an enthusiast.

Bosses at Halton Council believe the Mersey Gateway, which will span the river between Runcorn and Widnes, will become a beacon for tourists.

And George Oliver, who lives in Westbrook, has been a long advocate for the Warrington Transporter Bridge.

One of only three bridges of its kind in the UK, it is hidden from view and neglected, according to Mr Oliver, a safety chief at chemical giant Solvay.

He says by moving it to a prime spot at Widnes, possibly Spike Island, it could attract interest from far away.

And while he says it could be controversial to move the bridge, at least discussing it would provoke some debate in its future.

Currently disused and out of sight for most in the town, he is even suggesting painting half primrose and blue, in honour of the Wolves, and half in black and white, in honour of Widnes Vikings, to further stoke interest.

He added: “This could be the Angel of the North for the north west. People could walk over it. It was assembled like Meccano from a company in Glasgow that built so it may be possible to move it.

“I think if it was painted, perhaps half black and white for Widnes and half primrose and blue for Warrington, it could be a real talking point.”

He has contacted David Mowat, Warrington South MP, to ask for support and he says he will bring it up with the Mersey Gateway contractors.

The bridge is currently leased to Warrington Borough Council until 2027 from nearby chemical company Celanese, formally Vinamul, and it says there is no money to currently to improve its dilapidated state.

Opened in 1916, it fell into disrepair in 1967 and catered for rail and road traffic.

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