THE new Western Link Road plans to demolish Gateworth Bridge and build one straight across the river thus blocking river traffic.

Fidlers Ferry Sailing Club recognises the need to improve road traffic flows but believes it should be done in a way that allows river traffic to continue.

The club has sailed on the river for more than 100 years and has defended the river as a navigable channel for all that time.

The most recent crossings; Gateworth Bridge and the new Mersey Crossing at Widnes both respected that imperative and were built to allow reasonable headroom for vessels.

That enables us to offer sailing opportunities to the community and we have a busy training programme involving schools, Scouts and youngsters.

If this sounds a minor issue may I offer a cautionary tale – the wings for the most advanced passenger plane in the world (Airbus industries) are built in Cheshire and transported on the River Dee.

The project was severely put at risk not because of any issue of complex wing design but because the river had been blocked by a low level bridges.

Planners had not seen the need for the River Dee to be navigable in the future and had allowed low-level road crossings.

A navigable channel such as the River Mersey is a vital artery that should not be closed particularly at a time when alternative forms of transport are urgently sought to address issues of capacity, pollution and energy resources.

I hope your readers agree that any new bridge should not close off an existing navigation and support our bid to keep Gateworth Bridge and any new ones at the current height.

ROB MCCULLOCH On behalf of Fidlers Ferry Sailing Club