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BARTON LIFTING BRIDGE FINALLY OPENS AS SALFORD PEOPLE POWER WINS
 

Star date: 19th December 2017

'WE'VE BEATEN THEM – THE PEOPLE HAVE DONE THIS...'

The Barton Lifting Bridge finally opened this afternoon, as residents celebrated a victory over 'corporate bullies'.

Peel Holdings, Trafford Council and Salford City Council have been embroiled in a legal wrangle over who is to pay the estimated £150,000 cost of maintaining the bridge - but while this continues, residents were jubilant at the bridge opening ... "We've beaten them" said campaigner Alan Whitehead "...The people have done this..."

Full details here...


Trafford Centre Bridge Protest Trafford Centre Bridge Protest Trafford Centre Bridge Protest
click image to enlarge

After all the threats flying between Salford City Council, Trafford Council and Peel Holdings, the Barton Lifting Bridge over the Manchester Ship Canal finally opened this afternoon.

Salford Council and Trafford Council are convinced that the estimated £150,000 annual cost of the maintenance and liabilities for the bridge should be paid by Peel Holdings, while Peel disputes this and has threatened to make the bridge a toll. The legal wrangle has been going on for weeks, while the bridge - subsidised with £30million of public money - remained shut, and traffic from Irlam, Cadishead and beyond was snagged up in constant jams.

The Salford Star exclusively broke the story of the rift and delayed bridge opening on 1st November, quoting Irlam ward councillor and Salford Council Transport Lead, Roger Jones, confirming that the matter "is now being dealt with by our legal representatives"... (see previous Salford Star article – click here)

While these legal wrangles were being played out behind closed doors, the community took matters into their own hands with a huge 'Force Peel Holdings To Open Salford Lifting Bridge' campaign, that resulted, on 9th December, in protesters blocking off the road into the Trafford Centre.

Last Friday, Salford Council, Trafford Council and Peel Holdings issued a joint guarded statement that the bridge "will open upon completion of works and approvals being granted", and adding that discussions will continue in the meantime about who will pay the "maintenance and ongoing liabilities".

As residents gathered at the bridge this afternoon, videos were posted on Facebook proclaiming a huge 'people power' victory...

"We all got together and put two fingers up against corporate companies" said Alan Whitehead of Moss Farm Fisheries, whose business was put up for sale due to the traffic chaos "We've made them open this...everybody complaining...We've bullied the bullies, it's brilliant...We should be proud of ourselves...

"Isn't it brilliant when people get behind each other and say 'No' to the bullies?" he added "We've beaten them...the people have done this..."

Another video posted by fellow campaigner, Phil Hall, who rode the first bicycle over the bridge, shouted, to a background of beeping car horns... "People power! Salford power!"

All that remains to be seen now is, firstly, whether the bureaucrats have got their calculations right and that the traffic flows freely, and, secondly, who is actually going to cough up the annual £150,000 to keep the bridge open...


For a full background see previous Salford Star articles...


Force Peel Holdings to Open Lifting Bridge Says Irlam Councillor - click here

Sale Sharks at Breaking Point Over Traffic Chaos Stadium - click here

Irlam and Cadishead Community Slams Barton Lifting Bridge Chaos as Peel Holdings and Salford Council Wrangle Continues - click here

Trafford Centre Road Blocked By Barton Lifting Bridge Protesters – click here

Irlam Residents Open Controversial Bridge Themselves – click here 

Michael James Felse wrote
at 18:01:57 on 20 December 2017
Thanks Brian, my choice would be to cut one "paid" Councillor in each of the 20 wards. In their place launching 20 replacement local Community Champions (co-opted on expenses only) saving Salford Council about £200,000 each year. It would still leave the current Labour Party group a big 19 seats majority but will open up into a wide range of discussions to help solve some of the most serious problems.
 
Brian F Kirkham wrote
at 12:56:19 on 20 December 2017
Mr Felse....Capital idea you have there...just one little question...which 8 wards were you thinking of cutting a rep by ?
 
bob Tockley wrote
at 11:33:45 on 20 December 2017
No to any sort of Toll. Peel wanted the Bridge,so Peel must pay. They have many Millions more than Salford City Council.
 
Michael James Felse wrote
at 11:33:42 on 20 December 2017
Allow me again to offer a solution. The Bridge is shared with Trafford Council which puts the max Salford should pay at 50%. £75,000 is equal to 8 Salford Councillors so either get rid of 8 Councillors out of the 60 total in Salford. Or sell the £280million worth of profit shares in Manchester Airport, apportion £75,000 and spend the rest £279,925,000 on services to Salford Citizens. My third option is to apportion £75,000 but reclassify the banks of the waterway as Council taxable mooring land with a new annual tax for Peel to pay into Salford Council of £50million a year and a same amount for Trafford Council's adjacent waterside getting paid from Peel. The forth solution being for Peel to pay running costs of the Bridge and avoid the new £100million a year bank side moorings business tax. Peel really hates me today I think.
 
white wrote
at 06:30:29 on 20 December 2017
"who is actually going to cough up the annual £150,000 to keep the bridge open..." My guess is that the largest share, if not all, will come from Salford.
 
Bob wrote
at 06:30:23 on 20 December 2017
This is just a tactical feint by Peel. At this present time, for those in the know, Peel are engaged in an investment deal with the Trafford Centre. Some sort of merger, it was in the Sunday Times. Peels hard negotiators no doubt going after as much as they can get .Hundreds of millions. The last thing they needed were militant disruptions by protesting people at the Trafford Centre at this time of the year, and I guess that might have been on the minds of the protest group . Protestors like the fracking group, only with a lot more public support behind them. After the deal is done, and January sales over, what happens then? Is the bridge going to break down in its up position, and nobody has any money to fix it. Mark my words, Salford Council muppets will end up paying, or there will be tolls, "only 50 pence" they'll say "what ya mithering about, it's worth it". Let em put a toll bridge on, and when the ships come, what happens when the protestors all park their cars half on ,half off the bridge. I can see them doing that. This row will go on, but my money is on peel, my heart with the protestors.
 
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