CONGESTION is causing anger within the Irlam and Cadishead communities as Peel Holdings still fail to open the Barton Lifting Bridge.
The Bridge, which is understood to be complete, has had its opening delayed by Peel Holdings due to a legal dispute between Peel and Salford Council.
The on-going dispute is over who should foot the maintenance bill of the bridge once it’s opened.
The bridge has been built to ease traffic by linking Trafford and Salford over the Manchester shipping canal.
However, the building of the bridge has caused huge amounts of congestion around the Cadishead and Irlam areas.
The construction period has spanned two years due to set backs such as a giant concrete platform collapsing on the bridge.
“We’ve absolutely had enough, we’re fed up” Phil Hall, a leading voice in the public outcry over the unopened bridge said.
“We’ve had delays after delays, we’ve had the bridge collapse, and it’s becoming a farce now.
“The traffic situation has been awful for the last two years. We’ve been promised the bridge would open in November, then we see in the news that Peel and the Council are arguing over maintenance costs, that should have been sorted at the beginning,” he continued.
Phil says that the congestion caused by the over-run construction period has had a negative effect on people’s lives in Cadishead and Irlam.
Phil claims he has been contacted by a mother who complained that an ambulance, called after her young child collapsed, took 45 minutes to reach her due to the congestion caused by the closed bridge.
A Facebook group set up by Phil last week entitled ‘FORCE PEEL HOLDINGS TO OPEN SALFORD LIFTING BRIDGE’ currently has 1,806 members.
“I’m pretty savvy with Facebook so I made a group and shared a link.
“Within 24 hours, there was 1,500 members,” Phil said.
Soon after making the group, Phil and others organised a protest outside the Trafford Centre, which is partly owned by Peel holdings.
“I got the message out about the protest the night before it was planned. We had a turnout of 20 to 25 people, which is quite surprising considering it was a 24 hour notice.”
Phil says more protests and demonstrations are currently being planned.
“We’re standing up for the community, we’re standing up for what’s right and we need more support and awareness.
“We’re going to carry on protesting until its open,” he said.
Many voices in Salford City council have expressed anger at Peel holdings, Irlam Councillor Roger Jones has been vocal on the issue and says Peel should be forced to open the bridge.
Peel could not be contacted for a direct quote, but in a recent statement said: “Peel has always communicated that the road and bridge will be open by the end of the year and the contractor is still working towards this time scale”
“Peel Land and Property has been committed to improving road infrastructure in and around Port Salford, the AJ Bell Stadium and Trafford for many years and as a company have privately invested £35 million into the new lifting bridge and extension of the A57 from Irlam. The new bridge and road will form part of the highway network and will benefit the general public, local economy and community.”