Frequently Asked Questions

As we regularly receive high volumes of enquiries and comments regarding the Toll Bridge we are unable to respond individually. However, we do collate all enquiries and we have responded to the most frequently asked questions below.

Who owns the Warburton Toll Bridge?

The Manchester Ship Canal Company which is part of Peel Ports Group.

Why is there a toll?

The payment of a toll originates from The Rixton and Warburton Toll Bridge Act 1863 as subsumed into The Manchester Ship Canal (Various Powers) Act 1890.

The Bridge is privately owned and operated, as defined by this Act of Parliament. The Government and the Local Authorities make no contribution to the maintenance and up keep of the Bridge or the approach roads and the Government has recently confirmed that they have no plans to repeal this form of legislation.

What happens to the money collected via the toll payments?

The toll revenue goes towards the maintenance of the Bridge, repairs to the carriageway, utilities and services, and the wages of the staff employed to collect the toll.

Which Bridge does the Toll apply to?

The toll payment is applicable to the “undertaking” which extends from Warburton village to the junction of Warburton Bridge Road and the A57. This includes both the original bridge crossing over the River Mersey and the high-level cantilever bridge, as well as the approach roads on either side.

Are there plans to change how tolls are collected?

The longer term plan is to deploy a free flow toll collection system (similar to the Mersey Gateway, Dartford Crossings and London Congestion Charge) to address local concerns over the delays that arise from the current manual cash based payment.

Why can’t these improvements be done immediately?

We are required to follow the relevant procedures and obtain statutory authorisation for our proposals. Commencement of the work depends on the timing of this authorisation being granted.

Will the toll be increased as part of the refurbishment and improvement works?

There will need to be an increase to the toll and this will form part of the relevant statutory authorisation process. No application to increase the toll has ever been made since the original Rixton & Warburton Toll Bridge Act of 1863.

Why can't the barriers be lifted when traffic is busy?

There is a process agreed with Warrington Borough Council which enables to the toll to be lifted when severe traffic events occur on the M6.

What is the weight limit on the bridge?

The weight limit is currently 3 tonnes per vehicle although as part of our improvement plans it is proposed to undertake strengthening works to increase the limit to 7.5 tonnes per vehicle. This increase will ensure that local buses and emergency service vehicles can use the Bridge. Restrictions will remain on Heavy Goods Vehicles and turning areas will be provided to enable them to re-route on the approach to the Bridge.

What was the cause of the fire?

The toll booth was the subject of a fire in the early hours of Thursday 10th May 2018. The CCTV footage confirms that this was an act of arson.

Why was the Toll only applied in one direction following the fire? 

As a result of installing a temporary collection booth and having to undertake repairs to the fire damaged services it was impractical to collect the toll in both directions during the weeks following the fire.


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Please note due to the volume of enquiries we receive it may not be possible to respond individually but this page will be updated regularly to respond to the most frequently asked questions and concerns.  

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