Halton rehires DTW to work on Mersey crossing bid

Halton Borough Council has reappointed DTW to promote its campaign for a new £335m bridge over the Mersey.

DTW was first hired by the council last July last on a six-month contract to promote the Mersey crossing campaign in the national, trade and local press. The agency also worked to encourage local people to register their support for the new crossing and to drum up the support of MPs and civil servants in the run-up to a preliminary government decision in December 2003.

Whitehall asked for further details of the scheme and consequently the agency was reinstated last week.

Campaign director Neil Shaefer said: ‘The work we did… contributed to the Government announcing the bid to be “super work in progress”, meaning it supported the bid in principle and would now like to see more detailed information on certain aspects of the scheme.’

A new crossing between the Cheshire towns of Widnes and Runcorn is needed because more than 80,000 vehicles cross the current bridge every day, more than four times the number of vehicles it was built to carry in 1961.

Widnes and Runcorn are both strategically placed for Merseyside and Cheshire. The Mersey Crossing Group, a public-private-partnership led by Halton Borough Council and chaired by Halton Cllr Tony McDermott, has submitted the £335m bid.

DTW’s campaign will include media relations, the production of a newsletter and MP briefing notes and breakfast briefings with blue-chip companies.

A decision whether to grant funding for the bridge is expected in July.

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