Leading Labour politicians have spoken against the plan to increase the cost to drive across Warburton Bridge from 12p to £1.

The application to hike the daily charge to drive over the bridge was submitted by The Manchester Ship Canal Company.

It argues the extra revenue would finance a £6m upgrade to the bridge and nearby roads, as well as cutting queues by introducing an automated toll system.

However, in a statement revealing the latest decision, Natasha Kopala, the head of the Transport and Works Act Orders Unit, said the government had “heard a compelling case in favour of the scheme” and agreed that any adverse impact was outweighed by the benefits of the scheme.

Cllr Aidan Williams, who represents Bucklow-St. Martins Ward, said: “This decision will be a real blow for drivers already fuelled with stress and anxiety brought on by traffic issues in the area.

“The rise will have a significant financial impact on people already struggling with the cost-of-living.”

Trafford Council has worked closely with neighbouring Warrington Council when the case was as interrogated during a recent Public Inquiry, to strongly oppose such an unreasonable price increase.

Andrew Western MP and local councillors are now considering next steps in responding to this disappointing decision.

Cllr James Wright, who also represents Bucklow-St. Martins Ward, echoed his colleague’s concerns, he said: “What we are dealing with here is a multimillion-pound firm expecting struggling families to pay for the bridge repairs.

“While any investment to make improvements to the bridge, surrounding roads and payment system is welcome, asking frustrated residents to pay for it is completely unacceptable.”

“I think this is a poor decision – and I stand firmly with everyone who is against the plan to increase the toll charge by such an outrageous amount.”