WEAVER Vale MP Mike Amesbury has written to George Osborne asking for him to put pressure on his former Tory colleagues to provide free Mersey Gateway crossings for his constituents.

In 2015, the then Chancellor pledged that tolls would not apply for Cheshire West and Chester and Warrington residents.

But the government has since backtracked with tolls now due to be imposed.

In his letter to Mr Osborne – who is now editor of the London Evening Standard – he said: “Whilst I appreciate that you have left politics behind – I do note that your newspaper has recently been commendably holding the Government and Prime Minister to account on a number of issues, and I very much welcome your recent comments relating to the need for transport investment in the North – I believe your promise to the people of Weaver Vale was the right thing to do.

“This was also the view of my constituents who very much welcomed what you said.”

Meanwhile, motorists are being urged to pay £35 to register to use the new Mersey Gateway Bridge as it will be cheaper and more convenient than paying oneoff tolls.

The new bridge will not have a toll booth and drivers who don’t register and cross the bridge will have to pay £2 within 24 hours, either by telephone or the internet, or face fines of £60.

The new Mersey Gateway Bridge could open as early as mid-September and the current bridge will be closed for 12 months for repairs. When it re-opens, both bridges will be tolled.

Dedicated cameras and sensors will read vehicle number plates.

Residents living in Halton in property bands below G will be exempt from paying and Halton businesses will get a discount. Everyone else will have to pay.

A spokesman for the Mersey Gateway Project said: “The £35 is made up of a £5 one-off registration fee and a £30 deposit to pay for your first crossings. If you register and don’t use the bridge that £30 will just sit in your merseyflow account until you either cross the bridge or decide to close your account.”

However, if you haven’t registered, signs will warn drivers that they will have to pay online or via the phone within 24 hours.

The spokesman said: “It is the driver’s responsibility to pay the toll and they will not receive any further notification beyond this signage.

“Anyone who crosses the bridge and doesn’t pay either before the crossing or by midnight the day after they cross will receive a penalty charge notice.”

Visit merseygateway.co.uk/tolls for details.