When government announced the Levelling Up Fund bid for a new Winnington Bridge had been unsuccessful, I was extremely disappointed and wanted answers.

That disappointment quickly turned to frustration after I was told by ministers the failure was due to the quality of the bid put forward by the Labour-run Cheshire West and Chester Council.

A report has now been published into the bid and it sets out where it failed. 

There were too many unanswered questions and that is the reason the money could not be signed off.

The bid for £45 million was for two new road bridges for vehicles - one fixed bridge across the Weaver, and another across the Navigation with the ability to lift to allow larger boats to pass.

The existing Grade II-listed Winnington Turn and Stone bridges would then become cycle and pedestrian only.

These new crossings would make such a difference to those who live in Anderton, Barton and surrounding areas and they deserve to know why it was rejected.

The existing crossing was not built for the weight of modern traffic and local housebuilding that has already taken place.

Additional sites for new homes which have already been agreed by Cheshire West and Chester Council will further exacerbate the problem.

The report said there was no information on the impact a new bridge would have on the A533, no details on how the bridge would work with walking and cycling routes, nor was there any information regarding claims it would improve bus service reliability.

Furthermore, it said questions around acquisition of land around the bridge remained unanswered as Cheshire West and Chester did not include details of how it plans to secure the necessary land, or what it would do if the current landowners did not want to sell.

Government cannot invest public money without a firm belief the council has a workable plan.

I do not understand why these simple pieces of information were not in there, or the appropriate work carried out regarding land acquisition.

I have raised the issue of Winnington Bridge in a debate I secured in Parliament and raised the matter in the chamber during question time.

Government ministers know how vital this rebuild is but the council must put in a decent bid.

This bridge would bring investment to the area and jobs, in addition to ending the millions of pounds being spent on repairs caused by wear and tear.

There is another round of funding and Winnington bid can be resubmitted.

The council must now focus on ensuring it answers all the necessary questions and put together a better bid and deliver for residents.

In the meantime, I will continue making the case for a new bridge to government.