Villagers pay tribute to 'hero' vigilante arsonist who burned down hated toll booth which causes massive tailbacks to collect 12p a time from drivers under archaic 1863 law

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  • Warburton bridge toll booth was reduced to ash after being set ablaze in May
  • It charged driver 12p in cash only to cross the bridge and cause huge traffic jams
  • It is thought someone became so fed up with the booth that they burnt it down

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Villagers have praised a fire that destroyed an ‘archaic’ toll booth that charged drivers 12p in cash only and caused frustratingly long traffic queues.

Warburton bridge toll booth is suspected to have been reduced to ash by an arsonist who became fed up of waiting waiting to cross the bridge.

The booth’s owners, Peel Ports, are planning to replace the destroyed structure with a more modern toll.

But the suspected arsonist is being celebrated a hero as villagers proclaim they are ‘free’ from the tyranny of the toll.

Residents are praising a fire that reduced Warburton bridge toll booth to ash It is thought someone became so fed up with the huge queues of traffic that they burnt it down

Residents are praising a fire that reduced Warburton bridge toll booth to ash. It is thought someone became so fed up with the huge queues of traffic that they burnt it down

‘We’re all wondering who did it,’ one resident told The Times.

‘But it would not surprise me if someone didn’t just burn it down again. Life has been so much better without it.

It was hell but it’s brilliant now.’

Another told the newspaper: ‘I full understand why someone did it.

It’s like we’re free.’

The booth on the bridge links the villages of Rixton in Warrington, Cheshire, with Warbuton in Trafford, Great Manchester.

But it has become some a headache for motorists that one resident paid to allow drivers to cross it free of charge.

Diane Grant, 66, paid GBP30 so cars could pass through for free and she even began to receive donations in support.

Ms Grant believes someone was ‘pushed to the limit’ the night it was burnt down on May 10.

The blaze broke out in the booth at around 1.30am and had been unmanned since 10pm.

Owners Peel Ports are planning to introduce at video toll system – but also increase the fare.

Residents have spoken of hour their children did their homework in cars as they waited in the queues and one even missed a GCSE exam due to congestion.

Alisha Butters, 28, who lives near the booth, recalled when she had to give first aid to a man who had suffered a heart attack because the ambulance was helf up in traffic.

The booth on the bridge links the villages of Rixton in Warrington, Cheshire, with Warbuton in Trafford, Great Manchester

The booth on the bridge links the villages of Rixton in Warrington, Cheshire, with Warbuton in Trafford, Great Manchester

But it has become some a headache for motorists that one resident paid to allow drivers to cross it free of charge

But it has become some a headache for motorists that one resident paid to allow drivers to cross it free of charge

A spokeswoman for Peel Ports said that the company was committed to addressing local community concerns and recognised that both bridges required maintenance and upgrading.

She said that it would hold a public consultation and apply for a toll bridge order.

‘It was committed to working with the relevant councils and action groups ‘to speed up the process’.

Peel Ports confirmed that it was planning to undertake maintenance work on the high-level bridge, raise the weight limit from three to 7.5 tonnes, install an automated tolling system to help traffic flow, resurface the road and introduce HGV turning areas.

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