Mersey Gateway exceeds expectations in first month

More than two million journeys have been made across the Mersey Gateway bridge in its first month of operation, toll operator Merseyflow has said.

The bridge opened to traffic just after midnight on Saturday 14 October. As of 1am on Tuesday 14 November, an average of 72,000 vehicles had used the bridge every weekday, with more than 95% of users having registered their vehicles with Merseyflow or paying for their crossing within the payment deadline. Merseyflow said that 70% of journeys made were in registered vehicles.

David Parr, chief executive of Halton Borough Council and the Mersey Gateway Crossings Board, said: “The new Mersey Gateway bridge has been really popular. More than two million vehicles have used the bridge in total, which is over and above what we expected, and shows that people are enjoying the quicker, easier and more reliable journeys the bridge brings.”

Anthony Alicastro, chief executive of Emovis, which runs Merseyflow, added: “The best piece of advice we can give to anyone who uses the bridge regularly is to register for discounts as this means you get cheaper journeys and don’t have to pay each time.”

The tolling system has attracted criticism, with some expressing surprise at the lack of toll booths, while others have said technical issues while trying to pay meant them receiving penalty notices. Around 50,000 penalty charge notices were issued in the first month.

When the Silver Jubilee Bridge reopens after maintenance, it will also be tolled, meaning drivers will face a long journey for a toll-free crossing.

Alicastro said: “For anyone that does receive a penalty charge notice, our advice is to deal with it as quickly as possible as you get a 50% discount – reducing the charge to £20 plus the original toll fee – if you pay within 14 days. The PCN also contains details of how you can challenge the payment if you feel it has been sent in error.”

Registration with Merseyflow is possible online, by phone or at a walk-in centre in Runcorn.

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I personally don’t feel it is a success! It is ill sign posted! And the amount of near misses I have witnessed with people in the wrong lane etc. It is also extortionate and people are making long trips to avoid. The M62 is chocca with lorries now with them trying to avoid tolls. The bridge is empty! Surely £1 each way is more than enough. Also the amount of revenue they are going to make with people not realising they have to pay will be phenomenal! I wish people would stand up to this! Its not a success its robbery!

By Russell Bolton

The Mersey Gateway Crossings Board should erect some PROMINENT signage warning people that there aren’t any toll booths and if they haven’t already paid online, then they must pay within 24 hours of their crossing to avoid a penalty. Especially for those using it for the first time!

By Carol Cavanagh

Only 35,000 fines of £40 each handed out in that period.

By Ian Jones

Another interesting example of the latent capacity of Liverpool. Centre for Cities would have us believe we’re a satellite of Mcr, and only this week Adonis states ‘facts’ around MK. Meanwhile Liverpool ONE, ECoC, ACC Liverpool, M Gateway etc show the real story in its millions.

By LEighteen

I travel from the outskirts of Liverpool to nr Manchester airport each day to work leaving 6.30am . Prior to crossing being tolled commute was c 45 mins. Now its c 60 mins. M62 traffic halts around J7 due to the number of vehicles joining. I fail to believe there is any other reason for this than traffic avoiding the new tolled crossing. It’s unfair to expect Liverpool City region residents to bear the increase in travelling costs should we wish to use the new crossing as an alternative.

By John Viggars

Just for the record, the Mersey Gateway isn’t anything to do with Liverpool City Council. It’s run by Halton MBC who have given free crossings to their local residents, provided they pay £10 pa registration charge. Liverpool, like Warrington and most surrounding towns want the bridge to be free to all. Halton MBC has taken the outrageous and unprecedented step of closing a free bridge to force people on to the toll bridge. So those of us who have patiently queued each day for many years to cross the Silver Jubilee Bridge no longer have that privilege.

By Ian Jones

Of course it’s a success we have no choice but to use the new bridge. !!!!

By A Davies

you can please all of the people, some of time time….

It’s a massive success – and describing it as “robbery” is ridiculous.

By Alan


By Ivory Tollroad

Alan says that to call the tolls “Robbery” is “ridiculous”. I’d agree if it was simply a question of tolls on the new bridge but what they’ve done is akin to putting tolls on the free section of the M6 at Birmingham to force people onto the toll road. There will now be no free crossing points of the Mersey for 34 miles from Warrington to the river mouth. But 4 tolled crossings. Robbery or ransom?

By Ian Jones

2 millions Users and 6 million Avoiders.

By Monty Con

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