Mersey Gateway ready for weekend opening

The £600m, 1,000-metre long Mersey Gateway bridge will open to traffic in the early hours of Saturday 14 October, depending on weather, with tolls starting immediately.

The bridge is the centrepiece of the Mersey Gateway project, which covers around nine kilometres of road works and a series of major new junctions running throughout Runcorn and Widnes, linking Widnes directly with the M56.

The project has been built by a consortium of FCC Construcción, Kier Infrastructure, and Samsung C&T Corporation, and its equity partners are BBGI, FCC, and Macquarie Capital Group.

So far more than 82,000 vehicles have been registered for discount on the tolls, and motorists are still able to register after the new bridge opens. Motorists can also pay for one-off crossings in advance.

The bridge is operating a discount scheme for Halton residents, and anyone who is eligible for the scheme is required to register and pay their £10 annual fee in order to claim free trips.

Merseyflow, which is operated by Emovis, uses a simple windscreen sticker system. As soon as the bridge opens, the tolls will be enforced by cameras on the toll gantry which will scan vehicle number plates and windscreen stickers.

Motorists who have not registered with Merseyflow and cross the new bridge will need to pay the full toll rate of £2 for cars, £6 for light goods vehicles, and £8 for heavy goods vehicles by 11:59pm on the day of travel, or face a fine of up to £60. Motorbikes and local buses are not subject to the toll.

Mersey Gateway Aerial Of Bridge Construction In The Mersey Estuary

The project has been built by a consortium of FCC Construcción, Kier Infrastructure, and Samsung C&T Corporation

Hugh O’Connor, general manager at Merseylink, said: “Over the past three-and-a-half years the Merseylink team has transformed the Halton Borough landscape, designing and constructing the magnificent cable stay bridge, over nine km of new roads, seven junctions and 12 new bridges and associated highway signal and control systems.

“While the Mersey Gateway Bridge itself has always been our centrepiece, this project is about much more than just a bridge and the complexity and scale of the engineering challenge has reflected that.

“We’re opening on time and on budget and I’d like to say a huge thank you to all the staff, workers and volunteers who have worked so hard to make that happen and also say a big thank you to Halton residents and commuters for their interest, support and patience over the past three and a half years.”

David Parr, chief executive of Halton Council and the Mersey Gateway Crossings Board, said: “After a lot of hard work the bridge is nearly ready to open.

“It will provide quicker and easier trips for people travelling through Halton and the wider north west region, getting commuters to work quicker, improving business reliability and allowing families to enjoy the area without facing unpredictable delays.”

Following the bridge’s opening, the Silver Jubilee Bridge will be closed to road traffic for refurbishment, although it will remain open to pedestrians and cyclists.

A fireworks display will also take place at the Gateway tomorrow to celebrate the opening. It is due to start from 8.30pm to signal the countdown before the first car crosses the bridge.

Your Comments

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All tolls lead to Liverpool, All hail the toll maker, as he has to be paid.

By Motorway queuer

I would just like to say what a truly AWFUL journey I had over the old bridge yesterday and had to register (£35 – with £30 of this being stored as ‘credit’ for future journeys) – as if you don’t pay for your journey within 24hrs its a £60 fine – if you do register don’t forget to click manual top up otherwise you will have that coming out of your account automatically too! All the lanes have changed on route out from Liverpool and basically some of them just end with no warning – had it been rush hour I think there would have been collisions. The route home from Daresbury took me nigh on 2hrs! Not sure what was going on. There will be more chaos. And £2 per journey is extortionate – perhaps there and back but its a terrible rip off!

By Bob Dawson

Hope the fireworks don’t distract drivers thought that sort of thing had been banned after the big accident a few years ago!

By Bob Dawson

Fully understand why Halton council agreed to tolls ….no bridge without tolls BUT … will be real problems and lots of discontent. People in Liverpool Knowsley and North Cheshire actually nearer the bridge than some parts of Halton have to pay whilst most Halton residents go free . One side of a road free the other pay ! .if you work either side of the bridge added cost of 1000 per year even higher costs for business vehicles. Elsewhere tolls being lifted e.g. Severn crossing or free Scotland. People traveling to Liverpool airport pay Manchester don’t , if you are going abroad and don’t have an iPad how do you pay in time . Massive congestion in Warrington. ….. can see campaign building

By Graham Burgess

We are being forced to use this new bridge by closing the old bridge which was built by tax payers money one big ripoff for private buisness seems private buisness is running the country when a bigger bridge of the same design in Scotland was opened two weeks ago by the Queen with free crossing and how many free crossing has the Thames in London rip off merchants and were is our mp

By Roy

People in Warrington whinging about lack of infrastructure, then whinging when new infrastructure is provided.

By Nordyne

Disgusting how we have have to pay to use a bridge! We never asked for the bridge to be built. Use the tax payers money to pay for it not residents to pay for it. £60 fine is a joke!!!! When the tunnels in liverpool was built we had to pay to use them. All that money paid to use the tunnels was paid back over the years yet its still tolled, the government should foot the hole bill for the bridge, fireworks tonight! Looks like thats getting added to the final bill that we will pay back over the years.

By Anonymous

Whosting car crosses first

By Good jaacksson

Great. I’m going to ride my motorcycle over and back again ten times a day! Who wants a lift?

By Edge

“A fireworks display will also take place at the Gateway tomorrow to celebrate the opening”

Being that the bridge is being paid for by Liverpool region tax and toll-payers, is this display not something of an indulgent extravagance at their expense?

After all, I doubt that many will see it as a fireworks event being that it comes with being hammered for £2 every crossing.

By Mike

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