The operator of the new £600m toll bridge across the Mersey said it will open registration two weeks from today for people wanting to set up accounts, qualify for discounts and gain concessions.
The bridge between Runcorn and Widnes is due to open to traffic in the autumn after three-and-a-half years of construction.
It will still be possible to cross the bridge without registering but, if you do, you will have to pay the full unregistered toll fee which is £2 per car per crossing, with additional charges for larger vehicles.
Anthony Alicastro, chief executive of Emovis Operations Mersey, a wholly owned subsidiary of French-Spanish group Emovis, which runs the Merseyflow operation, said demand for registration is expected to be high. He said: “We’ve had a lot of enquiries from people wanting to know when they can register, so it is good to be able to confirm 17 July as our registration date. From 17 July you will be able to register to use the brand new Mersey Gateway Bridge, and – once refurbished – the Silver Jubilee Bridge.”
“If anyone isn’t sure what this means for them, I would encourage them to visit www.merseyflow.co.uk and look at all the detail there about different registration options to make sure they don’t miss out. Whilst there will be a range of ways to sign up, we’d like to encourage people to register using the Merseyflow website, as this will be the quickest method.”
David Parr, chief executive of Halton Council said: “Anyone who wants to be ready to benefit from the improved connectivity and reduced journey times provided by the Mersey Gateway Bridge should sign up from Monday 17 July.
“To provide everyone with plenty of time to sign up, registration is starting well ahead of the bridge opening in autumn this year.
“It’s also really important that eligible Halton residents register in order to get the special discount deal the council has been able to fund for local people.
“It’s inevitable that there will be a last-minute rush to register, so the best thing to do is sign up as early as possible so you don’t have to worry about doing this in the autumn.”
Once the new bridge opens the existing Silver Jubilee Bridge will close for 12 months for repairs. It will also be tolled when it reopens.
The Merseylink Consortium was appointed by Halton Council in 2014, on a 30-year contract to design, build, finance and operate the project. Its equity partners are Macquarie Capital Group, BBGI, and FCC Construcción. The construction joint venture is made up of Kier Infrastructure & Overseas, Samsung C&T Corporation and FCC Construcción SA.