Tunnel toll review group recommendations to help local users save

Mersey Tunnels users could save £5 a week under new proposals that are set to benefit people living and working locally.

A task group set up in February 2015 at the request of the Combined Authority to review the toll setting process and its impact on infrastructure and transportation has put forward recommendations that have informed the toll charging proposals for 2016/17.

The proposals, outlined in a report published today (Wednesday 27th January) will be considered by the Merseytravel Committee (4th February) followed by the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority (5thFebruary). They include:

• A freeze on cash tolls- keeping it £1.70 for car users for the third consecutive year, with freezes for other classes of vehicles too.
• An Increase in Fast Tag discount of 20p for car users, with proportionate discounts for other types of vehicles. This reduces the Fast Tag toll for car users to £1.20 – 50p cheaper than paying the cash toll. This means that a commuter switching to Fast Tag from cash toll could save £5 a week.
• All emergency services liveried vehicles to be allowed free travel through the Mersey Tunnels
• Free travel through the Mersey Tunnels between 10pm on 24th December and 6am on 26th December, recognising that alternative public transport options aren’t available during these times

This proposal is the first part of the review process for the Mersey Tunnels toll and discussions will continue through the task group to consider options over the longer term.

Said Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson: “These proposals reflect our commitment to offering tunnel users the best deal we can – now and into the future. I am hoping our future discussions on tolling can come up with even better value for users.”

Said Councillor Phil Davies, Leader of Wirral Council: “While we would still like to overturn the Mersey Tunnels Act to give local residents full control over the setting of tolls, in the meantime, we are reducing the weekly cost of a Fast Tag by £2 a week for commuters, and freezing the cash tolls for visitors and occasional users”

Said Councillor Liam Robinson, Chair of the Merseytravel Committee: “Fast Tags are available to everyone but we know they are especially valued by local residents and local businesses who we know use the tunnels most frequently. Targeting discounts through the Fast Tag scheme is the best way to help regular and local users.

“The savings for even infrequent users are still significant at the rates of discount we hope to be able to offer next year. I would urge all tunnel users to consider Fast Tag even if they are not using the tunnels every day.”