The Mersey Gateway Project

Customer Consultation 2020

September 23, 2020MerseylinkNews

As part of a new Order to deal with the opening of the Silver Jubilee Bridge we are asking for feedback on a customer survey for 3 week period from 23rd Sept to 14th Oct. We are not asking for views on tolling but on the new configuration.

You can access the Survey here and thanks in advance for your time.

Baby born on Mersey Gateway bridge

August 16, 2020MerseylinkNews

A baby girl has been born nearly three months premature as her mum crossed the River Mersey.

Baby Opal was born in an ambulance on the Mersey Gateway Bridge, as her parents were en-route to hospital.

They have been reunited with one of the paramedics who delivered her.

Watch the ITV Granada News report here

https://www.itv.com/news/granada/2020-07-30/victoria-grimes-baby-born-on-mersey-gateway-bridge

Bridge crossings back on the rise following Covid-19 impact on Mersey Gateway journey numbers

August 16, 2020MerseylinkNews

The latest Mersey Gateway figures show that people are starting to resume normal travel patterns following the Covid-19 lockdown.

The lockdown period saw journey numbers fall to the lowest levels recorded since the bridge opened.

Journey numbers have been steadily increasing every week as lockdown eases, with a daily average of 45,000 journeys recorded in the last week of June.

The figures also show that April was the least busy month recorded for the bridge since it first opened in October 2017.

The detailed figures, which are presented in the quarterly Mersey Gateway dashboard and cover April – June 2020, show:

  • Journey numbers are increasing weekly as lockdown ends – by the end of June weekly traffic levels were at around 70% of normal traffic levels
  • April was the quietest month across the bridge – but there were still 730,000 journeys made between Runcorn and Widnes
  • Over 98% of all crossings were paid for on time – a record high of 98.15% in total, though this is partly due to lower traffic levels and a greater percentage of crossings being made by registered customers

The number of PCNs and income from PCNs also dropped significantly. PCNs were still issued during lockdown when people did not pay, but most enforcement activity was paused.

Neil Conway, Chief Executive of merseyflow, said: “We are pleased to see journey numbers on the rise after lockdown and the highest number of crossings paid for on time. However, we do recognise that this will be due to the fact that most journeys were made by registered customers during April and May, when only essential travel was advised.”

The merseyflow quick pay app, which is available for Apple and Android devices, has been downloaded over 39,000 times since it was launched in November. An average of 550 – 650 crossing payments are made using the app every day, with June seeing the highest number of payments being made via the app (over 16,000 in total).

In the next few weeks, the app will be updated to take on board customer feedback. This includes the option for customers to save their payment details for even quicker transactions and to make the use of the Quick Pay App even more convenient.

Neil added: “It’s great to see so many people downloading and using the app as lockdown eases. I recommend that anyone who is paying for individual crossings downloads and uses the merseyflow quick pay app as it is the quickest and easiest way to pay for individual journeys.”

Mike Bennett, Managing Director of the Mersey Gateway Crossings Board, said: “It’s unsurprising that April showed the lowest number of traffic levels recorded, however I am glad to see the numbers slowly but surely increasing on a week by week basis. I think these figures reflect the relaxing of lockdown, and we expect the traffic levels to continue rising throughout the summer.”

He added: “It’s always worth reminding people that anyone who uses the bridge regularly can register with merseyflow and save up to 10% on each journey you make.”

The quarterly merseyflow dashboard provides a range of in-depth statistics and graphs which show information on the number of crossings made, average daily traffic, number of PCNs issued, payments made on time, total revenue and what percentage of this comes from PCNs.

The Dashboard can be viewed here

Minster “Not Minded” To Remove Tolls From Mersey Gateway Despite Further Request From Halton Borough Council

April 2, 2020MerseylinkNews

Halton Borough Council has once again asked Government to remove tolls on Mersey Gateway for NHS workers, key workers, volunteers, carers and critical supply chain to help them as we all fight against COVID 19.

Following what the Minister described as a “robust conversation” between Cllr Rob Polhill and Baroness Vere, a Minister in the Department for Transport, the Minister advised the Council that Government were “not minded” to remove tolls from Mersey Gateway “immediately” but would “keep it under review” and make “the right decision at the right time”.

Despite the specific wording used by the Minister, the consequence of the Government’s position is that Halton Borough Council cannot remove the tolls from Mersey Gateway – which the Council believe is the right thing to do – to support NHS workers, key workers, carers, volunteers and the critical supply chain who are at the forefront of fighting COVID 19 in Halton, Cheshire and the Liverpool City Region.

Responding to this decision Cllr Polhill, Leader of Halton Borough Council said: “However you dress this up, Government has decided not to remove tolls.

“We need the permission of Government to do this, so the consequence of the Government’s position is that the Council cannot remove the tolls.

“Those who will be most disappointed will be the NHS workers, key workers, volunteers, carers and critical supply network in Halton, Cheshire and the Liverpool City Region who continue to go ‘above and beyond’ to keep us safe from COVID 19 but who, as a result of the Government’s current position, will still be distracted from their primary roles and financially disadvantaged by paying tolls.

“These are the very people we are relying on most in these difficult times.

“We urge Government to reconsider their position without delay and will continue to press Government to allow the Council to remove the tolls.”

Government refuses to suspend tolls on Mersey Gateway

Earlier this week, Halton Borough Council Leader, Cllr Rob Polhill announced the steps the Council was taking to suspend tolls/charges on the Mersey Gateway to support key workers in their fight to tackle COVID-19 – he explained that to do so, would require Government approval.

It is with deep regret that Halton Borough Council must now report that Government Ministers “have considered (the Council’s) request to suspend tolling on the Mersey Gateway bridge and have decided not to approve such a move…”

Responding to this decision Cllr Rob Polhill, Leader of Halton Council said: “We are deeply disappointed the Government has refused the Council’s request to suspend
tolls/charges on Mersey Gateway.”

“We believe this compromises our efforts locally to meet the challenges presented by COVID 19.”

“We also believe it penalises the very people we are relying on to keep us all safe – our NHS staff, our key workers and our volunteers, who will now be faced with ongoing payments and the requirement to pay their tolls/charge, thereby distracting them from their primary role which is to save lives.”

“We will continue to press Government to do the right thing – which is to allow the Council to suspend tolls/charges on Mersey Gateway for NHS workers, key workers and our volunteers.”

Halton Borough Council Mersey Link

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Mersey Gateway Project