Mersey Gateway Bridge crossings reach over 23 million as the iconic structure celebrates its first anniversary
The iconic Mersey Gateway Bridge has welcomed over 23 million journeys in its first year of operation, averaging 64,000 crossings per day and 72,000 each weekday.
At midnight on the 14 October 2017 the new bridge opened to traffic following a spectacular night of celebration with a light and fireworks display enjoyed by tens of thousands of people across Halton.
Brand new environmental information along with a guided walk has been launched at the Mersey Gateway Visitor Centre in Widnes following the opening of the iconic new bridge.
Latest Mersey Gateway figures show an increase in total journeys and daily traffic on the new toll bridge connecting Runcorn and Widnes.
Between April and June 2018, the most recent figures show:
- nearly six million journeys were made across the new bridge – an increase of almost 500,000 journeys compared to the previous quarter
- an average of 73,000 journeys were made across the bridge most weekdays, which is in excess of projected traffic levels, and an increase of 5,000 vehicles per day on the previous quarter
- 96% of drivers paid for their crossings before the payment deadline
- 77% of journeys were made in vehicles registered with merseyflow
- between 19% and 23% of monthly revenue came from PCNs. All revenue, either from tolls or PCNs, contributes towards payment for the new bridge; it is not retained by Halton Borough Council or any of its contractors
Halton residents who registered before the bridge opened urged to sign up for another year of discounted travel
A new campaign is launching this week to make sure eligible Halton residents sign up with merseyflow for another year of discounted travel across the Mersey Gateway Bridge.
Over 99% of Halton residents benefit from a scheme set up by Halton Borough Council where they can pay just £10 for a year and then make as many personal journeys across the river as they like for no further cost.
It is an annual scheme so around 33,000 local residents who registered ahead of the bridge opening last autumn are being asked to re-apply at www.merseyflow.co.uk for the next 12 months.
The scheme is only open to Class 2 vehicles, that is small cars and vans.
Tolling operator merseyflow is introducing a phased renewal campaign to help make the online re-registration process as simple as possible.
The merseyflow team is sending people who registered with them before October last year an email or a letter explaining what to do and encouraging them to renew in plenty of time to ensure they continue to get discounted travel.
Any Halton resident who registered before the bridge opened on 14th October can renew online at www.merseyflow.co.uk now following merseyflow’s simple five-step guide.
Merseyflow’s five-step renewal guide for eligible Halton residents is:
- Step 1 – scan or take photographs of your valid driving licence, current council tax bill and V5C vehicle registration certificate ready to upload
- Step 2 – log into your merseyflow account at www.merseyflow.co.uk and click ‘renew my plan’
- Step 3 – pay your £10 annual fee
- Step 4 – upload your documents
- Step 5 – you will receive an email confirming your payment has been received
All renewals will take effect from 14th October 2018, so no-one will lose out by renewing early.
It is also possible for people to renew in person at Merseyflow’s walk-in centre in Runcorn if they don’t have access to the internet.
However they renew, eligible Halton residents will need to provide three current documents to confirm they still qualify for the Halton resident discount. These are:
- 2018/2019 Halton Borough Council tax bill showing their home is in property bands A-F
- A full valid UK driving licence showing their Halton address (Please check the expiry date on the licence)
- Their vehicle’s V5C certificate showing their name and Halton address.
The documents need to be up to date to be accepted – so merseyflow is asking customers to check they provide the right documents to make the whole process as simple and easy as possible.
Anthony Alicastro, Managing Director of merseyflow, said: “Our whole aim is to make this as simple and easy as possible. We’ve made some improvements to the merseyflow website to simplify the process and we’re able to provide much more guidance for customers to help them through the process. We’ll be contacting all Halton residents who need to renew their plan over the next few weeks so all people need to do is follow the instructions to get another year of discounted trips.”
“There’s nothing to lose by renewing early. If you renew now your new 12-month plan will run from October 14, 2018, the one-year anniversary of the opening date of the bridge – not the date that you renew, so renewing now means you’ll beat the rush.”
Mike Bennett, Managing Director of the Mersey Gateway Crossings Board, said: “These discounted crossings for the vast majority of Halton residents are made possible because Halton Borough Council re-invested its share of the savings made during the procurement and construction phase to fund the scheme. The council felt this was an important priority and it is essential that people renew their plan every year to continue to benefit from the scheme.”
He added: “We want everyone who qualifies for discounted trips to make sure they re-apply in good time. We need to see up to date documents every year just to make sure that people continue to qualify, but everyone who applied a year ago will find the process is very familiar and straightforward.”
VEHICLES USING MERSEY GATEWAY BRIDGE ON OR AFTER 19 APRIL 2018
The 2018 Order provides a valid and legal power to charge and enforce charges (which are described here as “tolls”) on the Mersey Gateway Bridge from 19 April 2018.
All vehicles using the Mersey Gateway Bridge on or after the 19 April 2018 are required to pay a toll unless exempt or they benefit from the Halton Local User Discount Scheme (LUDS).
VEHICLES WHO USED MERSEY GATEWAY BRIDGE ON OR AFTER 14 OCTOBER 2017 UNTIL 18 APRIL 2018
The Council had in place a valid and legal power to charge and enforce tolls on the Mersey Gateway Bridge from 14 October 2017 to 18 April 2018.
All vehicles that used the Mersey Gateway Bridge on or after the 14 October 2017 were required to pay a toll and liable to enforcement of a toll if no toll was paid, unless exempt or they benefitted from the Halton Local User Discount Scheme (LUDS).
Adjudication by the Traffic Penalty Tribunal (TPT) cannot and does not, in law, invalidate or remove the powers in place from the 14 October 2017 to toll and enforce tolls on the Mersey Gateway Bridge.
Adjudication is specific to the case being considered, and any decision of an Adjudicator only relates to that particular case.
A decision of TPT does not have general effect and can not remove the validity of the Order or the obligation to pay.
Any suggestion that the Council has no power to charge or enforce tolls or that the Council is acting “illegally” is misleading, inaccurate and wrong in law.
REPAYMENT OF TOLLS OR PENALTIES
For the reasons set out above, Halton Council is under no legal obligation to repay any toll or penalty paid on failing to pay a toll.
Consequently, Halton Council will not be repaying any toll or penalty paid on failing to pay a toll.