All trips across both the Mersey Gateway and Silver Jubilee Bridge will be free for eligible Halton residents subject to an annual registration fee of £10.
The cost of the Local User Discount Scheme (LUDS) will be met by a combination of Halton Borough Council and Central Government funding.
While tolling is fundamental for the payment of the project, since 2006, Halton Borough Council and the borough’s MPs have worked tirelessly, along with the Mersey Gateway Team, to ensure that there was a significant discount available for local people.
The initial LUDS offered 300 free trips to eligible Halton residents per year. This was funded wholly by Halton Borough Council through savings made during the procurement stages of the project along with a commitment to use 10% of the toll revenue to fund the scheme.
While Halton Borough Council understood the importance of connectivity between Runcorn and Widnes for those living in Halton and the burden the toll cost could have, the monetary resources available were stretched to their absolute limit.
Halton Borough Council set out then, to persuade Government to increase their funding for the scheme to ensure the full cost of tolls would be met for Halton residents.
After a period of lengthy negotiations with the Department for Transport, on 25th July 2014 the then Chancellor George Osborne announced that Central Government would extend their funding contribution to the LUDS.
The extension will see eligible Halton residents receive unlimited free trips from the previous 300 free trips per year.
The annual registration fee will be paid to Halton Borough Council and will cover the cost of administration of the scheme.