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Tunnel tolls up 10p and counting

But cost to cross river could hit £1.80 instead

Written by . Published on February 4th 2014.


Tunnel tolls up 10p and counting
 

FIRST the bad news for millions of Mersey Tunnel users – the toll is going up by 10p on April Fool’s Day. The good news, it could be much worse: the Labour dominated transport executive could slap another 20p on the toll if they wanted to.

The transport executive meets on Thursday to set the tunnel tolls for the forthcoming year. Until then it’s a recommendation.

It was the then Transport Minister Winston Churchill who slapped tolls on the Birkenhead tunnel in the 1930s. The row at the time over whether the tunnel should be toll free was resolved by imposing a charge – until the debt was cleared.

Power

The decision to build the Wallasey Tunnel (Kingsway) put that little arrangement onto the back burner.

But now Merseytravel  doesn’t have to break even, it can make a profit from the tunnels and use the annual windfall to fund other transport expenditure. To be fair some of the money could well be used to keep the cherished Mersey Ferries afloat.

The authority has the power to increase the tolls in line with inflation, so a toll of £1.80p could be set.

Regulars who sign up for a fast-tag make the journey at a reduced price, but even that looks like increasing this year by 10p to £1.40.

There will be corresponding increases for goods vehicles and coaches using the tunnels.

Picture By John Bradley ProbablyPicture by John Bradley, probably

Merseytravel  say executive members consider a number of factors, primarily ensuring enough money is raised to cover the costs of operating, maintaining and investment in the tunnels. There also needs to be a reserve to cover any unplanned emergency work be necessary.

Every year around 37m vehicles use the two tunnels £1.60p there is a surplus of between £5m and £7m a year after all the running costs and interest on the debts have been paid.

The news will come as a blow to campaigners calling for the tunnel tolls to be scrapped altogether to give the city region a massive economic boost.

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6 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

AnonymousFebruary 5th 2014.

£3.40 a day, thats £17 a week, around £800 a year. bit expensive! They should ditch the toll booths and have cameras like the congestion charge, transfer the tunnels police to Merseyside Constab and use the surplus to pay off the debts quicker so the tunnels can be toll free asap. They have a ferry ferry across the Thames in London and a toll-free tunnel in London. Why not here in Liverpool.

Harry MillerFebruary 5th 2014.

So while Labour nationally bleats about helping families hit by rising food, energy and transport costs, the local mob, who unfortunately have a majority on Merseytravel, decide to get the boot in on commuters again. They could easily freeze this but greedy £ signs in their eyes will rule the roost. I travel every day and have had a pay freeze for three years you bar-stewards. £40m creamed off in profits in 10 years and spent on vanity projects and propping up loss-making ferries.

Fred BloggsFebruary 5th 2014.

I don't see what you car-addicts are whingeing about. It is still by far the cheapest way to cross the river. And you get to take your car, all your passengers and a bootful of rubbish with you at no extra charge. Compare that to the bus fare normal people have to pay to travel one stop on a hard and dirty seat that they've had to stand in the wind and rain to wait for!

Humber SceptreFebruary 5th 2014.

If the tolls were scrapped the tunnels would be even more congested than they are already. Imagine it, even more imbecilic gumps with no clue about lane discipline blundering about and slowing down those who NEED to use the tunnels.

AnonymousFebruary 6th 2014.

This is a disgrace. Merseytravel makes millions in profit

1 Response: Reply To This...
John BradleyFebruary 6th 2014.

Which goes to fix other bits of the transport system and to improve the system, you could just pay more tax.

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