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Two quid a time to cross Runcorn Bridges

'Toll will be the same as Mersey Tunnel'

Written by . Published on December 13th 2013.

Two quid a time to cross Runcorn Bridges

THE toll for the cross-river bridges between Widnes and Runcorn have been set at £2 per journey for cars and small vans – with Halton Council saying that is what the Mersey Tunnel tolls will be in 2017. 

That is the year the new Mersey Gateway bridge opens to the public, heralding tolls there and on the currently-free Silver Jubilee Bridge. 

The slightly silver lining for local motorists in Widnes and Runcorn is they will each have 300 free crossings a year – working out at 25 per month. 

It seems pleas by politicians for a toll-free bridge have fallen on deaf ears in Government. 

So it’s £2 per person, per trip, to cross the new Mersey Gateway, though Halton Council revealed today all car owners living in Halton will receive up to 300 free journeys per year when the Gateway and the current Silver Jubilee Bridge become tolled in 2017. 

The new crossingThe new crossing

The toll scheme was approved last night by Halton Borough Council.

There will be no toll booths – both bridges will use an “open road tolling system” where smart technology will be used to keep traffic flowing along the route, capture vehicle details and ensure that all bridge users pay. 

So let’s do the maths first – what is it going to cost to cross the Mersey between Widnes and Runcorn? 

The one-way toll for cars and light vans will be £2, though this can be reduced by 5 percent or 10 percent with discount schemes. 

HGVs and coaches will pay £6 per trip or £8 depending on the size of the vehicle. Discounts will also apply to those vehicles. 

The old crossingThe old crossing

The local user discount scheme will give eligible Halton residents 25 free one-way trips a month – up to 300 trips a year – across the two bridges. It will cost £10 to register for this scheme. Once your 25 journeys have been clocked you will have to pay until the start of the next month when there will be another 25 free crossings. If you make fewer than 25 crossings the unused passes can be rolled over to the next month, but not beyond the end of the year. 

Halton Borough Council expects 99 percent of local people to be eligible to participate in this local user discount scheme, which is open to residents living in houses with a Council Tax Band of A,B,C,D,E or F. Those living in the bigger posh houses will have to pay. To qualify you have to be on the voters list and have your vehicle registered at an address in Halton. 

Blue badges holders and motor cyclists won’t have to pay. There will also be a free bus service linking Widnes and Runcorn town centres.

Users can also buy a pass for £90 a month, allowing as many journeys as you like at any time. For £60 a month you can buy an off-peak pass, useable 10am till 4pm, then from 7pm till 7amMondays to Fridays, and any time travel at weekends and bank holidays. 

So why hasn’t Halton won the battle for free bridge crossings? 


Cllr Rob Polhill, Leader of Halton Council said: “We have lobbied hard for no tolls on the new bridge and on the Silver Jubilee Bridge, but Government are clear – no tolls, no bridge – we all know a new bridge is desperately needed. We must now all accept, however painful, that tolls on Mersey Gateway and Silver Jubilee Bridge are a given and get on with the building phase without further delay and uncertainty. 

“However, as we committed from the outset, we have spent many months looking for the best local user discount scheme we can get for Halton residents. 

“We will continue to press the Government to maximise the re-investment of any extra toll income to ensure that Halton residents get the best deal possible.”

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

Road RunnerDecember 13th 2013.

Stobart operate a Tesco hub adjacent to the present bridge, Tesco will incur additional costs that will subsequently be passed to their customers. This will also be true of Manor Park and Astmoor industries, industries on the Widnes bank, its impact will be felt further afield. This is likely to detract industry from considering Halton, instead opting for cheaper alternatives along Peel's ship canal, that afford easier access to the motorway network. A consequence of these proposals will place additional pressure on river crossings at the Thelwall Viaduct and Mersey tunnels. If you're looking for an example, look at the success or otherwise of the M6 toll

AnonymousDecember 13th 2013.

Olllldddd news, isn't this supposed to be a news site? The 'same as the tunnel' decision was taken years ago and advertised at the time.

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousDecember 13th 2013.

Nobody has said the tunnel toll would be £2 until now

AnonymousDecember 13th 2013.

Halton Council has set and approved the scale of tolls. It has said previously the tolls are likely to mirror the tunnel tolls. By fixing £2 a journey it seems cut and dried that ith will cost £2 by then, if not before, to use the Wallasey or Birkenhead tunnels. Halton Council has done everyone in Wirral a big favour what is to come. So there is no need for smarminess from my unknown friend, also called anon.

1 Response: Reply To This...
Amos nonymousDecember 13th 2013.

Did you find that "h" in the dunny?

AnonymousDecember 15th 2013.

For a £1.60 in 2014 (tunnel cost) to reach £4(bridge cost) in 2017 would require 36% price increases compounded annually. Not likely. It's a massive premium. I suppose, although, we can expect the tunnel tolls to creep up to this new target.

Austin Cambridge.December 16th 2013.

Four-wheel-drive ("SUVs") ought to pay £10 per crossing because they are are heavier and cause more wear on the road, wider, take up more room, make the roads more dangerous and they are invariably driven by distracted, imcompetent idiots.

1 Response: Reply To This...
Amos nonymousDecember 16th 2013.

It's the competent idiots that worry me.

Richard HeadMarch 15th 2014.

Why should we have to pay at all? No other borough in the country charges you to go from one side of it to the other. The Tories provide unlimited amounts for projects down south and send millions abroad to countries that spend more than we give them in aid on their own space exploration programmes. Isn't it about time we got our own house in order Mr Cameron? Isn't it time to address the divide in the amount of Government money spent on projects on the north compared to the south? There should be no tolls on either bridge. It's disgusting and will drive businesses away from Halton and sound the death knell for this once great Borough. All through the greed and incompetence of Halton Borough Council. NO TOLLS!!

AnonymousNovember 13th 2014.

I agree with Richard head why should we have to pay!my wife works in halewood as a teacher and has crossed the bridge for 30 years. Seems you pay tax etc and still you are expected to pay again . What a country . And blue badge holders get something free (again)!!!!

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