News release
2017-10-30

Mersey Gateway update: Bridge route proving popular as traffic level passes one million vehicles

Over one million vehicles have crossed the new Mersey Gateway Bridge in its first 16 days of opening, with around 68% of the journeys in this initial period made by vehicles already registered with merseyflow.

Tolls have been in force since the new bridge, which links Runcorn and Widnes, opened, and around 65,000 to 70,000 vehicles every weekday are taking advantage of the quicker easier and more reliable journeys that the new nine kilometre route between junction 12 of the M56 and Speke Road in Widnes provides.

The first penalty charge notices have been issued this weekend. The merseyflow team has delayed issuing them as they have been taking extra time to check initial payments as customers get used to the new tolling system.

Drivers have a choice of either registering with merseyflow, paying for their one-off journey up to a year in advance or paying for it by 11.59pm the day after they cross.

David Parr, Chief Executive of Halton Borough Council and the Mersey Gateway Crossings Board, said: “We’re very pleased that so many people are using the new route in its first two weeks, and I’m particularly pleased with the feedback our team has had from a lot of people about the time it has saved them on their journeys.”

One leading North West business backing the project is Stobart Group Ltd, which has a major logistics base in Widnes employing 166 people locally and running 135 vehicles supplying time critical deliveries to its’ Energy customers across the country.

Peter Cook, Chair of Halton Chamber of Commerce, said: “Last Monday morning I travelled from Chester to Liverpool at 8:30am and returned to Runcorn two hours later with no hold ups. Crossing the bridge at 60mph was quite a new experience! The view from the bridge made me realise just how big the project has been and what an amazing achievement it has been to construct whilst the traffic was still around. The new bridge and infrastructure are brilliant and now ensure easy flow, quick and reliable journeys for businesses and private users alike.”

Anthony Alicastro, who is Chief Executive Officer of emovis operations (Mersey) Ltd., a wholly-owned subsidiary of emovis, which runs the merseyflow operation, said: “It has been a very busy time for the team and for our customers with a lot of people getting used to the new system, and we are checking all of the journeys that people have made very carefully so I’d ask our customers to be patient when it comes to things like journeys appearing on their online accounts. What I do want to do is reassure people that if they have registered or if they pay on time, then they won’t get a penalty charge notice.”

He added “For anyone that does receive a PCN, our advice is to deal with it as quickly as possible as you get a 50% discount – reducing the charge to £20 plus the original toll fee – if you pay within 14days. The PCN also contains details of how you can challenge the payment if you feel it has been sent in error.”

How to register

There are various ways to sign up:

  • Online at www.merseyflow.co.uk, which is the quickest option
  • By phone on 01928 878 878, or
  • At the walk-in centre at 9 Howard Court, Manor Park, Runcorn, WA7 1SJ.

The opening hours for the Runcorn walk-in centre and call centre are 8am - 8pm weekdays, and 9am - 6pm weekends and bank holidays.

Registering is the only way to get discounts on journeys across the Mersey, or if you qualify, free travel across the bridges.

Anyone who is eligible for the Halton residents’ discount scheme must register and pay their £10 annual fee in order to claim their unlimited trips at no further cost.

Anyone, wherever they live, can also register for a pre-pay account, or monthly pass which both give discounts on the full unregistered toll fee.

It is still possible to cross the bridges without registering but, if you do, you will have to pay the full unregistered toll fee which is £2 per car per crossing, with additional charges for larger vehicles.

Blue Badge holders can also register for unlimited travel on the bridges after providing copies of the front and back of their Blue Badge and paying a one-off £5 admin fee.

Once registered, you will receive a merseyflow sticker to place in your registered vehicle’s windscreen.

This sticker means your vehicle will be recognised when you travel across the new bridge, and will ensure you do not receive a penalty charge notice as long as you have funds in your account.

A guide outlining exactly where to place the sticker on your windscreen is also available.

Merseyflow has produced a range of leaflets to help explain the registration process to people that live in Halton, as well as to residents living outside of the area.

The Silver Jubilee Bridge is now closed to road traffic for refurbishment for around 12-18 months.

How to pay:

There are four ways infrequent users can now pay to travel on the bridge:

  • online at www.merseyflow.co.uk (24 hours a day, 7 days a week) – there is a special section on the www.merseyflow.co.uk www.merseyflow.co.uk website to allow people to pay for one-off journeys
  • By phone on 01928 878 878 – between 8am and 8pm Monday-Friday and 9am-6pm Saturday, Sunday and Bank Holidays
  • at merseyflow’s walk-in centre at Howard Court, Manor Park, Runcorn, WA7 1SJ between 8am and 8pm Monday-Friday and 9am-6pm Saturday, Sunday and Bank Holidays
  • at one of 10,000 Payzone outlets across the UK

You can also pay for a journey you have already made by using our automated 24/7 payment system on 01928 878 878.

You will need to have your vehicle registration details and your car’s make and model ready when you pay for your trips, but do not need to provide any further information.

Editors Notes:

More information about tolling is available at www.merseyflow.co.uk. Both the new Mersey Gateway Bridge and the existing Silver Jubilee Bridge are tolled crossings.

You can find out more about the construction and history of the Mersey Gateway Project at www.merseyflow.co.uk.

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