News release
2018-04-19

Mersey Gateway Consultation 2018

A consultation took place between 8th March and 29th March 2018 to gather views about Halton Borough Council's (the Council) proposals to update The Mersey Gateway Bridge and the A533 (Silver Jubilee Bridge) Roads User Charging Scheme Order 2017 (the 2017 RUCSO) by revoking it and replacing it with a new order.

This allowed the Council to address observations received since the Mersey Gateway Bridge opened to traffic on 14th October 2017 and to clarify matters surrounding the toll charging regime that some feel is not clear.

The new order will be called the A533 (Mersey Gateway Bridge) and the A557 (Silver Jubilee Bridge) Road User Charging Scheme Order 2018.

This consultation covered the Council's proposals to:

  • revoke and replace The Mersey Gateway Bridge and the A533 (Silver Jubilee Bridge) Roads User Charging Scheme Order 2017;
  • allow additional groups to be capable of registering for exemption of toll charges for use of the Mersey Gateway and Silver Jubilee Bridges (the Bridges);
  • make changes to the current Halton Local User Discount (LUDS) Economic Hardship Scheme and;
  • propose a toll classification change for Motorhome vehicles.

Consultation results

Over 6,000 individuals, businesses and public organisations responded to the consultation which asked for views on proposed changes to the existing 2017 RUCSO. The results can be found here.

On the 18th of  April, Halton Borough Council approved a new Road User Charging Scheme Order (RUCSO) for the Mersey Gateway Bridge and the Silver Jubilee Bridge (SJB) based on the findings of a public consultation. As a result, the following changes have been made to the tolling scheme with effect from 19th April 2018:

Halton Local User Discount Support Scheme (introduced which replaces the Halton Local User Discount Scheme Economic Hardship Scheme)

  • Those residents living in Council Tax Band G or H properties in apprenticeships1 or in full time education2 who were previously ineligible to apply for the Local User Discount Scheme (LUDS), can now apply under the new Halton Local User Support Scheme.

Halton residents otherwise eligible for the LUDS with disabilities

  • Halton residents who have a disability3 but are not eligible for a Blue Badge and whose disability prevents them from driving, will be able to register a vehicle to benefit from unlimited crossings under the LUDS when they are travelling in the vehicle for a £10 annual fee.

Exemptions

  • Further vehicles registered by the emergency services where the vehicles registered by the emergency services were being used for the purpose of delivering these services, whether or not marked and not already covered by exemptions;
  • Further ambulance vehicles whether carrying patients or not and registered by the ambulance service and;
  • Vehicles used for the transport of blood, plasma or human organs will be able to be added onto the exemptions register4.
  • Further vehicles registered by the emergency services where the vehicles registered by the emergency services were being used for the purpose of delivering these services, whether or not marked and not already covered by exemptions;

Classification of Motorhomes

  • Motorhome vehicles will be designated as Class 2, the same classification as applies to private cars.

The following will remain unchanged:

  • The toll charges*
  • The Penalty Charge rates**
  • The LUDS criteria with respect to properties in Council Tax Bands G&H

We would invite those users who may be affected by the changes to contact Merseyflow on info@merseyflow.co.uk" or 01928 878 878 to discuss options available.

No refunds will be given for toll fees incurred prior to the new arrangements becoming effective.

Any user who wishes to get more information about the new Halton Local User Discount Support Scheme must contact hardshipscheme@merseyflow.co.uk.

The changes will be implemented from 19th April 2018.

Notes

1Living in Council Tax Band G or H properties in an apprenticeship – the apprentice must be under the age of 20 and studying for at least 12 hours per week on a course which lasts for more than 3 months for any qualification up to A level, ONC or OND standard (correspondence courses, evening classes or courses taken in connection with a person’s job, such as on day release, are not included).

2Living in Council Tax Band G or H in full time education which refers to being enrolled for the purpose of attending a university or college course which lasts for at least one academic year, normally requires attendance of at least 24 weeks a year and involves on average at least 21 hours of study, tuition or work experience per week during term time.

3A Halton resident and in receipt of one of the following: the higher rate mobility component of Disability Living Allowance; Attendance Allowance; Enhanced rate of the mobility component of the Personal Independence Allowance; and/or the War Pensioners Mobility Supplement, but are not eligible for a Blue Badge and whose disability prevents them from driving, will be able to register a vehicle to benefit from unlimited crossings under the Local User Discount Scheme when they are travelling in the vehicle for a £10 annual fee.

4Ambulance vehicles whether carrying patients or not and registered by the ambulance service and vehicles used for the transport of blood, plasma or human organs will be able to be added onto the exemptions register. All vehicles eligible to be added onto the exemptions register must still register their vehicles for a £5 fee.

5Agricultural tractors will be able to be added onto the exemptions register in accordance with Schedule 2, Part 1 of the Charging Orders for use of the Silver Jubilee Bridge only with exemptions allowed on the Mersey Gateway Bridge in the interim, until the Silver Jubilee Bridge reopens.

*Toll charges can be found in full here.

**Penalty Charge - £40 plus toll charge; £20 plus toll charge if paid within 14 days; £60 plus toll charge if paid within 42 days. If unpaid beyond 42 days after issue the penalty will be registered as a civil debt. More information can be found here.

Please find below, relevant extracts of merseyflow’s revised terms and conditions:

5.2. Eligibility

5.2.1. A vehicle is eligible to be registered for the Local User Discount Scheme Vehicle Plan if:

5.2.1.1. The vehicle is registered in Halton;

5.2.1.2. The vehicle is a Class 2 vehicle (cars, light vans and Motorhome Vehicles);

5.2.1.3. The registered keeper of the vehicle, according to the DVLA or the keeper of the vehicle on an exclusive basis (for vehicles that are leased or company cars and providing equivalent proof has been provided) is:

5.2.1.3.1. If they are seventeen (17) years or over, with a valid full UK Driving Licence.

5.2.1.3.2. Either: (i) living in a property in Halton with a Council Tax Band of A, B, C, D, E or F only; or (ii) living in a property in Halton with a Council Tax Band of G or H and successfully applied, and approved by the Council, to be included in the Local User Discount Scheme as a result of economic hardship or other special circumstances; or (iii) living in Council Tax Band G or H properties in an apprenticeship – the apprentice must be under the age of 20 and studying for at least 12 hours per week on a course which lasts for more than three months for any qualification up to A level, ONC or OND standard (correspondence courses, evening classes or courses taken in connection with a person’s job, such as on day release, are not included).

5.2.1.3.4. Living in Council Tax Band G or H in full time education which refers to being enrolled for the purpose of attending a university or college course which lasts for at least one academic year, normally requires attendance of at least 24 weeks a year and involves on average at least 21 hours of study, tuition or work experience per week during term time.

5.2.1.3.5. A Halton resident and in receipt of one of the following: the higher rate mobility component of Disability Living Allowance; Attendance Allowance; Enhanced rate of the mobility component of the Personal Independence Allowance; and/or the War Pensioners Mobility Supplement, but are not eligible for a Blue Badge and whose disability prevents them from driving, will be able to register a vehicle to benefit from unlimited crossings under the Local User Discount Scheme when they are travelling in the vehicle for a £10 annual fee

5.2.1.3.6. Is not the registered keeper of any other vehicle and/or keeper of any other vehicle on an exclusive basis that is registered for the Local User Discount Scheme Vehicle Plan; and

5.2.1.4. The vehicle is registered to an Account.

7. Disabled User, Emergency Service Scheme and Agricultural tractors Vehicle Plan Terms

7.2. Eligibility

7.2.1. A vehicle is eligible to be registered for the Disabled User and Emergency Service Scheme Vehicle Plan if it is eligible to be entered upon the exemptions register in accordance with Schedule 2, Part 1 of the Charging Orders.

7.2.2. Where the vehicles to be registered fall within the description of vehicles at Schedule 2, Part 2, Paragraphs 3(a)-(d) and (f) of the Charging Orders (emergency service vehicles), you are entitled to register multiple vehicles.

7.2.3. Where the vehicles registered by the emergency services when being used for the purpose of delivering these services, whether or not marked and not already covered by exemptions;

7.2.4. Ambulance vehicles whether carrying patients or not and registered by the ambulance service and vehicles used for the transport of blood, plasma or human organs will be able to be added onto the exemptions register. All vehicles eligible to be added onto the exemptions register must still register their vehicles for a £5 fee.

7.2.5. Where the vehicle to be registered falls within the description of vehicles at Schedule 2, Part 2, Paragraph (e) of the Charging Orders (pre-registered and approved blue badge holders), you are entitled to register only one (1) vehicle per person.

7.2.6. Agricultural tractors will be able to be added onto the exemptions register in accordance with Schedule 2, Part 1 of the Charging Orders for use of the Silver Jubilee Bridge only with exemptions allowed on the Mersey Gateway Bridge in the interim, until the Silver Jubilee Bridge reopens.

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