Penalty charges and debt recovery

Both the Mersey Gateway and the Silver Jubilee Bridge are toll/charge bridges. They are paid for by people who use it.

Unfortunately, there are a small number of people – less than 0.5% of all customers – who don’t pay either their toll/charge fee on time or their penalty charge within 42 days of it being issued.

It is only fair to the huge majority of people who pay on time that we collect the debt from people who persistently don't pay.

There is a sliding scale of penalty charges for people who don’t pay their crossing on time. This starts at £20 plus the original toll/charge fee and increases over time if you don’t pay promptly.

If you have received a PCN from merseyflow and want to pay, you can pay your PCN online here.

The Charging Process:


Recovery notice

If a customer hasn’t paid the full outstanding balance within 42 days, it will be registered as a civil debt with the County Court.

If this happens to you, you will be sent an Order of Recovery notice in the post. This will add an extra £9 in court fees to your debt for each outstanding penalty charge notice.

At this stage, the debt is still payable to merseyflow and payment instructions are included on the Order of Recovery notices as they are issued.


If, after a further 21 days, a customer still hasn’t paid, the debt will be passed to Marston Holdings, our appointed debt enforcement partners, who will act to recover the debt.

The costs to anyone who still hasn’t paid by this stage can increase significantly the longer they choose not to pay.

At this stage, the debt is now handled by Marston Holdings. Anyone receiving a notice of enforcement in the post from Marston Holdings will need to pay their debt to them, not to merseyflow.

Marston Holdings is a UK-based company that enforces debts in accordance with the Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007.  Marston's ethical practice is delivered and assured through an Ethical Governance Framework and includes three key features, Independent Ethical Governance Audits, Ethics Committee and the Independent Advisory Group. You can read more about Marston Holdings, the enforcement process and statutory fees on its website.

You can read more in our FAQ section on penalty charges and debt recovery.

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