Send us news by text, start your message Globe News and your send photos and videos to 80360
Decision day for Mersey Tunnels tolls increase
MOTORISTS are bracing themselves for a 10p increase in Mersey Tunnel tolls.
Officials are recommending transport authority Merseytravel should approve the increase when its board meets today.
Wirral board member Cllr Steve Foulkes has appealed for the Government to take the tunnels into the roads network.
The former Wirral Council leader said: “At the moment there are a number of options being put forward.
"Clearly, this is a highly-sensitive issue for Wirral residents and Merseyside as a whole.
“I have made a fairly public appeal for the Government to take the tunnels into the road network. But my colleagues are telling me that this not a positive option.
“We therefore need to consider a number of issues, including maintenance of the tunnels.
“Finally, we have to remember the tunnels are part of a vital transport network."
John McGoldrick, secretary of protest group Mersey Tunnel Users' Association, said an increase should be opposed.
"There is no justification for increasing tunnel tolls," he said.
“Increases are bad news for motorists and businesses.
“Merseytravel would have to be mad to think that now is a reasonable time for them to extract even more money from drivers and businesses using the tunnels.”
He said the Mersey toll is the joint third most expensive in the country, the only ones higher being the Severn and the Dartford crossings.
A board report in January said the authority would miss out on generating an additional £2.6m unless it agrees a rise from the current £1.50 per car.
The last increase was in April of 2011 and the toll has been frozen since then.
A Merseytravel spokesman said no comment would be made until after the vote.