Wirral drivers campaign against prospect of Mersey Tunnel toll hike

Wirral Globe: Wirral drivers campaign against prospect of Mersey Tunnel toll hike Wirral drivers campaign against prospect of Mersey Tunnel toll hike

Wirral motorists are preparing for a head-on collision with Mersey Tunnels bosses over an anticipated hike in cross-river charges.

With the prospect of tunnel charges rising an extra 20p a journey (from £1.60 to £1.80) drivers have already responded massively to a petition calling for tolls to be frozen.

So far more than 3,000 people have pledged support for the on-line petition, launched by Shaun King from Wirral, opposing any increases.

Liz Carridge, corporate communications manager for tunnel operators Merseytravel said claims about an increase in tolls were “not necessarily the case.”

She said: “This figure (£1.80) is the permitted maximum legal toll level under the Tunnels Act based on the November retail price index, but this does not mean that this will be the applied toll level as of April.

“The permitted toll levels do not necessarily become the applied charges.

Shaun commented; “The current tolls are ridiculously extortionate and are not going to become any better any time soon.

“This is a time where we must all come together to voice our opinions and stop this stupidity.”

John McGoldrick, secretary of the Mersey Tunnel Users Association, said his group welcomed all opposition to toll increases , but he said that, as far as they were aware, tunnel operators Merseytravel had not yet officially considered whether or not to impose an increase.

He said: “We would in any case encourage everybody to directly contact Merseytravel councillors to ask that they vote against any proposed increase.

“The tunnels make a large profit for Merseytravel and there is no justification for any increase.

“Our long-term aim remains that the toll barrier between Wirral and Liverpool is removed completely.”

One petitioner from Liverpool responded: “An awful lot of folk have jobs on opposite sides of the river from where they live and they are going to be even more cash strapped in the current climate.”

Another wrote: “I am an outpatient at the Royal Liverpool Hospital after undergoing surgery to remove a pancreatic tumour. It is bad enough now trying to find the money to get there; the last thing we all need is an increase in tunnel fares.”

A third observed: “I work for the fire service in Manchester. The 20p rise will be yet another £100 increse of stealth taxes each year my young family can ill afford. Enough is enough.”

Liz Carridge added: “The tolls levels from April 2014 will be set by elected members on Merseytravel’s Integrated Transport Authority at the February meeting. No decision is taken before then.”

The full table of permitted maximum charges under the Tolls Act – not applied charges – are as follows: - Class l current £1.60, new £1.80; Class 2 current £3.50, new £3.60; Class 3 current £5.30, new £5.40; Class 4 current £7.10, new £7.30.

To sign the petition, click here.

Comments (21)

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12:01pm Mon 30 Dec 13

rover600 says...

First I've heard of an online petition, It might have been handy if the article had included details on how to find it etc....
As people have commented this is just back door 'taxation' all the more galling when Mersey Tunnels seem quite content to waste money on hair brained schemes such as the CCTV at the toll booths which they may argue is on security grounds which I'd argue is a job for and should be funded by the Police or Central Govt. Another absolutely hair brained waste of money is the recently installed totally ineffective and I'd say potentially dangerous low level lighting installed on the entry and exit ramps of Birkenhead Tunnel. How on earth have motorists manged to cope without this lighting since the 60's? It really is an absolute.... JOKE!
First I've heard of an online petition, It might have been handy if the article had included details on how to find it etc.... As people have commented this is just back door 'taxation' all the more galling when Mersey Tunnels seem quite content to waste money on hair brained schemes such as the CCTV at the toll booths which they may argue is on security grounds which I'd argue is a job for and should be funded by the Police or Central Govt. Another absolutely hair brained waste of money is the recently installed totally ineffective and I'd say potentially dangerous low level lighting installed on the entry and exit ramps of Birkenhead Tunnel. How on earth have motorists manged to cope without this lighting since the 60's? It really is an absolute.... JOKE! rover600

2:43pm Mon 30 Dec 13

No.9 says...

rover600 wrote:
First I've heard of an online petition, It might have been handy if the article had included details on how to find it etc....
As people have commented this is just back door 'taxation' all the more galling when Mersey Tunnels seem quite content to waste money on hair brained schemes such as the CCTV at the toll booths which they may argue is on security grounds which I'd argue is a job for and should be funded by the Police or Central Govt. Another absolutely hair brained waste of money is the recently installed totally ineffective and I'd say potentially dangerous low level lighting installed on the entry and exit ramps of Birkenhead Tunnel. How on earth have motorists manged to cope without this lighting since the 60's? It really is an absolute.... JOKE!
I agree, those new lights are very distracting and dangerous. I'd like to know which idiot or group of idiots decided they were a good idea. So easy to spend other people's money isn't it.
[quote][p][bold]rover600[/bold] wrote: First I've heard of an online petition, It might have been handy if the article had included details on how to find it etc.... As people have commented this is just back door 'taxation' all the more galling when Mersey Tunnels seem quite content to waste money on hair brained schemes such as the CCTV at the toll booths which they may argue is on security grounds which I'd argue is a job for and should be funded by the Police or Central Govt. Another absolutely hair brained waste of money is the recently installed totally ineffective and I'd say potentially dangerous low level lighting installed on the entry and exit ramps of Birkenhead Tunnel. How on earth have motorists manged to cope without this lighting since the 60's? It really is an absolute.... JOKE![/p][/quote]I agree, those new lights are very distracting and dangerous. I'd like to know which idiot or group of idiots decided they were a good idea. So easy to spend other people's money isn't it. No.9

3:04pm Mon 30 Dec 13

bigfoot says...

Why should we have to pay to get to the rest of the'county'?
Did the same person who proposed the now scrapped idea of constituencies, create the non-county of Merseyside?
Why should we have to pay to get to the rest of the'county'? Did the same person who proposed the now scrapped idea of constituencies, create the non-county of Merseyside? bigfoot

4:07pm Mon 30 Dec 13

ballacrain says...

What would happen if every road user stopped using the tunnels and instead used other routes or public transport.
Ballacrain
What would happen if every road user stopped using the tunnels and instead used other routes or public transport. Ballacrain ballacrain

4:48pm Mon 30 Dec 13

rover600 says...

ballacrain wrote:
What would happen if every road user stopped using the tunnels and instead used other routes or public transport. Ballacrain
Sadly for some of us it is a necessary evil, I work in Bolton and to drive around the M53/M56/M6/M62/M60/M
61 is a less than viable alternative both in times of miles (would add 48 miles a day to an already long journey) and cost and sadly its the likes of myself that are seriously exploited by this unnecessary burden.
I'd urge everyone who worked in Liverpool to use the buses and trains given the cost of parking in Liverpool its a far cheaper option but then knowing this barmpot lot they would whinge that tunnel revenues were down and then need to hike prices further.
When will this lot realise the cheaper something is the more it gets 'bought'!
[quote][p][bold]ballacrain[/bold] wrote: What would happen if every road user stopped using the tunnels and instead used other routes or public transport. Ballacrain[/p][/quote]Sadly for some of us it is a necessary evil, I work in Bolton and to drive around the M53/M56/M6/M62/M60/M 61 is a less than viable alternative both in times of miles (would add 48 miles a day to an already long journey) and cost and sadly its the likes of myself that are seriously exploited by this unnecessary burden. I'd urge everyone who worked in Liverpool to use the buses and trains given the cost of parking in Liverpool its a far cheaper option but then knowing this barmpot lot they would whinge that tunnel revenues were down and then need to hike prices further. When will this lot realise the cheaper something is the more it gets 'bought'! rover600

5:21pm Mon 30 Dec 13

steady cyclist says...

Put the charges up to 2 quid each way,close the older tunnel every night, switch off the stupid green lights in the tunnel ventalation buildings.

We need less cars on the roads, there is a perfectly good rail service between birkenhead and liverpool, along with a ferry, both there along time before the tunnels.

Oh and if you need to travel therought the tunnel because you work further away from public transport, perhaps think about moving and stop the daily gridlock and pollution us other road users have to put up with every day.

Oh and you can cycle through the mersey tunel, old one, after 20.00 every night and at weekends,its in their bylaws.
Put the charges up to 2 quid each way,close the older tunnel every night, switch off the stupid green lights in the tunnel ventalation buildings. We need less cars on the roads, there is a perfectly good rail service between birkenhead and liverpool, along with a ferry, both there along time before the tunnels. Oh and if you need to travel therought the tunnel because you work further away from public transport, perhaps think about moving and stop the daily gridlock and pollution us other road users have to put up with every day. Oh and you can cycle through the mersey tunel, old one, after 20.00 every night and at weekends,its in their bylaws. steady cyclist

6:34pm Mon 30 Dec 13

yesandorno says...

pity they cant open the queensway access or emergency tunnels for cyclists and walkers ..... at least there would be an option then , might keep a few bikes off the trains n all. .... could open a shop half way , tourists would like it.
pity they cant open the queensway access or emergency tunnels for cyclists and walkers ..... at least there would be an option then , might keep a few bikes off the trains n all. .... could open a shop half way , tourists would like it. yesandorno

7:26pm Mon 30 Dec 13

Merseytravel comms says...

The last paragraph on charges isn't quite right. Visit this link for clarification: http://www.merseytra
vel.gov.uk/about-us/
media-centre/news/Pa
ges/Clarificationreg
ardingTunnelTollsfor
2014.aspx
The last paragraph on charges isn't quite right. Visit this link for clarification: http://www.merseytra vel.gov.uk/about-us/ media-centre/news/Pa ges/Clarificationreg ardingTunnelTollsfor 2014.aspx Merseytravel comms

9:08am Tue 31 Dec 13

Jack Boot says...

yesandorno wrote:
pity they cant open the queensway access or emergency tunnels for cyclists and walkers ..... at least there would be an option then , might keep a few bikes off the trains n all. .... could open a shop half way , tourists would like it.
Great idea! Its apparent only one man can walk on water and he doesnt do piggy backs. Give us Wirralites a walking option....
Can MERSEYTRAVEL COMMS clarify what their pedestrian policy is?
[quote][p][bold]yesandorno[/bold] wrote: pity they cant open the queensway access or emergency tunnels for cyclists and walkers ..... at least there would be an option then , might keep a few bikes off the trains n all. .... could open a shop half way , tourists would like it.[/p][/quote]Great idea! Its apparent only one man can walk on water and he doesnt do piggy backs. Give us Wirralites a walking option.... Can MERSEYTRAVEL COMMS clarify what their pedestrian policy is? Jack Boot

1:46pm Tue 31 Dec 13

No.9 says...

Merseytravel comms wrote:
The last paragraph on charges isn't quite right. Visit this link for clarification: http://www.merseytra

vel.gov.uk/about-us/

media-centre/news/Pa

ges/Clarificationreg

ardingTunnelTollsfor

2014.aspx
Ta! Still ripping us off though!
[quote][p][bold]Merseytravel comms[/bold] wrote: The last paragraph on charges isn't quite right. Visit this link for clarification: http://www.merseytra vel.gov.uk/about-us/ media-centre/news/Pa ges/Clarificationreg ardingTunnelTollsfor 2014.aspx[/p][/quote]Ta! Still ripping us off though! No.9

7:22pm Wed 1 Jan 14

Carehaul says...

1.80' you are all making me laugh, get a bloody train! I am from the north east, 1.60 for the Tyne tunnel ( we just had a new one built to double traffic flow and that's been a **** up, seriously though, the size and length of the tunnels and you are all up in arms about a hike of 20p. I travel all over the country delivering in my van, the Wirral is one of my frequent destinations, I have friends and family here, sorry but if half of you in rush hour used public transport ( like I do around Newcastle) then it would not be a problem. 20 p extra and the choice of TWO tunnels or drive a massive detour, don't make me laugh
1.80' you are all making me laugh, get a bloody train! I am from the north east, 1.60 for the Tyne tunnel ( we just had a new one built to double traffic flow and that's been a **** up, seriously though, the size and length of the tunnels and you are all up in arms about a hike of 20p. I travel all over the country delivering in my van, the Wirral is one of my frequent destinations, I have friends and family here, sorry but if half of you in rush hour used public transport ( like I do around Newcastle) then it would not be a problem. 20 p extra and the choice of TWO tunnels or drive a massive detour, don't make me laugh Carehaul

7:23pm Wed 1 Jan 14

Carehaul says...

Oh and my van is class 2 3.5tonne. And down there in jersey side I am still classed as a car vs 2.50 here in newcastle
Oh and my van is class 2 3.5tonne. And down there in jersey side I am still classed as a car vs 2.50 here in newcastle Carehaul

8:52pm Wed 1 Jan 14

David Scott says...

Noteworthy that tolls have been removed from all road crossings in Scotland. Down here the plan is to keep the tolls on the Mersey tunnels and to bring tolls in at Runcorn.
Noteworthy that tolls have been removed from all road crossings in Scotland. Down here the plan is to keep the tolls on the Mersey tunnels and to bring tolls in at Runcorn. David Scott

1:27am Thu 2 Jan 14

Llamedos 1 says...

If Miserytravel spent OUR public money on what they are supposed to ie Transport in Merseyside instead of spending millions on tourist attractions (£4.3 million on U534 and Beatles Stories) and wasting 10`s of millions on failed, ill thought out tram schemes then they wouldnt have to rip off Merseyside motorists.
If Miserytravel spent OUR public money on what they are supposed to ie Transport in Merseyside instead of spending millions on tourist attractions (£4.3 million on U534 and Beatles Stories) and wasting 10`s of millions on failed, ill thought out tram schemes then they wouldnt have to rip off Merseyside motorists. Llamedos 1

1:16pm Thu 2 Jan 14

rover600 says...

Merseytravel comms wrote:
The last paragraph on charges isn't quite right. Visit this link for clarification: http://www.merseytra vel.gov.uk/about-us/ media-centre/news/Pa ges/Clarificationreg ardingTunnelTollsfor 2014.aspx
It's true what you say, it's also true to say 'you or your elected members' can use commonsense and a) stop wasting money you already collect, b) stop using the profits from the tunnels to prop up bus and train services and c) you could actually do the right thing and not increase the tolls at all and even be radical and surprise everyone and lower the fees - I suspect i have more chance of getting an audience in The Vatican than the latter happening.
[quote][p][bold]Merseytravel comms[/bold] wrote: The last paragraph on charges isn't quite right. Visit this link for clarification: http://www.merseytra vel.gov.uk/about-us/ media-centre/news/Pa ges/Clarificationreg ardingTunnelTollsfor 2014.aspx[/p][/quote]It's true what you say, it's also true to say 'you or your elected members' can use commonsense and a) stop wasting money you already collect, b) stop using the profits from the tunnels to prop up bus and train services and c) you could actually do the right thing and not increase the tolls at all and even be radical and surprise everyone and lower the fees - I suspect i have more chance of getting an audience in The Vatican than the latter happening. rover600

2:21pm Sat 4 Jan 14

colindyas says...

In June 2013, Eurotunnel Ltd was ordered to stop running cross-Channel ferries from Dover to France in a major ruling from the UK Competition Commission. It was deemed that in also operating passenger and freight train services through the Channel Tunnel it had a monopoly. The case remains under appeal but of interest is that the ferry operating company known as “My Ferry Link” is a workers cooperative that leases three former SeaFrance ferries from Eurotunnel. Whether this is/was an “arms length” deal remains under review, but one thing is certain; the Workers Cooperative model with its equal share and returned profit objectives are far more transparent and enlightened than state subsidised transit authorities, who are non- elected, non-accountable, and who operate in an environment far from risk or reality
Given these facts, it seems that Eurotunnel’s monopoly is less complete than that of Merseytravel, who in addition to their monopoly of the Mersey by a poor and limited ferry service, and increasingly outdated and break-down prone rail service, also include a monopoly on all road crossings. How can this be right? Surely this is in breach of UK competition law and if not why is the English Channel regarded differently. Why is the non-monopolisation of the English Channel deemed so essential, when the total and absolute monopolisation of the River Mersey seemingly celebrated? And all this despite decades of limitless funding support to get this region on its feet when in other ways it has absolutely been regarded as an area of extreme special needs and circumstances. So what is really going on??
And its not just commuters who suffer. Surely the multiple issues of local worklessness, lack of investment, the huge growth of food banks, local political apathy, continuing de-population (especially the young), etc, are social conditions bought about by short sighted economic strategies that penalises any business from wanting to locate on Wirral given the excessive costs of transporting goods through these two tunnels. These tunnels are killing rational economic decision making
I moved to Wirral from London ten years ago to be involved in Liverpool and the regions regeneration. In my very humble opinion the tunnel tolls are the prime reason why this area is a mess.
People may not begrudge train or ferry fares, but they do begrudge road tolls when not given an alternative choice.
They also loathe monopolies which prevent competition, deny choice and are clearly a means to favour an operator and not a consumer
I am open to discuss this further. I use my real name on this site too, as I have nothing to hide
In June 2013, Eurotunnel Ltd was ordered to stop running cross-Channel ferries from Dover to France in a major ruling from the UK Competition Commission. It was deemed that in also operating passenger and freight train services through the Channel Tunnel it had a monopoly. The case remains under appeal but of interest is that the ferry operating company known as “My Ferry Link” is a workers cooperative that leases three former SeaFrance ferries from Eurotunnel. Whether this is/was an “arms length” deal remains under review, but one thing is certain; the Workers Cooperative model with its equal share and returned profit objectives are far more transparent and enlightened than state subsidised transit authorities, who are non- elected, non-accountable, and who operate in an environment far from risk or reality Given these facts, it seems that Eurotunnel’s monopoly is less complete than that of Merseytravel, who in addition to their monopoly of the Mersey by a poor and limited ferry service, and increasingly outdated and break-down prone rail service, also include a monopoly on all road crossings. How can this be right? Surely this is in breach of UK competition law and if not why is the English Channel regarded differently. Why is the non-monopolisation of the English Channel deemed so essential, when the total and absolute monopolisation of the River Mersey seemingly celebrated? And all this despite decades of limitless funding support to get this region on its feet when in other ways it has absolutely been regarded as an area of extreme special needs and circumstances. So what is really going on?? And its not just commuters who suffer. Surely the multiple issues of local worklessness, lack of investment, the huge growth of food banks, local political apathy, continuing de-population (especially the young), etc, are social conditions bought about by short sighted economic strategies that penalises any business from wanting to locate on Wirral given the excessive costs of transporting goods through these two tunnels. These tunnels are killing rational economic decision making I moved to Wirral from London ten years ago to be involved in Liverpool and the regions regeneration. In my very humble opinion the tunnel tolls are the prime reason why this area is a mess. People may not begrudge train or ferry fares, but they do begrudge road tolls when not given an alternative choice. They also loathe monopolies which prevent competition, deny choice and are clearly a means to favour an operator and not a consumer I am open to discuss this further. I use my real name on this site too, as I have nothing to hide colindyas

2:57pm Sun 5 Jan 14

Jayo says...

I think its fair to say that the tunnel is used in the majority by working folk.
To me this is yet another example of the ruling Labour party sticking it to the very people they claim to represent. Labour equals Tax rises voting Labour is voting to stay poor.
I think its fair to say that the tunnel is used in the majority by working folk. To me this is yet another example of the ruling Labour party sticking it to the very people they claim to represent. Labour equals Tax rises voting Labour is voting to stay poor. Jayo

9:23am Mon 6 Jan 14

Llamedos 1 says...

Colin, excellent post. I am sure not many of us were aware of the alleged English Chanel monopoly and is food for thought when it comes to River Mersey crossings. I am not sure how it would stack up in legal terms as Miserytravel are not as I understand it a commercial company but a Government quango PTE. The fact that they (Miserytravel) operate the underground, the ferry and the tunnels in my mind certainly screams monopoly but perhaps a FOI to the monopolies commission might enlighten us.Hmmmmmm! very interesting
Colin, excellent post. I am sure not many of us were aware of the alleged English Chanel monopoly and is food for thought when it comes to River Mersey crossings. I am not sure how it would stack up in legal terms as Miserytravel are not as I understand it a commercial company but a Government quango PTE. The fact that they (Miserytravel) operate the underground, the ferry and the tunnels in my mind certainly screams monopoly but perhaps a FOI to the monopolies commission might enlighten us.Hmmmmmm! very interesting Llamedos 1

2:34pm Mon 6 Jan 14

colindyas says...

A monopoly is a monopoly in anyone's language as monopolies create disadvantage and unfair trade options to all those affected. In the UK the relevant legislation is found in the Competitions Act and Enterprise Act. I don't know how this applies to "regulator" operated assets, but herein lies another issue of de-regulated versus regulated trading. The coalition seems to abhor the latter. So to have a regulated operation that is also a monopoly must surely be even worse?
The truth is that the tunnel is a cash cow, which with other state subsidies is a key aspect of supporting the tunnel and other local transport infrastructure assets. I don't claim to know the politics of this, but I do believe that the economic consequences are visible across the region, especially on Wirral.
I wonder why under localism legislation local people cant operate the tunnel as a non-profit organisation. Communities in Berlin are bidding to operate their city's electricity grid, so why can't people on Merseyside be in a position to operate a tunnel in competition against the trains and ferries? Perhaps because these other aspect lose money? If this is the case, restructure them too.
A monopoly is a monopoly in anyone's language as monopolies create disadvantage and unfair trade options to all those affected. In the UK the relevant legislation is found in the Competitions Act and Enterprise Act. I don't know how this applies to "regulator" operated assets, but herein lies another issue of de-regulated versus regulated trading. The coalition seems to abhor the latter. So to have a regulated operation that is also a monopoly must surely be even worse? The truth is that the tunnel is a cash cow, which with other state subsidies is a key aspect of supporting the tunnel and other local transport infrastructure assets. I don't claim to know the politics of this, but I do believe that the economic consequences are visible across the region, especially on Wirral. I wonder why under localism legislation local people cant operate the tunnel as a non-profit organisation. Communities in Berlin are bidding to operate their city's electricity grid, so why can't people on Merseyside be in a position to operate a tunnel in competition against the trains and ferries? Perhaps because these other aspect lose money? If this is the case, restructure them too. colindyas

8:49pm Thu 9 Jan 14

mikeumstiquay says...

sdfsf
sdfsf mikeumstiquay

9:07pm Thu 9 Jan 14

mikeumstiquay says...

steady cyclist wrote:
Put the charges up to 2 quid each way,close the older tunnel every night, switch off the stupid green lights in the tunnel ventalation buildings.

We need less cars on the roads, there is a perfectly good rail service between birkenhead and liverpool, along with a ferry, both there along time before the tunnels.

Oh and if you need to travel therought the tunnel because you work further away from public transport, perhaps think about moving and stop the daily gridlock and pollution us other road users have to put up with every day.

Oh and you can cycle through the mersey tunel, old one, after 20.00 every night and at weekends,its in their bylaws.
And then the alarm clock went off to break the Utopian dream and serve up a bowl of breakfast reality...
[quote][p][bold]steady cyclist[/bold] wrote: Put the charges up to 2 quid each way,close the older tunnel every night, switch off the stupid green lights in the tunnel ventalation buildings. We need less cars on the roads, there is a perfectly good rail service between birkenhead and liverpool, along with a ferry, both there along time before the tunnels. Oh and if you need to travel therought the tunnel because you work further away from public transport, perhaps think about moving and stop the daily gridlock and pollution us other road users have to put up with every day. Oh and you can cycle through the mersey tunel, old one, after 20.00 every night and at weekends,its in their bylaws.[/p][/quote]And then the alarm clock went off to break the Utopian dream and serve up a bowl of breakfast reality... mikeumstiquay

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