Send us news by text, start your message Globe News and your send photos and videos to 80360
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 are closed on this article.