Mersey Tunnel toll hike could be approved this week

Wirral Globe: Tunnel tolls could rise by 10p Tunnel tolls could rise by 10p

THE cost of travelling through the Mersey Tunnels looks set to rise for motorists.

Merseyside’s Integrated Transport Authority is being asked to approve a rise in the Mersey Tunnels tolls when it meets on Thursday, February 6.

If approved, the cost of a car journey through Kingsway and Queensway paid in cash will increase by 10p from April from £1.60 to £1.70.

Under the Tunnels Act 2004, the toll should rise in line with inflation, taking a car crossing to £1.80. The 10p discount would be at the discretion of elected members who can take into account economic and social factors should there be an overriding need.

Members are also being asked to approve a rise on the Fast Tag toll, taking it up by 10p to £1.40 for cars.

This means that for every six journeys, the equivalent of the seventh would be free.

Price hikes are also being proposed for other classes of vehicles, with Class 2 vehicles expected to see tolls set at £3.40, Class 3 vehicles at £5.10 and Class 4 vehicles at £6.80.

More than 6,000 people have pledged support for an on-line petition, launched by Shaun King from Wirral, opposing any increases.

John McGoldrick, secretary of the Mersey Tunnel Users Association, told the Globe: “We hope and demand that there isn’t a tunnel increase.

"Most people’s real income isn’t going up and the tunnel is making a big profit.

“It is not as if Merseytravel is making a big loss and it’s the only way of financing the tunnel – that is not the case.

“Each year they say they do not have a choice and that they have got to put the toll up but they really do have a choice.

“Most years for one reason or another they haven’t put up the tunnel toll although in reality they can but we are hoping that they will not do so this year.”

A spokesman for Merseytravel said: “In taking a decision members will be considering a number of factors. Primarily it is about ensuring there is enough to operate, maintain and invest in the tunnels, including there being a satisfactory buffer should unplanned emergency work be necessary.

“The role any surplus funds have in supporting wider transport infrastructure and the wider economic climate will all be taken into account.”

In 2012/13, £12,630,000 was spent on maintenance and improvements of the Kingsway and Queensway tunnels.

As well as 8km of roadway being maintained, ventilation stations, fans, water pumps, electricity generators and close to 5,500 lights need to be kept up and running.

Recent improvement schemes have included the resurfacing of Queensway and soon-to-be completed resurfacing of Kingsway, totaling £5 million pounds, and the fire main renewal in the Kingsway costing £3.5 million.

Any surplus toll revenue generated is ring-fenced for reinvestment into public transport across Merseyside as set out in the Local Transport Plan.

The debt of building the tunnels will not be paid off until 2048.

The full table of proposed charges are as follows: Class 1 current £1.60, new £1.70; Class 2 current £3.20, new £3.40; Class 3 current £4.80, new £5.10; Class 4 current £6.40, new £6.80.

Comments (9)

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12:36pm Tue 4 Feb 14

sonoferic says...

Why should a single group of people i.e. motorists, be asked to subsidise public transport via surplus revenue? If it needs subsidising then the burdon should be more evenly shared amongst all local taxpayers.

As long as the Mersey Tunnels are still paying off debt there should never be any "surplus toll revenue".
Why should a single group of people i.e. motorists, be asked to subsidise public transport via surplus revenue? If it needs subsidising then the burdon should be more evenly shared amongst all local taxpayers. As long as the Mersey Tunnels are still paying off debt there should never be any "surplus toll revenue". sonoferic

1:23pm Tue 4 Feb 14

WirralAl says...

What another load of bull. The tunnel is making money and being allowed to spend the money on what it wants ie new ferry terminals, space port etc..

The deal was that us mugs pay for the tunnel until it was paid off and then it would be free now they don't want to pay off the debt just use it where they want and rip us off more.
What another load of bull. The tunnel is making money and being allowed to spend the money on what it wants ie new ferry terminals, space port etc.. The deal was that us mugs pay for the tunnel until it was paid off and then it would be free now they don't want to pay off the debt just use it where they want and rip us off more. WirralAl

2:13pm Tue 4 Feb 14

ballacrain says...

Time I think for all motorists to stop using the tunnels,if possible use public transport or go the long way round.If no money coming in what will the powers be do for their grand ideas.

Ballacrain
Time I think for all motorists to stop using the tunnels,if possible use public transport or go the long way round.If no money coming in what will the powers be do for their grand ideas. Ballacrain ballacrain

3:39pm Tue 4 Feb 14

No.9 says...

These tolls are nothing more than a tax without representation upon mainly Wirral Commuters with much of it funding the Ferries and unprofitable bus services, and I wonder how much is invested in Dutch-owned Merseyrail? Or was used to offset the Merseytram losses of over £70million?

Regular direct action is needed to elevate the protest to the national media where perhaps some enterprising journalist would lay this whole sorry saga bare, revealing the facts of how the disgraceful Tunnels Bill was shoe-horned through Parliament with "just a little help" from Scottish 'pay-per-vote' MPs who didn't have a clue about what they were voting for!

Remember the Great Gravy Train Robbery?.. where Merseytravel councillors set their own allowances (before expenses) with Mark Dowd trousering nearly 50 grand one year!

How on earth can Merseytravel state that the debts will not be paid until 2048? Even at the current rate of debt repayment (which is a mere quarter of the current tolls at £10million per year) the tunnels would be debt-ree by 2026!

National media attention may discourage future business investment in the Merseyside region which in turn may alert the gang of self-servers in their cosy new, £2.8million a year (not to mention the £85million it cost for the move) offices on the Strand - wonder who paid for that!
These tolls are nothing more than a tax without representation upon mainly Wirral Commuters with much of it funding the Ferries and unprofitable bus services, and I wonder how much is invested in Dutch-owned Merseyrail? Or was used to offset the Merseytram losses of over £70million? Regular direct action is needed to elevate the protest to the national media where perhaps some enterprising journalist would lay this whole sorry saga bare, revealing the facts of how the disgraceful Tunnels Bill was shoe-horned through Parliament with "just a little help" from Scottish 'pay-per-vote' MPs who didn't have a clue about what they were voting for! Remember the Great Gravy Train Robbery?.. where Merseytravel councillors set their own allowances (before expenses) with Mark Dowd trousering nearly 50 grand one year! How on earth can Merseytravel state that the debts will not be paid until 2048? Even at the current rate of debt repayment (which is a mere quarter of the current tolls at £10million per year) the tunnels would be debt-ree by 2026! National media attention may discourage future business investment in the Merseyside region which in turn may alert the gang of self-servers in their cosy new, £2.8million a year (not to mention the £85million it cost for the move) offices on the Strand - wonder who paid for that! No.9

3:43pm Tue 4 Feb 14

Phil_jacques@hotmail.com says...

Whats the point in hiking the price, its just more money to chuck in the machine that it will spit out. The amount of times I have to keep putting money in until it accepts a coin or have to put more in because it didn't register the first coin, then wait until the barrier decides to lift up...

Get your house in order before charging us more,

The day I get a job that doesn't involve me using the rip off tunnel will be a huge burden off my shoulders..
Whats the point in hiking the price, its just more money to chuck in the machine that it will spit out. The amount of times I have to keep putting money in until it accepts a coin or have to put more in because it didn't register the first coin, then wait until the barrier decides to lift up... Get your house in order before charging us more, The day I get a job that doesn't involve me using the rip off tunnel will be a huge burden off my shoulders.. Phil_jacques@hotmail.com

4:20pm Tue 4 Feb 14

David Scott says...

With Con, Lib, or Lab parties in charge there is no prospect of the Mersey tunnel tolls being removed, as Labour and Con-Lib governments, have arranged to link the Mersey Tunnel tolls to the tolls to be charged to pay for the 'Mersey Gateway' at Runcorn. With one hand they are content to damage the local economy, and with the other they spend public money to try to boost it - it makes no sense.
With Con, Lib, or Lab parties in charge there is no prospect of the Mersey tunnel tolls being removed, as Labour and Con-Lib governments, have arranged to link the Mersey Tunnel tolls to the tolls to be charged to pay for the 'Mersey Gateway' at Runcorn. With one hand they are content to damage the local economy, and with the other they spend public money to try to boost it - it makes no sense. David Scott

5:21pm Tue 4 Feb 14

David says...

Perhaps if the totally unnecessary resurfacing of the Kingsway tunnel was cancelled this toll rise would be avoided. The concrete surface has lasted for 40 years and shows no signs of wear whatsoever, whereas a tarmac coating will erode leaving potholes and need replacing every 5 years or so.
Perhaps if the totally unnecessary resurfacing of the Kingsway tunnel was cancelled this toll rise would be avoided. The concrete surface has lasted for 40 years and shows no signs of wear whatsoever, whereas a tarmac coating will erode leaving potholes and need replacing every 5 years or so. David

5:36pm Tue 4 Feb 14

Llamedos 1 says...

Underground crossing by rail, tunnels and a ferry service....why is a government quango Miserytravel allowed to run this monopoly of River Mersey crossings. I always thought HMG were against monopolies (for quite rightly obvious reasons) but they are happy to let this bunch of rip off merchants stealth tax, in particular, the residents of Wirral. Any experts on monopolies give us an opinion?
Underground crossing by rail, tunnels and a ferry service....why is a government quango Miserytravel allowed to run this monopoly of River Mersey crossings. I always thought HMG were against monopolies (for quite rightly obvious reasons) but they are happy to let this bunch of rip off merchants stealth tax, in particular, the residents of Wirral. Any experts on monopolies give us an opinion? Llamedos 1

11:43am Wed 5 Feb 14

Cheesy Peas says...

"Any surplus toll revenue generated is ring-fenced for reinvestment into public transport across Merseyside as set out in the Local Transport Plan."

Like the doomed tram service that was only for a small section of Liverpool, funded largely by Wirral motorists who would reap no benefit from it at all, and which was in any case abandoned after costing millions.

The toll machines are constantly "rejecting" newer coins; how much surplus does that result in, and why aren't we told?
"Any surplus toll revenue generated is ring-fenced for reinvestment into public transport across Merseyside as set out in the Local Transport Plan." Like the doomed tram service that was only for a small section of Liverpool, funded largely by Wirral motorists who would reap no benefit from it at all, and which was in any case abandoned after costing millions. The toll machines are constantly "rejecting" newer coins; how much surplus does that result in, and why aren't we told? Cheesy Peas

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