COUNCILLORS have voted in favour of a recommended freeze on tunnel tolls for the next year during a Merseytravel committee meeting this afternoon.

The decision will now be considered by members of the Combined Authority when it meets tomorrow to set toll levels.

If approved, the Fast Tag toll will stay at £1.20 for car users and the cash toll at its current rate of £1.70.

Also among the recommendations are free tunnel entry for emergency services liveried vehicles and for all users between 10pm on Christmas Eve and 6am on Boxing Day as public transport services are not available during these times.

Moving the proposed freeze on tolls, Cllr Liam Robinson, chairman of Merseytravel committee said: "The tunnels do not receive any funding from central government.

"Charging a toll for people to use the tunnel is fairer than it being funded by council tax.

"I'm really pleased that we are able to be able to recommend a freeze.

The tolls were frozen at £1.70 when the authority met this time last year.

In a letter to Merseytravel the Mersey Tunnels Users Association (MTUA) before the meeting  councillors were urged to scrap the charge.

It reads: "We believe that any tolling is unfair and divides families, friends and businesses in our region.

"The situation is made worse by the Authority continuing to profit from the Tunnels and we ask that you stop the profit taking and that you introduce concessions that will ease the tolls burden on all drivers.

"There could be a substantial reduction in all tolls and / or the Authority could reconsider some of the suggestions that we have made in the past."