CAMPAIGNERS against the Mersey tunnel tolls will stage a protest on Easter Sunday – the day a charge increase comes into force.

The rise to £1.80 was voted through during Liverpool City Region Combined Authority's budget meeting last month.

It was among a series of measures proposed by Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram that were approved during the meeting.

They included: 

  • A cheaper off-peak £1 toll for Fast Tag users.
  • A new discount for off-peak travellers, effective between 7pm and 7am, Monday to Saturday and all day Sunday.
  • Tolls for cars and light vans with tags remain at £1.20 except for those using the Tunnels on Sundays or at night (from 7pm to 7am Monday to Saturday) when the toll will be reduced to £1.

Sunday's demonstration will take place from 10am until noon in Oakdale Road, Wallasey at the bridge over the approach to Wallasey Tunnel.

It has been organised by Mersey Tunnel Users Association.

Its chair Dave Loudon said: "Following this latest increase it is forecast that they will make over £12 million profits from the Tunnels.

"Taking this money from drivers not only breaks pre-election pledges it also hurts families and the local economy.

"Since last October our region has been split into two by a toll barrier as we now also have tolls on the crossing between Widnes and Runcorn.

"Unlike the Tunnels, the Mersey Gateway has no toll booths and we forecast that over this Easter weekend there will be lots of visitors to the area who will be caught out.

"There is no warning of the tolls until you are almost at the crossing and many drivers will either miss the signs that suggest drivers go online to pay or will miss the deadline.

"The result will be that there are even more £40 fines going out to add to the 800,000 a year that Merseyflow are already issuing.

"Unless more people protest the future looks even bleaker for those in our region who need to cross the river.

"We urge everyone to sign the petition asking for all the tolls on the Mersey to be scrapped."

To support the MTUA's campaign, visit the website

Prior to his proposals being approved last month, Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram said the measures were designed to reduce costs for regular and local users of the Mersey Tunnels.

He added: "By freezing the fast tag and introducing the £1 off-peak, we are striving to make cross-river travel as affordable and convenient as possible.

"Encouraging more people to travel off-peak will also help to reduce congestion and improve air quality by reducing the number of queuing vehicles.

"A review and refresh of tunnel operations is under way, which amongst other things, will look at the introduction of contactless payment and new technology.

"As part of that process I would want to look at ways in which we can make it as easy as possible for people to use the cheapest payment option."