MERSEYTRAVEL is considering an increase in tunnel tolls.

The board meets on Thursday to ponder whether there should be an increase, and if so, if it should be a 10p or 20p hike.

The board report recommends raising the current £1.40 charge to £1.60, but a complex "discount" process would mean the actual fee would be set at £1.50.

The toll was last increased by 10p in April of 2008.

The Mersey Tunnel Users action group is lobbying for no increase to be imposed.

A statement from them says: "The board report implies tolls have little or no impact on business and that tolls are actually good for Wirral jobs!

"Like us you will probably think that this is all nonsense, but most of the local councillors may accept what is in a report from consultants and forget their own experience which should tell them that tolls are a physical and psychological barrier which can only harm an economy because they inhibit free movement and trade."

"The report also claims that if tolls are not increased, then congestion will increase.

"In our view most of the congestion is caused by toll collection, and removing tolls would reduce congestion."

Wirral's Merseytravel board member Conservative councillor Chris Blakely said he was unable to comment ahead of the meeting.

He would only say he will: "consider all the arguments before making a decision. Officers will have to make a very convincing argument for me to vote in favour."

If the increase is approved it would come into effect this April.