Mersey Tunnels: Tolls

Department for Transport written question – answered on 14th July 2017.

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Photo of Justin Madders Justin Madders Shadow Minister (Health)

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what the annual cost to the taxpayer would be of scrapping Mersey Tunnel tolls.

Photo of Jesse Norman Jesse Norman Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)

The operation and funding of the Mersey Tunnels has always been a matter for the local authorities in the area. Following the creation of the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority in 2014, the ownership of the Mersey Tunnels, and the power to set tolls, rests with them. Any decision to scrap the tolls, which cover the cost of Tunnel operations and fund other local transport priorities, would therefore be for the Combined Authority to take. We have been advised by Merseytravel, which operates the Tunnels on behalf of the Combined Authority, that the Tunnel tolls currently raise £41m per year so this would represent the cost to the local taxpayer if they were foregone. In addition, if the tunnel tolls were scrapped there might well be some leakage of traffic from the Mersey Gateway bridge, which is currently under construction and will be tolled, to the tunnels. If so, this would create an adverse impact on the finances of the bridge.

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