The Council has been clear from the time of early preparatory work for the bridge that it could only be constructed with the support of toll revenue, and that this would require also tolling the Silver Jubilee Bridge once renovated.
The Government has made a commitment by £288m to help fund this important piece of new infrastructure over the coming years, on top of the £86m already provided to Halton to develop the scheme and pay for land and contamination. The scheme is to that for the Dartford Crossing, which also has free use (after paying a small fee every year) for those in the immediate vicinity, but not for those outside it. The other major crossing across the Mersey, the Mersey Tunnels, is tolled for everyone, including those who live in the immediate vicinity.
The further extension of free tolling would incur substantial costs, much of which would fall on local councils, and would incur a very high risk of successful legal challenge.