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Mersey Gateway Bridge: Tolls

Department for Transport written question – answered on 11th December 2017.

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Photo of Maria Eagle Maria Eagle Labour, Garston and Halewood

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will take steps to remove the disparity in tolls on the Mersey Gateway Bridge between people who live within the local authority boundaries of Liverpool City Council and Knowsley Borough Council and those who have a Halton postcode.

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

As the recent Westminster Hall debate made clear, tolling on the Mersey Gateway Bridge is the responsibility of Halton Borough Council.

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.

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