Liverpool

Mersey Gateway: Motorbikes and local buses to avoid toll

Artist's impression of Mersey Gateway bridge Image copyright Mersey Gateway
Image caption Construction of the bridge is due to be completed in autumn

Motorbikes and local buses will be able to cross the new Mersey Gateway bridge toll-free, it has been confirmed.

A journey across the bridge, which will link Widnes and Runcorn, will carry a £2 charge for vans, cars and taxis.

Halton Borough Council has told taxi drivers to pass the charge on to passengers and is working on a scheme to reimburse residents.

Motorbikes and local buses will not be subject to tolls.

Taxi drivers met with union Unite last month over objections to £2 toll charges.

Widnes taxi driver Paul Harrison, who previously described the plans as "absolutely insane", said about 500 drivers would be affected.

The Mersey Gateway bridge

  • The bridge will be 3,280ft (1km) long, consisting of four spans supported from three towers
  • The 260ft (80m) high central tower will be shorter than the 360ft (110m) north tower and 410ft (125m) south tower
  • The total length, including the approach viaducts will be 1.3 miles (2.13km)
  • It will have a speed limit of 60mph

Source: Mersey Gateway

Registration for free travel and discounts for drivers will open in the summer.

Local residents will be able to avoid the car toll in return for an annual £10 charge and blue badge holders will be able to apply for toll-free travel in return for a lower charge of £5 a year.

Larger vans and minibuses will be charged £6 and heavy goods vehicles £8.

the bridge will not have toll booths and number plate reading technology will be used to collect payments.

The council hope the six-lane bridge will ease congestion on the existing Silver Jubilee Bridge, which will close for about 12 months for repairs after the new crossing opens.

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