Drivers pay more than £80m to cross the Mersey

New data reveals how much it costs UK motorists to use the UK’s toll bridges, roads and tunnels and finds the Mersey Tunnels and the New Mersey Gateway bridge are among the highest. Tony McDonough reports

Mersey Tunnels
Around 65,000 vehicles a day use the Mersey Tunnels


Both the New Mersey Gateway bridge and the Mersey Tunnels are in the top five most expensive toll roads in the UK.

New data from comparison site GoCompare reveals how much it costs for motorists using toll bridges, roads and tunnels across the UK. And it shows drivers are paying more than £80m a year to cross the River Mersey.

According to the study, around 65,000 vehicles a day pass through the Birkenhead Tunnel (Queensway), opened in 1934, and the Wallasey Tunnel (Kingsway), which was opened in 1971. Standard toll is £1.80, although this falls to £1 for fast tag users. Annual revenues from the tunnels is more than £42.8m.

Opening in October 2017, the New Mersey Gateway Bridge at Halton cost £600m and took more than three years to build and was designed to take pressure off the existing Silver Jubilee Bridge between Runcorn and Widnes, which has just reopened as a toll bridge following a refurbishment.

Combined, the two bridges carrying more than 54,000 vehicles a day. It costs £2 for a single crossing on both bridges and, according to GoCompare, annual revenues come I at around £38.9m. 

The survey says the Halton Crossing is the third most expensive toll road in the UK, which the Mersey Tunnels come in fifth place. Most expensive in the UK is the M6 toll road which charges £6.70 for a single journey. Second is the Dartford Crossing at £2.70. The Tamar Bridge is fourth at £2.

Cheapest tolls in the UK include the Dunham Bridge in Lincolnshire only charges drivers 40p to cross, taking £100,000 a year, and Kingsland Bridge in Shrewsbury, which charges 50p for cars and earns £115,000 a year.

Mersey Tunnels come under the remit of Liverpool City Region Metro Mayor, Steve Rotheram. He has pledged to keep tolls as low as possible and says the £1 Fast Tag toll, introduced in 2019, is the lowest price for 20 years.

He also put a freeze on any rises for the current financial year and during the first lockdown in 2020 he allowed motorists to use the tunnels for free to support essential workers during the pandemic.

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