New payment system going live at Mersey Tunnels

From Wednesday a new way of paying for journeys through the Mersey Tunnels, via video technology, is going live and will eventually replace Fast Tag for all users. Tony McDonough reports

Mersey Tunnels
T-FLOW is replacing Fast Tag at the Mersey Tunnels


New video technology will go live at the Mersey tunnels on Wednesday, November 3, eventually replacing the current Fast Tag payment system.

Although the Fast Tag system will still work for existing customers, new customers will have to use the new £850,000 system, called T-FLOW,  at the Queensway (Birkenhead) and Kingsway (Wallasey) tunnels.

Work has been carried out over the last few months to install automatic number place recognition (ANPR) cameras in all toll lanes at both tunnels. The cameras will read vehicle number plates and activate the payment process if they are registered to an account. Once payment has been approved, the barrier will rise.

Account holders will also see a website upgrade to support online self-service. As was previously the case, a number of vehicles can be added to one account for electronic payment.

Initially, only new customers will be added to the T-FLOW system and they will be able to use the system within 30 minutes after registering (having previously had to wait for a Fast Tag device to arrive in the post).

To allow for a smooth transition period, existing Fast Tag users can continue to use their tags as normal. They will be contacted directly to discuss transferring to T-FLOW over the coming months.

The new video tolling system only applies to T-FLOW or Fast Tag account holders. Cash and contactless payments will still be available for tunnel users who prefer to pay for their crossing this way.

Cllr Liam Robinson, Transport and Air Quality Portfolio Holder for the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, said: “With more 70,000 journeys a day, the tunnels are critical to the social and economic wellbeing of our region.

“So continued investment is needed to keep them running both efficiently and safely. Introducing this cutting-edge technology that delivers real benefits is part of our wider vision to make transport services easier and more convenient for people to use.

“The tunnels discount scheme introduced by the Metro Mayor in 2019 is still the cheapest and most convenient way to pay for journeys, and we would urge those who have not yet registered for an account to do so and receive these benefits.”

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