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Liverpool Echo
Liverpool Echo
David Humphreys

Further Mersey Tunnel toll rise should be 'realistic' consideration

A member of Liverpool City Region’s transport committee has suggested Mersey Tunnel tolls should go up further ahead of a planned increase being ratified later this week.

On Friday, members of the city region’s combined authority will meet to ratify its budget for the next financial year. Among the proposals are a rise in tolls for some motorists using the Wallasey and Birkenhead tunnels.

While the cash toll for a single journey will be frozen at £2, the price of a discounted single journey for someone living in the city region with a T Flow account will rise by 20p to £1.40. The proposals will also include the T-Flow toll for non city region residents which will rise by 20p from £1.80 to £2.

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The Combined Authority said the new prices will still mean that local people travelling through the Mersey Tunnels will continue to pay the lowest prices, with 45% of all Mersey Tunnels users being T-Flow or Fast Tag holders living in the city region. If the proposals are agreed by councillors on Friday, they will come into effect from April.

However, Wirral Green councillor Chris Cooke suggested the Combined Authority may need to “be brave” moving forward and potentially consider further rate rises down the line. He told a meeting of the city region transport committee how currently drivers get good value on Merseyside compared to other areas of the country.

He said motorists were getting a good deal compared to areas like the North East where drivers pay £1.90 for a mile long tunnel journey. Asked by committee vice-chair, Cllr Steve Foulkes, if he would support a £5 toll fee, Cllr Cooke said he wouldn’t but said changes to fees were something the authority would need to “realistically” consider collectively in future.

While there will be toll rises for some drivers, there is better news coming for public transport users. Liverpool City Region Mayor Steve Rotheram recently cut the cost of a single adult bus fare to £2, including on cross-river services where passengers are now saving more than 1/3 per journey compared to last year. The cost of a MyTicket has also been frozen at £2.20, giving the region’s young people unlimited, all-day travel.

Mersey Ferries commuter passengers’ fares will remain frozen – at £2.90 for a single and £3.80 for a return journey – which it is hoped will encourage more people to use them.

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