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Posted by: John Brace | 31st January 2011

Merseytravel Budget meeting – Bidston to Wrexham line, increase to tunnel tolls, report into removal of exemption for disabled Fast Tag users

Merseytravel’s budget meeting will be held this Thursday 3rd February at 2pm at 24 Hatton Garden, Liverpool, L3 2AN (which is open to the public). Due to the elections last year, instead of being a Labour-Tory (or Tory-Labour) run Merseytravel it is now run by Labour as ten of its eighteen councillors are from the Labour Party.

I was at its budget meeting last year and noted the removal of funding (from future year’s budgets) of the £100,000 that had been there to look into improving the Bidston to Wrexham line. As Neil Scales (Merseytravel’s Chief Executive) told Wirral Council’s Cabinet recently the line is “unloved”.

Another item of interest to Wirral’s resident’s is the proposed changes to tunnel tolls. Officers recommend that the Fast Tag discount continues, but the following rises are proposed:-

Class 1 (mainly cars, 3 wheel vehicles and motorcycles with sidecar) goes from £1.40 to £1.50 (up 10p)
Class 2 (HGVs, vehicles with trailers, two-axle vehicles carrying> 9 people) goes from £2.80 to £3.00 (up 20p)
Class 3 (HGVs with three axles, three-axle passenger carrying vehicles) goes from £4.20 to £4.50 (up 30p)
Class 4 (HGVs with four or more axles) goes from £5.60 to £6.00 (up 40p)

In addition, the meeting is going to consider recommending that a further report on determining whether the existing toll concessions for disabled drivers are “justified and appropriate”. The report on tunnel tolls can be read in full here.

If you feel strongly about these issues, Mersey Tunnel’s User Association has current contact details for the four Wirral councillors that represent Wirral’s interests on Merseytravel (one Lib Dem, two Tory and one Labour) if you would like to get in touch with them prior to the meeting.

Readers may also be interested in a similar story about the tunnel tolls in the Wirral Globe that goes into more details. Further details on how to apply for the Mersey Tunnel’s free travel concession including the application form can be found by following the link.

In the interests of open journalism, I’ll point out that my wife is currently in receipt of a “disabled fast tag” which enables her to take some free trips through Mersey Tunnels each year.


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