The author’s wife has a Fast Tag for the Mersey Tunnels issued on disability grounds, therefore she does not have to pay the tolls referred to below.
Yesterday (at the time of publication which you can watch above) was the annual public meeting where councillors on the Transport Committee (formerly called the Merseytravel Committee) of the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority made a recommendation on the Mersey Tunnel tolls (although the final decision will be made after this article is published by a different set of politicians on the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority). Continue reading “Councillors recommend 10p rise in Mersey Tunnel cash tolls from 1st April 2018”
Councillors on the Merseytravel Committee of the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority today met and decided on their recommendation for Mersey Tunnels tolls for 2017-18. Mersey Tunnels is the name for the two tolled road tunnels between Wirral and Liverpool under the River Mersey known as the Kingsway (Wallasey) and Queensway (Birkenhead) tunnels.
Three of the four councillors appointed by Wirral Council (Cllr Steve Foulkes (Labour), Cllr Jerry Williams (Labour) and Cllr Ron Abbey (Labour)) were at the meeting and agreed to the recommendation for Mersey Tunnel tolls. Their recommendation was made to a meeting of the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority that meets tomorrow on the 3rd February 2017 to make a final decision.
The recommendation for tunnel tolls (subject to approval by the Mayor of Liverpool and Council Leaders tomorrow afternoon) will take effect from the 1st April 2017.
Tolls are agreed in four “classes” which are set out below.
Class 1 (a) Motor cycle with side car and 3 wheeled vehicle (b) Motor car and goods vehicle up to 3.5 tonnes gross weight (c) Passenger vehicle other than a motor car with seating capacity for under 9 persons
Class 2 (a) Motor car and goods vehicle up to 3.5 tonnes gross weight, with trailer (b) Goods vehicle over 3.5 tonnes gross weight, with trailer (c) Passenger vehicle with seating capacity for 9 or more persons, with two axles
Class 3 (a) Goods vehicle over 3.5 tonnes gross weight, with three axles (b) Passenger vehicle with seating capacity for 9 or more persons, with three axles
Goods vehicle over 3.5 tonnes gross weight, with 4 or more axles
Councillors recommended that all liveried emergency services vehicles (such as marked police cars, fire engines and ambulances) continue to be allowed free travel through the Mersey Tunnels in 2017-18.
Free travel for all classes of vehicle was also recommended from 10 pm on the 24th December 2016 to 6 am on the 26th December 2016.
Below is a table of the tolls recommended by councillors at the Merseytravel Committee meeting today from the 1st April 2017 to the 30th March 2018 for each class of vehicle for both the cash toll and Fast Tag toll.
Liverpool City Region Combined Authority decides to freeze Mersey Tunnels cash tolls for 2016/17 at 2015/16 levels, reduce Fast Tag tolls in 2016/17, not charge tolls on Christmas Day 2016 and no tolls for emergency vehicles
Councillors on the Merseytravel Committee met on Thursday afternoon to decide on a recommendation on Mersey Tunnel tolls for 2016/17. Their recommendation was accepted at a meeting of the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority that met the following day on Friday morning.
You can view video of the Merseytravel Committee meeting on Youtube below (starting at agenda item 6 (Mersey Tunnel tolls).
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The decision made was that cash tolls would be kept the same for 2016/17 as they were in 2015/16. The cash toll levels decided for 2016/17 are shown below.
2016/17 Cash toll
The price for Fast Tag tolls was reduced for 2016/17. Below is a table of 2016/17 Fast Tag tolls compared to 2015/16.
2016/17 Fast Tag toll
2015/16 Fast Tag toll
There were also other changes agreed for 2016/17. Tunnel tolls will be waived for all classes of traffic between 10 pm on Christmas Eve (24th December 2016) to 6 am on Boxing Day (26th December 2016). All designated emergency vehicles will no longer have to pay tolls in 2016/17.
These were the votes on the Mersey Tunnel tolls decision at the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority meeting.
FOR THE PROPOSAL (4)
Mayor Joe Anderson (Liverpool City Council) FOR
Cllr Phil Davies (Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council) FOR
Cllr Andy Moorhead (Knowsley Council) FOR
Cllr John Fairclough (Sefton Council) deputy for Cllr Ian Maher (Sefton Council) FOR
Cllr Rob Polhill (Halton) ABSTAIN
Reacting to the decision, John McGoldrick representing the Mersey Tunnels Users Association stated that “the [Liverpool City Region Combined] Authority would still be making a massive profit from the Tunnels and that most users of the Tunnels would not be seeing the reductions in tolls promised last year.”;
During the meeting of the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority Cllr Phil Davies (pictured below) said,
“Yeah, I’d just like to say a few things about this. I welcome the recommendations of Merseytravel yesterday and the recommendations in this report.
Errm, I think I just need to record the fact that I’ve been involved in the errm the Task Group that’s been looking at this so, this issue errm, but I clearly wanted to, to hear what the outcome of the meeting is today was and I do endorse the approach.
I mean from each err, errm, we did make a commitment in the devolution deal that we gain control of the finances of the Mersey, Mersey Tunnels, errm and certainly you know, wearing my Wirral hat, I think this is definitely a big move forward, errm.
You know, the id.., the fact that the errm the cash toll has been frozen for a further year is great news but even more importantly the Fast Tag, which is effectively a local discount, is being reduced by 20p. So that would mean that errm, there’ll be a 50%, 50p discount per a journey, using the Fast Tag which if you’re travelling, if you’re travelling each day, it could be a saving of £5 a week.
So I think this is err, you know if I can use the expression, I think this is the kind of devolution dividend deal if you like, the deal that was signed with government, I think it will help local people who use the Fast Tag and local businesses. Errm and I really think this is a good demonstration of the value we’re getting already from the devolution deal but finally Chair I’d like to say I’m hoping in future err years we can go even further.
I think we need to do err more work, err more, I know there are more discussions errm err going on with government about us gaining even greater control over the finances of the Tunnels. Certainly from a personal point of view, I’d like to see us continue to drive down the costs of the err tunnel tolls for residents particularly local users, but I do welcome the recommendations in the report. Thanks Chair.”
Just for clarity, the discount for Fast Tag users (compared to cash tolls) for 2016/17 is not 50% as stated by Cllr Phil Davies. It’s (to the nearest percent) 29% for class 1, 29% for class 2, 29% for class 3 and 29% for class 4.
Every so often I write a post that answers questions people have posed by searching for my blog in search engines.
There have been a couple of searches today for the Merseyside Pension Fund Annual Accounts for 2010/2011.
Merseyside Pension Fund is administered by Wirral Council. There are of course two versions of the accounts for 2010/2011, the unaudited and audited accounts. The audited accounts are below. Please click for a larger version. The rest of the information relating to the accounts can be found on Wirral Council’s website.
The second question is from visitors curious about Lib Dem Ed Davey MP (Minister for Employment Relations, Consumer and Postal Affairs)’s letter to local councils about Post Offices. I’ve requested a copy from Ed Davey and will write about this issue when I receive it.
A reader asks “How do you use a disabled Mersey Tunnel fast tag?” . This is very simple.
You go through the tunnel as normal to the toll booth or if going to Liverpool reach the toll booth first.
Disabled Fast Tags can only be used at manned toll booths so make sure you go to the right one. Unmanned toll booths (such as the one reached if you come out of the tunnel from Liverpool and turn left) confusingly marked “Fast Tag” can’t be used (unless you want to create a major traffic jam backing up into the Tunnel!).
Once you’ve waited in the queue, show the person in the toll booth your Merseytravel issued photo ID card. They will then check the Merseytravel issued photo ID, a trip will be added to your Fast Tag. Within a short time the barrier should be up and you should be on your way.
However there are rules to follow:-
If using a disabled Fast Tag you can’t:-
a) carry passengers for hire or reward (eg taxi driver etc)
b) carry goods for hire or reward
c) travel without paying if you don’t have either the photo ID or the Fast Tag
d) the Fast Tag/concession is tied to a particular vehicle; if you travel in a different vehicle it won’t be allowed
e) a tolls officer may request your Blue Badge. If you can’t produce it you may have to pay.
f) there have been reports from disabled people of tolls officers disputing whether a person looks like their photo ID. People’s appearance over the up to 3 years the Fast Tag is valid for can vary. Many disabled people can have to wear glasses when driving that alters their appearance or if having a bad day can look older than their photo.