VOTE: Halton residents to get free journeys over new bridge

Runcorn and Widnes World: How the bridge will look How the bridge will look

RESIDENTS in Widnes and Runcorn will pay £10 a year to get 300 journeys over the new Mersey Gateway Bridge and the current Silver Jubilee Bridge when tolls are introduced in 2017.

The scheme was approved at a full council meeting by Halton Council on Wednesday.

It means residents will avoid paying the £2 each way charge every time they make the crossing.

But they will have to register for the free trips - at a cost of £10.

The free trips will be capped at 25 per month.

Clr Rob Polhill, Leader of Halton Council said: “We have lobbied hard for no tolls on the new bridge and on the Silver Jubilee Bridge, but Government are clear – no tolls, no bridge – we all know a new bridge is desperately needed.

"We must now all accept, however painful, that tolls on Mersey Gateway and Silver Jubilee Bridge are a given and get on with the building phase without further delay and uncertainty.

"However, as we committed from the outset, we have spent many months looking for the best local user discount scheme we can get for Halton residents.

"The discount scheme has to be affordable from within the project and comply with the legal powers in the Tolling Orders approved by the Inspector at the Planning Inquiry, and Government have also limited Halton when it comes to the amount we can spend on discounts.

"However, the Mersey Gateway procurement process has delivered savings and I am pleased to report the council has agreed to use these savings to give Halton residents a better discount scheme than we could have given under the Government’s tight financial restrictions.

"I hope this demonstrates the commitment of the Council to reducing the burden of tolling on Halton’s residents.

"We will continue to press the Government to maximise the re-investment of any extra toll income to ensure that Halton residents get the best deal possible.”

Comments (5)

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8:06pm Thu 12 Dec 13

nasguk says...

One question: Is a 'trip' classed as a return journey or a one way journey? If it is the latter then it has truly ridiculous reasoning. Whose logic was it to make the monthly figure an odd number? So, for a resident of either Widnes or Runcorn, the aim of a journey over the current bridge is on a round-trip basis (i.e. to return to your home at the end of the day/trip), thus on your 13th journey you have to pay £2 to get home. I wonder if this capping also applies to council vehicles, including mayoral vehicle too, or are our Council Taxes penned in to finance their 'trips'?
One question: Is a 'trip' classed as a return journey or a one way journey? If it is the latter then it has truly ridiculous reasoning. Whose logic was it to make the monthly figure an odd number? So, for a resident of either Widnes or Runcorn, the aim of a journey over the current bridge is on a round-trip basis (i.e. to return to your home at the end of the day/trip), thus on your 13th journey you have to pay £2 to get home. I wonder if this capping also applies to council vehicles, including mayoral vehicle too, or are our Council Taxes penned in to finance their 'trips'? nasguk

12:17am Fri 13 Dec 13

Gas giant says...

Why do councilors insist "we need a new bridge" we don't need a new bridge we've got one, let somebody else build the **** bridge and then all the traffic that come to use our bridge will go somewhere else, problem solved!
Why do councilors insist "we need a new bridge" we don't need a new bridge we've got one, let somebody else build the **** bridge and then all the traffic that come to use our bridge will go somewhere else, problem solved! Gas giant

4:13pm Fri 13 Dec 13

stescaz says...

Well what a joke 25 free crossings. I live in Runcorn and work in Widnes and need more than 25 free crossings. I would need 40 free crossings

I don't see how they can charge us too use the Silver Jubilee bridge as its a public road and paid by public money. Once again the ordinary folk are getting robbed with another tax.

Time vote that dosey Derek Twigg out of office as he has done nothing for Runcorn.
Well what a joke 25 free crossings. I live in Runcorn and work in Widnes and need more than 25 free crossings. I would need 40 free crossings I don't see how they can charge us too use the Silver Jubilee bridge as its a public road and paid by public money. Once again the ordinary folk are getting robbed with another tax. Time vote that dosey Derek Twigg out of office as he has done nothing for Runcorn. stescaz

2:00am Sat 14 Dec 13

sagiram says...

is it not illegal to charge a toll on any of the queens highways.....and does road tax not cover it otherwise....
is it not illegal to charge a toll on any of the queens highways.....and does road tax not cover it otherwise.... sagiram

1:10pm Tue 17 Dec 13

The Maestro says...

sagiram wrote:
is it not illegal to charge a toll on any of the queens highways.....and does road tax not cover it otherwise....
There's no such thing as road tax- it was abolished in 1937, road are maintained via general taxation and council tax charges, this new bridge will be privately owned therefore not public highway so the owner can charge. Not sure about public highway but that's an angle to look into. I also find it very annoying that I can have 25 free trips, I work on the over side of the Mersey and need more than 25 trips, plus what if I was to want to use the leisure facilities HBC have place only in Widnes?
[quote][p][bold]sagiram[/bold] wrote: is it not illegal to charge a toll on any of the queens highways.....and does road tax not cover it otherwise....[/p][/quote]There's no such thing as road tax- it was abolished in 1937, road are maintained via general taxation and council tax charges, this new bridge will be privately owned therefore not public highway so the owner can charge. Not sure about public highway but that's an angle to look into. I also find it very annoying that I can have 25 free trips, I work on the over side of the Mersey and need more than 25 trips, plus what if I was to want to use the leisure facilities HBC have place only in Widnes? The Maestro

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