PLANS to give free toll crossings to more drivers crossing the Mersey Gateway is being proposed by Halton Council and the Mersey Gateway Crossings Board (MGCB).

People are being asked for their views about the proposed changes during a three week consultation period.

More than eight million vehicles have used the bridge since it opened six months ago.

Halton Council can’t remove the tolls or reduce them as they are needed to pay for the new infrastructure.

But since the bridge opened, the council and the MGCB have been listening to comments and observations from users and Halton MPs and are now proposing a series of changes give more drivers free tolls and clarify a number of other issues.

Once finalised, the changes will form part of an updated Road User Charging Scheme Order (RUSCO).

The Halton Local User Discount Support Scheme would be changed to the Halton Local User Discount Scheme Economic Hardship Scheme.

The proposed changes would allow students and apprentices living in council tax band G& H properties and Halton residents who have a disability but are not eligible for a blue badge, whose disability prevents them from driving to register a vehicle which will benefit from toll exemption when they are travelling in the vehicle to cross the bridge free of charge.

All emergency vehicles, including those that transport blood, plasma, and human organs, and agricultural tractors would become eligible for free tolls.

The plans also include reducing tolls for motorhomes so that they are in the same classification as cars.

The consultation runs until March 29, 2018.

For further details and to share your views visit,,

Alternatively paper copies are available at the council’s Halton Direect Link buildings in Widnes and Runcorn.

The outcome of the consultation will be reported to a council meeting in April.

If satisfied, the council will resolve to make an updated RUCSO.

Once the updated RUCSO has been made, it is intended that it will have immediate effect, since it does not change the toll charges payable and it will be advertised.

The existing RUCSO will be revoked by the updated RUCSO is made.