I WRITE as a hackney driver licensed in the borough of Halton.

The result of a recent meeting with the licensing committee and representatives of the Mersey Gateway company has left us in somewhat of a state of shock.

It seems both hackney and private hire vehicles licensed in Halton will not directly be allowed over the bridge for free.

Rather they will be charged an additional £4 (£2 each way) to enable the taxi to return to its own place of work.

The driver then has to provide a receipt for the same, whereupon the customer, should they reside within Halton, can take the receipt to their nearest council one-stop shop and be redeemed their toll.

We feel as an industry in this borough that this is not good enough.

Customers are not going to have the time, inclination or finance to simply nip in and get a refund.

They have not got transport remember, so it is going to cost them for yet another trip in a taxi or bus.

I think it is time, before this bridge opens by late August, for the public of our borough to be made aware of both the Mersey Gateway’s and the council’s wishes, before their delaying tactics pay off.

Paul Harrison