ALL taxis and drivers of other business vehicles will be required to pay a toll to cross either the Mersey Gateway or Silver Jubilee bridges when the new bridge opens in autumn.

This is in line with other major tolled crossings around the UK, including Mersey Tunnels.

Halton Council is looking to develop and fund a scheme that will mean eligible Halton residents can reclaim the toll cost from any taxi journeys they make across either of the bridges.

This will mean taxi drivers don’t lose out in relation to the toll charges and also means eligible Halton residents are able to reclaim the toll cost.

The decision to toll taxis and other business vehicles was made and communicated as part of the Mersey Gateway public inquiry in 2009, and subsequently published along with the toll charges and discount schemes in 2013.

It is not new.

The council has already developed and is funding, along with a contribution from the Government, a local user discount scheme to provide unlimited free travel to eligible Halton residents for private car use, providing they register and pay a £10 annual administration fee.

Any non-private or business car use will be subject to a toll.

The council has worked extremely hard to ensure local people do not pay a toll when using the bridges for private car use.

A local user discount scheme has been developed, funded by the council and central government, that achieves this.

The council recognises some Halton residents may not have access to a car.

Local buses using the Silver Jubilee Bridge are not tolled.

From time to time Halton residents may need to use a taxi.

To ensure these residents are not disadvantaged when using a taxi to cross the bridge the council is developing and funding a scheme to reimburse Halton residents the toll cost incurred as part of a taxi fare.

The scheme in respect of taxi usage is still in its development and the council welcomes comments.

Please send these to enquiries@ by February 28.

David Parr

Chief executive

Halton Council