ALMOST 40 drivers have broken down on the Mersey Gateway since it opened in October.

Bridge builder Merseylink has confirmed that 37 vehicles that had a mechanical failure or were involved in a crash were towed off by contractors Hough Green Garage, levying a recovery and storage charge.

Drivers have been asking for advice about what to do if they break down on the tolled crossing.

We put the following questions to Merseylink and here are their answers:

What should drivers do if they break down on the Mersey Gateway?

You should pull over to the left hand side of the carriageway and switch on your hazard warning lights.

If you are unable to safely manoeuvre your vehicle to the left hand side of the carriageway you should attempt to pull over to the right hand side or another area that provides refuge and switch on your hazard warning lights.

You should then call Merseylink on 0330 6780676.

Can drivers wait for their own emergency breakdown to come out or do they have to be towed off by Hough Green Garage?

Individuals are not permitted to arrange their own vehicle's recovery within the Mersey Gateway bridge area.

Recovery operations on the Mersey Gateway are restricted to ensure all broken down and stranded vehicles are removed with an acceptable time frame of 30 minutes and that such operations are undertaken within current industry standards.

Drivers who break down do not need to call Merseylink to arrange recovery as this is detected through live CCTV which is monitored 24 hours a day and also has an incident detection system.

Both systems allow Merseylink to identify stranded vehicles and provide the necessary response.

Is there a charge for recovery and if so how much is it?

There is a charge for the removal of broken down vehicles and these prices vary depending on the size of the vehicle and its condition.

The charges start at £150 for any vehicle on the road, upright and not substantially damaged or any two wheeled vehicle whatever its condition or position on or off road. 

All vehicle recovery charges are available here. 

How do drivers to get their vehicle back?

Owners can recover vehicles by contacting Merseylink’s vehicle storage supply chain partner on 0151 424 2148. Vehicles will only be released once the fee for recovery and any applicable storage charges have been paid.

Does Hough Green Garage have a contract to respond to breakdowns on the bridge within 30 minutes?

Merseylink must attend to all broken down or stranded vehicles on the Mersey Gateway within 30 minutes of becoming aware of its presence.

How many breakdowns have there been on Mersey Gateway since it opened?

Since the Mersey Gateway opened Merseylink have been made aware of 37 broken down or stranded vehicles. This is based on the number of vehicles that have stopped due to mechanical failure or road traffic collision damage and does not include vehicles that were able to exit the Mersey Gateway under their own control.

How many times has Hough Green Garage been called out to tow off a vehicle?

Since the Mersey Gateway opened Merseylink have attended 37 broken down or stranded vehicles.