HALTON Council could face legal action if they do not refund the Mersey Gateway tolls, a campaign group has warned.

John McGoldrick, a leading figure from the Scrap Mersey Tolls campaign, has said the group are considering hiring a solicitor if their demands for all tolls to be refunded since the bridge opened in October aren’t met.

Traffic watchdog the Traffic Penalty Tribunal ruled that the £2 tolls were not legally binding because Halton Council, the charging authority, had not specified the price of the toll charge clearly enough in the Mersey Gateway Road Charging Order (RUCSO)

The order had only stated a range of what the charge could be which the TPT found to be in breach of the Transport Act.

After a review of that ruling, independent adjudicator Edward Solomons found there were a number of technical and legal points which means the charging scheme employed by Halton Council was not enforceable under the Transport Act 2000.

Celebrity motoring lawyer Nick Freeman, nicknamed Mr Loophole, has warned the council to dig deep into their pockets.

The lawyer has advised that anyone stung with a toll charge before April 19, when the RUCSO was updated, to request a refund by writing to the council with a fully itemised list of dates and charges.

He said: “Everybody who has been fined or paid to cross the bridge before April 19 should submit an itemised claim to Halton Council.

“It will be up to drivers to do their homework and prove when they crossed and how many times.”

Following his advice, the Scrap Mersey Tolls group, which has more than 5,000 members, have discussed raising money to hire the celebrity lawyer to fight their case.

Many claim to have already written to Merseyflow and Halton Council requesting a refund but have been either ignored or rejected.

John McGoldrick said: “There have been various mentions of Mr Loophole, even before the tribunal decision.

“If Halton continue to refuse to refund all tolls and penalties, then one of the possible steps is taking legal action, but I have no idea which solicitor would be approached to help (because) his firm does work for celebs charged with motoring offences.”

The anti-tolls campaigner added that the group had written to local MPs requesting them to take Government action.

They have also urged all drivers to write to the council with the dates and times they crossed the bridge and demand a toll refund.

A spokesman for the Mersey Gateway Crossings Board said: “We will now take time to review the decision with our external legal advisors and consider our next steps.

“This new charging order now regulates the tolling on Mersey Gateway and it’s really important that everyone who uses the crossing pays their toll charge to avoid the risk of getting a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN).”