NEW figures have shown that the rate of payments made ‘on time’ for journeys across the Mersey Gateway bridge has reached a new record high.

In the first quarter of 2019 between the start of January and the end of March, 97 per cent of payments were made before the deadline of midnight the day after crossing.

This is a record high since the bridge linking Runcorn and Widnes opened in October 2017.

Recently released statistics have also shown that on average, around two million journeys across the bridge are made each month, with a seasonal drop off in the quieter January/February period.

The number of Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs) being issued to drivers is continuing to fall as the percentage of payments on time increases.

Revenue from PCNs did increase this quarter due to more payments being made by customers who received notices during 2018.

Neil Conway, chief executive of merseyflow, said: “On time payment levels have been consistent at 96 per cent over the past year, but we are pleased to see that this level is increasing and we would like that trend to continue.

“We’re continuing to work hard to make it even easier for customers to pay as simply as possible.

“Around 80 per cent of the journeys across the bridge are made by people who have registered their vehicles with merseyflow, which is great because it means that they are all benefitting from a discount on the standard toll charge.”

Mike Bennett, managing director of the Mersey Gateway Crossings Board, also added: “We know from the feedback we receive from people running businesses and living in the area that the Mersey Gateway Bridge is making getting around the region a lot easier and saving people valuable time every day.

“We’re committed to publishing this information on a quarterly basis to provide all of our customers with the latest data as to how the traffic levels on the bridge are performing.”