MOTORISTS are being urged to pay £35 to register to use the new Mersey Gateway Bridge as it will be cheaper and more convenient than paying one-off tolls.

The new bridge will not have a toll booth and drivers who don’t register and cross the bridge will have to pay £2 within 24 hours, either by telephone or the internet, or face fines of £60.

The new Mersey Gateway Bridge could open as early as mid-September and the current bridge will be closed for 12 months for essential repairs. When it re-opens, both bridges will be tolled.

The 1,000 metre long Mersey Gateway bridge is the centrepiece of the Mersey Gateway Project, which covers around nine kilometres of road improvements and a series of major new junctions running throughout Runcorn and Widnes.

The new bridge will open to traffic at midnight on its opening day with the Silver Jubilee bridge being closed just beforehand.

The new and improved link roads connecting the new bridge to the M56 and the main route towards Liverpool and the M62 will open at the same time.

The bridge will use a free flow tolling system – so there will be no toll booths - which will keep traffic moving quickly across the route.

Dedicated cameras and sensors will read vehicle number plates and special merseyflow stickers to charge drivers.

Residents living in Halton in property bands below G will be exempt from paying and Runcorn and Widnes based businsses will get a discount.

But everyone else will have to pay.

Anyone who wants to register for discounts but hasn’t yet done so is being urged to register at as soon as possible to ensure they have their special sticker in time for the new bridge opening.

A spokesman for the Mersey Gateway Project said: “The £35 that you pay when registering is made up of a £5 one-off registration fee and a £30 deposit to pay for your first crossings. If you register and don’t use the bridge that £30 will just sit in your merseyflow account until you either cross the bridge or decide to close your account. If you close your account that money will be refunded back to you.

“If you haven’t registered, drivers will be notified in advance with extensive signage as you approach the bridge route – just as is the case with other major free-flow tolled crossings in the UK and elsewhere around the world.

“It is the driver’s responsibility to pay the toll and they will not receive any further notification beyond this signage. This is one of the reasons, along with discounts, we are encouraging regular users to register with merseyflow to avoid the risk of receiving a penalty charge notice.

“Anyone who crosses the bridge and doesn’t pay either before the crossing or by midnight the day after they cross will receive a penalty charge notice. It is very easy to pay for a crossing – you can do it online at, by phone on 01928 878 878, in person at the merseyflow walk-in centre in Runcorn or by using payzone.

“Halton Council is overseeing the installation of multiple sets of signage both approaching the bridge and as people travel away from it advising people that they need to pay and telling them the various ways they can do so.

“The fine will be a penalty charge notice that will be issued in the post. Please see attached graphic explaining how PCN’s will work.

“If you change car or address then any money left on the account would transfer over to the new vehicle.

“However, the stickers are not transferable between vehicles. If you live outside Halton and change your vehicle you will need to register your new vehicle and pay a £5 one-off registration fee and attach a new sticker to your new vehicle. If you live outside Halton and move house, you need to let merseyflow know, but as you do not need to re-register for a new sticker, there will be no charge.

If you are a Halton resident on the local user discount scheme and change your car or move house you will need to let merseyflow know. If you change address or your registered vehicle you will have to re-supply your new details and pay a £10 administration fee. Once you have successfully re-registered, your new registration will be valid for 12 months.”

He added: “You don’t have to register to cross the bridge, but registering with merseyflow is the only way to get a discount on the cost of your crossing.

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