The Mersey Gateway links Runcorn and Widnes.(Image: Runcorn Weekly News)

Mersey Gateway fines hit record low thanks to new online tool

More drivers are paying the controversial £2 toll on time thanks to Merseyflow's new app


Mersey Gateway fines hit record low thanks to new online tool

The number of people fined for not paying the Mersey Gateway toll hit record lows at the end of last year.

Only 2% of drivers failed to pay the controversial £2 charge between October and December 2019, and the number of fines issued fell by more than a quarter compared to the same period in 2018.

Merseyflow, the company that operates the bridge on behalf of Halton Council, believes the fall in fines is due to its new app that reminds drivers to pay the toll on time.

Neil Conway, chief executive of Merseyflow, said: “Our analysis of the data so far shows that around 40% of the customers who pay using the app have previously received a PCN [penalty charge notice].

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“The reminder functionality within the app will advise them shortly after crossing that they have used the bridge but have no ‘credit’. This gives them time to make payment and avoid receiving a PCN.”

The app, launched in November, has been downloaded 13,000 times and is part of Merseyflow’s efforts to make paying the toll easier.

Mr Conway added: “I’m obviously delighted to see that the new app is proving so popular for occasional users of the bridge.

“The app is in its first phase at the moment and we are already developing new features to make both the app and the Merseyflow website even easier for people to use during 2020.”

The bridge has proved highly controversial since its opening in October 2017, with many drivers objecting to the toll and complaining about the amount levied in fines.

A lack of information about how to pay in the bridge’s first months of operation also drew strong criticism and led to numerous fines being overturned by the government’s traffic penalty tribunal.