The Mersey Gateway Bridge which crosses the River Mersey between Widness and Runcorn in Cheshire opened to traffic in October 2017. The bridge is a toll bridge and there are no payment booths. The toll charge must be paid either in advance, or by midnight the following day. The payment system is called Merseyflow and is operated by emovis on behalf of Halton Borough Council. The same company operate the London Dart Charge system for Highways England.
In the same way in which the Dartford Crossing carries traffic bound for Stanstead and Gatwick airports, the Mersey Gateway Bridge is a major link to Liverpool John Lennon airport. Accordingly, it is used by drivers who may be unfamiliar with the area. The other problem is that many drivers using the bridge may be doing so in a hire or rental vehicle.
How much is the Merseyflow toll?
Between the hours of 10pm and 6am there is no charge to use the Mersey Gateway bridge. At all other times, a Merseyflow toll charge is payable. The amount varies as follows:
Light Goods vehicles: £6.00
Heavy Goods vehicles: £8.00
How to pay the Mersey Gateway toll
The simplest (and cheapest) payment method is to open a Merseyflow Pre Pay account. Motorists receive a discount of 10% on every crossing. A £5 registration fee is payable.
Motorists making over 50 single or 25 return crossings in a month, would benefit from purchasing a Merseyflow monthly pass. The cost is £90 and entitles the motorist to make unlimited crossings.
Motorists holding a valid Blue Badge may cross the Mersey Gateway Bridge as often as they like at no charge as long as they register with Merseyflow. A £5 registration fee is payable.
Merseyflow toll fees can be paid by phone on: 01928 878 878
Merseyflow toll fees can also be paid online at: www.merseyflow.co.uk
I paid the Merseyflow toll fee late.
Payment for using the Mersey Gateway Bridge is due by midnight the day after using the crossing. If you make a late payment, it will not be credited towards a previous crossing. Instead; it will remain as a credit on the Merseyflow system and will be used to pay a future crossing in the same vehicle.
If payment is not made for using the Mersey Gateway Bridge, a Merseyflow Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) will be issued to the registered keeper. The amount will be £40 plus the toll fee. If you pay within 14 days of service, the charge will be discounted to £20 (plus the toll fee).
Can I appeal the Merseyflow penalty?
Yes you can. The Penalty Charge Notice outlines the grounds in which a representation may be made. Although the charging authority is Halton Borough Council, all correspondence and representations must be sent to Merseyflow as they administer the toll system on behalf of the council. Merseyflow will review your representation and make a decision on their behalf. If your representation is rejected, you are entitled to appeal the decision to the Traffic Penalty Tribunal. Details will be provided in the formal Notice of Rejection.
If you fail to pay the Merseyflow PCN within 28 days, a Charge Certificate will be issued increasing the penalty by 50% to £60 (plus the toll fee). You will have 14 days to make payment before the debt is registered at the Traffic Enforcement Centre (which is part of Northampton County Court). At this stage, the debt will increase to £70 to include the toll fee of £2 and the £8 court registration fee. You will receive a final notice called an Order for Recovery.
Please note that registration of the Merseyflow debt at the Traffic Enforcement Centre will NOT affect your credit rating. A judgment is not obtained.
Order for Recovery (of an unpaid Penalty Charge Notice).
The Order for Recovery will advise you of the date by which you must either pay the outstanding amount of £70 or alternatively; to file a witness statement (TE9).
Witness Statement (TE9)
The Witness Statement and the grounds on which it can be filed will be attached to the Order for Recovery. The purpose of the witness statement is effectively to put something right that may have gone wrong at an earlier stage (such as correspondence being sent to a previous address etc). If the court accepts your Witness Statement, the debt will be cancelled. Merseyflow will then issue you with a new Penalty Charge Notice.
You will have 21 days to either file a Witness Statement or pay the full debt. Failure to do so will lead to a warrant of control being issued. The warrant will be passed to a bailiff company (Marston Holdings) to enforce.
Merseyflow and bailiff enforcement.
In December 2018, enforcement proceedings commenced to recover unpaid Merseyflow tolls. The bailiff company contracted to enforce unpaid tolls is Marston Holdings. If you have received a Notice of Enforcement, a text message or visit from Marston in relation to an unpaid Merseyflow toll then you should find our new page entitled Merseyflow and Bailiff Enforcement of assistance.
Commentary from Bailiff Advice Online
If you have query about a Merseyflow Penalty Charge Notice or Witness Statement (TE9) or have received correspondence, a text message or visit from Marston Holdings you can email a question to us in confidence using our online Enquiry Form. Alternatively, you can contact Bailiff Advice Online by way of our free helpline. Details are on our Contact page.