Mersey Gateway Bridge Statement

Mersey Gateway Bridge appeals at the Traffic Penalty Tribunal are on hold pending review of the decision in C v Halton Borough Council.

The Traffic Penalty Tribunal for England (outside London) and Wales has issued a decision that a motorist was not liable to pay the charge (toll) for using the new Mersey Gateway Bridge because Halton Borough Council, the charging authority, has not specified the sum of the charge in the Mersey Gateway Road User Charging Order 2017.

In C vs Halton Borough Council the Traffic Penalty Tribunal Adjudicator Andrew Barfoot said that Ms C, the appellant, was not liable to pay the £2 charge for using the bridge because the Order does not specify that the charge is £2. According to the adjudicator, this does not comply with the requirements set out in the Transport Act 2000.

On the evidence provided by the Council the adjudicator also found that the Council had failed to follow the commencement process contained in the Order itself.

Halton Borough Council does not agree with the adjudicator’s decision on either point and has applied for it to be reviewed, whilst also embarking on a consultation to make a fresh order that does specify the charges. The review application will be heard by a different adjudicator on 8 May 2018.

All other appeals relating to the Mersey Gateway Bridge that are currently with The Traffic Penalty Tribunal have been delayed pending the outcome of the review decision.

Notes to Editors

  • The £600 million Mersey Gateway Crossing opened in October 2017, charging £2 per crossing for cars, £6 for a van or small lorry and £8 for a larger lorry or bus.
  • The bridge runs for 2.2 kilometres spanning the River Mersey and the Manchester Ship Canal. Halton Borough Council is the charging authority responsible for the maintenance and management of the bridge, including meeting the requirements of the Mersey Gateway Road User Charging Order which governs the charges and penalty charge notices for the crossing.
  • The Traffic Penalty Tribunal consider appeals against penalties issued for parking, bus lane moving traffic contraventions in England (outside London) and Wales, as well as the road user charging schemes at the Dartford Crossing and Mersey Gateway Bridge. The Chief Adjudicator is Caroline Sheppard OBE.
  • As of February 2018, according to Halton Borough Council approximately 242,690 penalty charges have been issued for failing to pay the charge.
  • To date there have been over 3,489 penalty charge notices appealed to the adjudicators.
  • Halton Borough Council have not contested 2,543 cases and a further 449 appeals have been heard and allowed by the adjudicators, resulting in the cancellation of the penalty charge.
  • 456 appeals are currently on hold pending the outcome of the review on 8 May 2018.

View Decision

Please note the TPT cannot answer questions because of the impending review on 8 May.

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