By Francesco Guerritore
Drivers from Liverpool city region will be paying a £1 to use Mersey tunnels from April 1, the city’s transport committee has agreed.
The proposal was first tabled two years ago by Liverpool Mayor Steven Rotheram as part of his election manifesto to help people within the boundaries of the city.
On the other side, prices will rise for those outside St Helens, Halton, Knowsley, Wirral, Sefton and Liverpool.
For those who own a Fast Tag, the price will be decreased.
Cllr Liam Robinson, chairman for MerseyTravel, said the majority of users are “by far” from the city region and that just 40% of them are from the Wirral.
He said: “We receive no national funding at all for the tunnels, which would be the ultimate way of taking the toll off.
“It costs a lot of money to operate them every year in a safe manner and if there were no tunnels people would face a very long journey around the river.”
Cllr Robinson also mentioned an “historic debt” dating back to the 1960s for the construction of the Kingsway tunnel that still needs to be paid.
He added: “We accept that the decision won’t be popular between those outside the region but we are working to improve other services at our costs with new plans.”
Cllr Robinson said plans also include introducing over the next year a new “fleet of trains” for the Merseyside network that will travel beyond the boundaries of the region; getting more services between Merseyside and Wales; and reducing buses fares for young people outside the city.
To receive your fast tag visit the MerseyTravel website here.