Mersey Gateway Bridge

Mersey Gateway Bridge

Date

25 August 2018

Location

Runcorn – Widnes, Cheshire
SJ 52369 84471; 53.35494°N, 2.71707°W

Information

The Mersey Gateway Bridge is a 2.3 km-long, 6-lane, cable-stayed bridge carrying the A533 road over the River Mersey and the Manchester Ship Canal. The £600 million bridge links Runcorn and Widnes and is maintained by Halton Borough Council. Construction of the bridge, designed by Knight Architects, commenced in 2014 and it opened in 2017. It was built to relieve congestion on the Runcorn through-arch bridge, which opened in 1961 and was renamed the Silver Jubilee Bridge in 1977. This in turn had replaced a Victorian steam-powered transporter bridge that could convey four cars at a time across the Mersey.

When the new bridge opened the old one was closed for refurbishment and it will reopen as a toll bridge (it was previously free to cross). The tolls on the Mersey Gateway Bridge itself operate using automatic number plate recognition and must be paid online within 24 hours. This has proved to be highly controversial with criticisms of unclear signposting. In the first month 50,000 motorists were issued with penalty charge notices for failure to pay the toll. In 2018 tribunals ruled that the tolls and penalties were in fact in breach of consumer and transport legislation because of improper implementation. The charges continue to be imposed, however, as the rulings were for specific cases and technically do not have general effect.

Mersey Gateway Bridge

Mersey Gateway Bridge

12 thoughts on “Mersey Gateway Bridge

  1. Scary moments on that bridge, had to ask a local how it works with the toll, because the signs at the bridge with the Knet address were a bit small.

  2. Wow, what a mess – the toll situation, certainly not your photos! The Seattle area has toll bridges & roads that use an electronic pass you purchase and keep in the car. You put some money into the account and it’s deducted when you use the road or bridge. You probably have those too, and that system seems to work. The system you described sounds nutty!

    • Hmmm yes, it has certainly proved to be rather controversial. They have also been criticised for their breakdown policy – if your vehicle breaks down on the bridge you are not allowed to call out your own breakdown service; you have to use their own one and pay a hefty charge for the privilege.

      • That’s a familiar one – there are places in New York where you have to used a certain service. Maybe the local people will protest enough that something will change, eventually.

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