AFTER we reported the new Mersey Gateway bridge could be opening within the next couple of weeks, we were inundated with questions from readers. 

Once the bridge opens, motorists will be charged £2 for each crossing via automatic number plate registration cameras.

The toll has to be paid by midnight the following day or car owners will face a £60 fine in the post. 

The only exception is Halton residents who can cross both bridges for free once they have registered for the local user discount scheme and paid a £10 annual administration fee.

To try and clear things up we have put to the team behind the bridge construction a number of common questions from readers.

And Mersey Gateway has provided the following answers:

Q1. If I drive over the bridge without registering, will I be notified about the charge toll?

A: You will be notified in advance with extensive signage as you approach the bridge route – just as is the case with other major free-flow tolled crossings in the UK and elsewhere around the world.

It is the driver’s responsibility to pay the toll and they will not receive any further notification beyond this signage.

This is one of the reasons, along with discounts, we are encouraging regular users to register with merseyflow to avoid the risk of receiving a penalty charge notice.

Q2. If my first trip over the bridge is taking me on holiday (flying from Liverpool or say a week in Wales) will I still be fined if I don’t pay within 24 hours?

A: Anyone who crosses the bridge and doesn’t pay either before the crossing or by midnight the day after they cross will receive a penalty charge notice.

It is very easy to pay for a crossing – you can do it online at, by phone on 01928 878 878, in person at the merseyflow walk-in centre in Runcorn or by using payzone.

Q3. What signage will there be on the bridge to tell people how to pay?

A: The Council is overseeing the installation of multiple sets of signage both approaching the bridge and as people travel away from it advising people that they need to pay and telling them the various ways they can do so.

Q4. If there is a crash on the new bridge, will the old one be opened to help with traffic?

A: No – once the Silver Jubilee Bridge is closed there will be ongoing construction work on the bridge for a number of months and it will not be possible to re-open this route at short notice.

If there is an accident or incident on the new bridge or the approaches to it then the dedicated vehicles that will manage the route will react swiftly to help everyone involved, clear the route and safely re-open the bridge as quickly as possible.

Q5. What form will the fine come?

A: The fine will be a penalty charge notice that will be issued in the post. 

Q6. I live outside of Halton, does that mean I have to remember to pay the toll each time I cross?

A: If you think you will make less than 50 one-way trips over the river in Halton each month then a pre-pay sticker account is probably the best option for you.

If you think you will make more than 50 one-way trips over the river in Halton each month then an unlimited travel monthly pass is probably the best option for you.

Q7. What is a pre-pay account and how does it work?

A: Our pre-pay accounts will work in a similar way to a 'pay-as-you-go' mobile phone contract. Registered users will pre-pay £30 into their account and this money will be used to pay for your crossings.

If you close your account at any point and haven’t used the money in it you will be refunded all of the unspent balance in your account.

Q8. Will I be notified when my pre-pay account has run out of money?

No. If you register for a Merseyflow pre-pay account you will get the choice to set up the account so it is automatically topped up by direct debit from your bank account whenever the level of funds in your merseyflow account drops below a specified amount. The minimum amount you can specify is £10 but you can set a higher amount if you wish to do so.

You can choose to top-up your account yourself, but this way you will run a much greater risk of not having enough money in your account to pay for your crossing.

Q9. If I register for £30 – how long does that money stay on your account?

A: The £35 that you pay when registering is made up of a £5 one-off registration fee and a £30 deposit to pay for your first crossings.

If you register and don’t use the bridge that £30 will just sit in your Merseyflow account until you either cross the bridge or decide to close your account. If you close your account that money will be refunded back to you.

Q10. And does it transfer if you get a new car or a new address?

A: Yes - any money left on the account would transfer over to the new vehicle.

However, the stickers are not transferable between vehicles.

If you live outside Halton and change your vehicle you will need to register your new vehicle and pay a £5 one-off registration fee and attach a new sticker to your new vehicle. If you live outside Halton and move house, you need to let merseyflow know, but as you do not need to re-register for a new sticker, there will be no charge.

If you are a Halton resident on the local user discount scheme and change your car or move house you will need to let merseyflow know.

If you change address or your registered vehicle you will have to re-supply your new details and pay a £10 administration fee.

Once you have successfully re-registered, your new registration will be valid for 12 months.

Q11. If it is a one-off trip (for someone out of the area or on holiday say) do you still have to pay the £30 or is there a way of just paying once?

A: Yes – you can pay for a one-off trip at a cost of £2 per each way crossing for a car or a small van. You can pay online via, by phone on 01928 878 878, in person at our walk-in centre in Runcorn or through payzone.

You don’t have to register to cross the bridge, but registering with merseyflow is the only way to get a discount on the cost of your crossing.

Q12. Can I walk over the new bridge?

A: No. Pedestrian and cyclist access across the river will be via the Silver Jubilee Bridge. Even when the Silver Jubilee Bridge is closed to traffic, you will still be able to walk or cycle across it.

Q13. My question still hasn't been answered, what should I do?

A: We would urge everyone to look at the details on and contact us if they have any questions.

There is lots more information in the FAQ section on the merseyflow website -