Bailiffs to be used if bridge fines are not paid
MOST of the cash paid in fines by motorists crossing the Mersey Gateway and Silver Jubilee bridges will be ploughed back into the project infrastructure and operation, the Merseylink consortium has said.
A spokesman for the group said all revenue, from tolls and penalty charge notices (PCNs), will go to Halton Borough Council to spend until 2044 when the system will be reviewed.
The consortium has not said what exact proportion of the cash will be used for the bridge project and what will be left for the local authority.
If a fine is not resolved or challenged in 42 days, bailiffs will be called in and keep their fee for themselves.
The comments followed an article in the Weekly News in which anti-tolls campaigner John McGoldrick, of the National Alliance Against Tolls (NAAT), warned that drivers could be forking out hundreds of thousands of pounds a week in a ‘bonanza’ of fines when the second Halton road crossing opens.
Mr McGoldrick estimated the figure based on the £53m per year shelled out in fines on the Dartford Crossing in the South East.
Merseylink has also now confirmed that data regarding vehicle and driver journeys will not be sold to third parties, and will be stored in accordance with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) guidelines.
He said road user data will be deleted when no longer needed but that this could vary between one month and seven years depending on the type of information and whether an event has happened that means it needs to be kept as potential evidence.
On the topic of resorting to bailiffs, the spokesman said: “Emovis is the appointed tolling provider for the Mersey Gateway project.
“It delivers this service through its Merseyflow brand.
“Where no representation against a penalty charge has been made and a penalty charge notice hasn’t been paid 42 days after it has been served, bailiffs will be instructed to recover ● the cost. The bailiffs will charge fees in line with an agreed charging structure to recover the debt.
“Any revenue from bailiffs charges stays with the bailiff – it does not go to the council or Merseyflow.
“If and when the bailiff is paid the outstanding penalty charge notice, and original toll fee that money is then forwarded to Halton Borough Council via Merseyflow.”
The Mersey Gateway bridge looking towards Runcorn.
If bridge toll fines are not paid, bailiffs will be called in