Bailiffs to be used if bridge fines are not paid

Runcorn & Widnes Weekly News - - Front Page - BY OLIVER CLAY oliver.clay@trin­i­tymir­ @Oliv­er­ClayRWWN

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

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