Council does not keep cash
THE Mersey Gateway Crossings Board has said that all revenue from tolls and penalty charge notices (PCNs) contribute towards payment for the bridge and is not retained by the council or any of its contractors.
Funding the project will cost £1.86bn from when Merseylink were awarded the contract to build the bridge in 2014, up until 2044.
The money from tolls and PCNs does go to Halton Council, but it is used to pay back Merseylink, which designed, built and will maintain the bridge.
The council does not reimburse Merseylink for those specific costs, such as construction, but instead pays an annual fee based on the crossings being available to users.
The fee, called the unitary charge, is relative to the performance against the service requirements as set out in the contract between the council and Merseylink.
Toll charges and PCNs are also used to pay Emovis – the company that collects the toll monies under the brand name Merseyflow.
Merseyflow also receive an annual fee, known as the Demand Management Participation Agreement (DMPA), which is again performance related.
The Mersey Gateway website says: “If emovis customer service and other related Key Performance Indicators do not meet the required standards then this money can be withheld by the Council.”
Tolls and PCNS are not the only cost drivers will incur on the Mersey Gateway bridge.
Motorists unlucky enough to break down on the crossing are must pay out at least £180 to have it removed by a Merseylink contractor, because they are not permitted to arrange vehicle recovery themselves.
The money from these additional costs does not contribute to the Mersey Gateway revenue figure.
A Mersey Gateway Crossing Board spokesperson said: “Costs for issues such as breakdown recovery and other costs associated with the operation of the project roads do not contribute to total Mersey Gateway revenue figure.
“Any charges or income from third parties to Merseylink associated with their recovery of operational costs are a matter between Merseylink and the respective third party.”