Coun­cil does not keep cash

Runcorn & Widnes Weekly News - - Yourviews -

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.”

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