New technology is set to be introduced at the Mersey Tunnels improving the service for customers.
A video tolling system will replace the current Fast Tag system used at the Queensway (Birkenhead) and Kingsway (Wallasey) tunnels, modernising the way tunnel users can pre-pay for their journeys.
With preparatory works already complete, attention will now focus on replacing the current lane antenna systems with number plate recognition cameras at both tunnels during the coming months.
Cameras will be installed in every lane, with dedicated lanes remaining in place for added convenience, including wider lanes for larger vehicles.
Account-holders will also benefit from a website upgrade to support online self-service, improving customer experience in managing their account online. As with the Fast Tag service, a number of vehicles can be added to an account for electronic payment.
Cash and contactless payments will still be available for customers who prefer to pay for their crossing this way.
Cllr Liam Robinson, Transport and Air Quality Portfolio Holder for the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, said,
With over 70,000 journeys a day, the Mersey Tunnels are critical to the social and economic wellbeing of our region, so continued investment is needed.
Introducing cutting edge technology that delivers real benefits is part of the wider vision to make transport services easier and more convenient for people to use.
The tunnels discount scheme introduced by the Metro Mayor in 2019, is still the cheapest and most convenient way to pay for journeys and I would urge those who have not yet registered for an account to do so and receive these benefits.
The video tolling is due to come online in Autumn and represents an investment of £850,000. The Fast Tag system will remain in place for a while to allow for a smooth transition and reduce any inconvenience for account holders.
Although Fast Tag devices will no longer be needed, existing customers will be able to continue to use them until they are directly contacted to discuss their account migration in more detail.
All tunnel users are encouraged to have an account as this is the cheapest and most convenient way to pay, even if they make only one or two journeys each week.
There is annual investment by the Combined Authority into the maintenance and safe operation of the Mersey Tunnels as well as in new technology and services.
The completion of the tolls refresh project in April 2019 saw the introduction of contactless payments, new toll machines and information signs all designed to improve journey times through the plaza.