Planned freeze to bus fares and tunnels tolls for local residents

T-FLOW Tunnel tolls and bus fares are to be frozen for Liverpool City Region residents, under proposals to be considered at a Combined Authority meeting, next Friday, 15 December.

The price freeze is part of a bid by the Mayor to help keep travel affordable for local people during the cost-of-living crisis.

The plans recommend freezing the price of a car journey through the tunnel for city region residents with a T-FLOW account at £1.40 – a 70p saving on the cash toll.

This would mean local people travelling through the Mersey Tunnels would continue to pay the lowest prices. Half of all Mersey Tunnels users are T-FLOW members who live in the city region, meaning that tens of thousands of people saving up to a third every day.

Any surplus generated by the Mersey Tunnels is reinvested back into supporting transport in the region, such as supported bus services that private operators will not run because they do not make enough profit.

Also covered in the report are proposed fares for buses and the Mersey Ferries. Under the recommendations, the £2 bus fare introduced by the Mayor will remain and the MyTicket, which allows all-day unlimited bus travel under-19s, will also be frozen at £2.20.

Mersey Ferries commuter service fares are to be held at £2.90 for a single and £3.80 for a return journey.

The past year has seen major steps forward in delivering the Mayor’s vision to build a London-style transport network that is faster, cheaper, cleaner, and more reliable, providing residents with a genuine alternative to the car.

This includes a £500m investment in brand new, publicly owned trains, a fleet of publicly owned hydrogen buses, taking back control of the region’s buses through franchising, a deal signed with the Department for Transport to explore the region taking responsibility for rail infrastructure, and more than £70m invested in active travel.

Steve Rotheram, Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, said, “With the cost of living to continuing to put pressure on families across our region, I want to make sure we’re doing what we can to make travel as accessible, fair, and affordable for everyone.

“As well as keeping bus fares at £2 and bringing back the night bus, we’re freezing tolls for city region T-FLOW users too, to ensure that local people pay the lowest possible price to travel around our area. Thousands upon thousands of residents will benefit from these proposals and we’ll keep working hard to keep prices as low as possible, while still working to provide a better public transport system.

”Slowly but surely, we are beginning to see big improvements in our transport network as we build the London-style system that our area deserves. We’re taking back control of our buses, rolling out the country’s first publicly-owned trains in a generation and working to bring it together under a simple tap and go system.”

Like many households, public bodies are experiencing the same pressures of rising energy costs which are making our public buildings and critical infrastructure more and more expensive to maintain.

The Mersey Tunnels demand a huge amount of electricity to keep them running and require year-round maintenance – yet the Mersey Tunnels receive no central government support. Instead, it is left to the Combined Authority and Merseytravel to source the funds to keep the tunnels running safely and efficiently.

To help manage inflationary pressures and the high cost of energy, some changes to fees and charges are being proposed.

It is recommended that the Mersey Tunnels cash toll for car users, as well as T-FLOW charges for non-Liverpool City Region residents, rise by 10p to £2.10. This represents an increase of 5%, below inflation and far lower than the £2.70 maximum charge allowed under the Tunnels Act.

The proposals also include a modest increase in ticket prices for Mersey Ferries leisure sailings – including the popular River Explorer Cruise – which will rise from £12 to £12.75.

If agreed most of these changes will come into effect in April 2024.

For more information on travel services across the Liverpool City Region, please visit Merseytravel | Liverpool City Region Travel Information

Image: Kingsway Tunnel Toll/LCRCA

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