Mersey Gateway celebrates four-year anniversary as journey numbers continue to rise
Traffic levels across the river in Halton are almost back to pre-pandemic levels as 14 October marks the fourth anniversary of the Mersey Gateway Bridge opening.
Tolling provider merseyflow is expecting to see two million vehicles making crossings each month across the Mersey Gateway and Silver Jubilee bridges this autumn.
In total, Halton residents, businesses and commuters have made 86.3 million journeys over the River Mersey in Halton since the Mersey Gateway Bridge opened at midnight on 14 October 2017.
The newly-released figures from merseyflow include trips made across both the Mersey Gateway Bridge and the Silver Jubilee Bridge, which re-opened in February this year.
The most recent quarterly figures, which are presented in the latest Mersey Gateway Bridge and Silver Jubilee Bridge dashboard and cover July-September 2021, show:
- Traffic levels in summer were back to 95% of pre-pandemic volumes – this was the busiest quarter since 2019 and the autumn is expected to see two million vehicles a month using the bridges
- An average of just 9,000 vehicles a day use the Silver Jubilee Bridge – far less than the 80,000 vehicles a day it used to carry
- Over 97% of journeys were paid for on time – the vast majority of people are paying for their journeys by midnight the day after they cross
- Over 90% of payments are made through digital or automated channels – www.merseyflow.co.uk, the merseyflow quick pay app and auto top-up options are widely used by customers
- PCNs remain below historical levels from 2018 / 2019 – though they have increased alongside the rise in journey numbers
Mike Bennett, Managing Director of the Mersey Gateway Crossings Board, said: “As we approach this anniversary it’s worth casting your mind back to remember what crossing the river in Halton was like before the new bridge was developed.”
Mike added: “Before the Mersey Gateway opened, the Silver Jubilee Bridge used to carry all of this traffic – up to 80,000 vehicles a day – through Halton, and it was regularly closed or disrupted by incidents or breakdowns. The split of traffic between the two bridges to accommodate total demand matches what was hoped for and is providing tangible benefits to local residents either side of the Silver Jubilee Bridge whose lives were affected by the traffic conditions on the approaches to it. These approach routes, which have now been removed or simplified, also formed a real barrier to investment and development. Today, we have much more reliable and resilient crossings, with significant extra capacity, it gives people and businesses extra confidence that they can live, work, invest in and travel through Halton without the disruption, delays and uncertainty that we all had to endure when planning to cross the river.”
Neil Conway, Chief Executive of merseyflow, said: “It’s really encouraging that the majority of customers are choosing to pay for their journeys using digital or automated channels, like our auto top-up system or through the merseyflow website and app. We’ve invested significantly to develop and improve these payment options and it’s good to see that customers are finding them useful to make paying for their journeys as simple and easy as possible.”
The quarterly merseyflow dashboard provides a range of in-depth statistics and graphs which show information on the number of crossings made, average daily traffic, number of PCNs issued, methods of payment, payments made on time, total revenue and what percentage of this comes from PCNs.