Tips and advice

Mersey Gateway Bridge payment guide

How to pay for the Mersey crossing toll, save money and avoid getting fined

Mersey Gateway Bridge

The Mersey Gateway Bridge first brought drivers a new way to get in and out of Merseyside from the south in October 2017. It was conceived as a way to reduce congestion on the ageing four-lane Silver Jubilee Bridge, which re-opened in February 2021 to improve access to Liverpool John Lennon Airport.

Though motorcycles and local buses are exempt, all other vehicles need to pay to use the six-lane Mersey Gateway Bridge. Automatic Numberplate Recognition (ANPR) cameras are used to record crossings and issue fines if you don't pay up. It's similar to systems used around the country in car parks and also on the Dartford Crossing on the M25.

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There are a few ways to pay for a crossing, whether you are planning to use the bridge regularly or just as a one-off. Residents are able to pay a one-off £10 fee for the year and use it as much as they like. You can find all the information you need to know about paying the toll for the bridge below.

Mersey Gateway Bridge crossing charges 2021

If you drive over the Mersey Gateway Bridge without registering or receiving a discount, the toll charges are:

  • Cars, vans (below 3,500kg) and minibuses (with up to eight seats): £2.00
  • Minibuses (with 9+ seats, below 5,000kg) and goods vehicles (3,500-12,000kg): £6.00
  • HGVs and coaches: £8.00

If you plan to use the crossing regularly, you can save money by setting up a 'merseyflow' account, reducing charges to:

Sticker-registered:

  • Cars, vans (below 3,500kg) and minibuses (with up to eight seats): £1.80
  • Minibuses (with 9+ seats, below 5,000kg) and goods vehicles (3,500-12,000kg): £5.40
  • HGVs and coaches: £7.20

Video-registered:

  • Cars, vans (below 3,500kg) and minibuses (with up to eight seats): £1.90
  • Minibuses (with 9+ seats, below 5,000kg) and goods vehicles (3,500-12,000kg): £5.70
  • HGVs and coaches: £7.60

Cars, vans (below 3,500kg) and minibuses (with up to eight seats) are able to buy a monthly pass, which costs £90 for unlimited travel or £60 for off-peak travel only (see below for more details).

Mersey Gateway Bridge charge times

The Mersey Gateway tolls apply 24 hours a day, seven days a week, including Bank Holidays. This is unlike some crossings, including the Dartford Crossing in Essex, where free travel is permitted between 10pm in the evening and 6am the following morning.

How to pay the Mersey Gateway crossing

Payment can be made in several ways, in advance or shortly after crossing, but not at the bridge itself. You have until 11.59pm the day after your crossing to pay, with failure to pay the toll resulting in a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN). This will be sent to the address on your car's V5 document just like a speeding ticket. You can also pre-pay up to 12 months before you cross. You can pay for your crossing in the following ways:

  • Online via the Merseyflow website 
  • By phone on 01928 878 878
  • At the merseyflow walk-in centre in Runcorn (8am to 8pm Mon-Fri and 9am to 6pm weekends and Bank Holidays) at 9 Howard Court, Manor Park, Runcorn, WA7 1SJ
  • At any retail outlet with Payzone. Find one of the 10,000 locations by visiting www.payzone.co.uk/consumers

Save money on the Mersey Gateway tolls

You can save up to 10% on the standard charges by registering for a merseyflow pre-pay sticker account. The simplest way to do this is by visiting the merseyflow.co.uk website.

To create a pre-pay account, you need to provide your vehicle details and those of a payment card, as well as making a one-off payment of £25; £20 is the initial account balance to start paying for crossing and a £5 admin fee per vehicle.

You'll receive a sticker in the post with instructions outlining exactly where to place it in your windscreen. This will then be spotted by the ANPR cameras. Setting up an account can also enable auto top-ups, so you won’t ever forget to pay or receive a fine.

If you register your car but don’t want a sticker, then you’ll receive a 5% discount on the standard charges. The smaller discount reflects the higher cost of administering this scheme, which requires the operators to assess every single registration number rather than the simple sticker.

A monthly pass is also available to the drivers of cars, vans (below 3,500kg) and minibuses with up to eight seats, costing:

- Unlimited travel pass: £90 (24 hours a day)

- Off-peak pass: £60 (10am to 4pm and 7pm to 7am Monday to Friday and 24 hours a day on weekends and Bank Holidays)

Local resident discount

Qualifying residents in the Halton area can cross the bridge for free at any time, but will need to register with merseyflow and pay a £10 annual admin fee.

If you’re disabled

Blue Badge holders can cross both bridges for free, but are required to register and pay a one-off fee of £5.

Mersey Gateway penalty charge notice

If you don’t pay for a crossing by midnight on the following day, you’ll be issued with a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN). This will be for £40, but is discounted to £20 if paid within the first 14 days after the issue date. If no payment is received after 28 days, the fee increases to £60 and must be paid within two weeks.

Regardless of the penalty, you’ll also be required to pay the original unpaid toll fee in addition to the fine. If no payment is received within 42 days, it is registered as a civil debt and bailiffs may be instructed to recover funds.

If you want to challenge the PCN there are details on the letter you'll receive in the post about how to do this.

Will I need to pay to cross the Silver Jubilee bridge?

Yes. While the Silver Jubilee bridge used to be free, it costs exactly the same as the Mersey Gateway Bridge to cross. It's linked to the same charging system, so your merseyflow account will cover you for both.

Read our guide to the Dartford Crossing and Dart Charge

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