News release
27 July 2020

Bridge crossings back on the rise following Covid-19 impact on Mersey Gateway journey numbers

The latest Mersey Gateway figures show that people are starting to resume normal travel patterns following the Covid-19 lockdown.

The lockdown period saw journey numbers fall to the lowest levels recorded since the bridge opened.

Journey numbers have been steadily increasing every week as lockdown eases, with a daily average of 45,000 journeys recorded in the last week of June.

The figures also show that April was the least busy month recorded for the bridge since it first opened in October 2017.

The detailed figures, which are presented in the quarterly Mersey Gateway dashboard and cover April – June 2020, show:

  • Journey numbers are increasing weekly as lockdown ends – by the end of June weekly traffic levels were at around 70% of normal traffic levels
  • April was the quietest month across the bridge – but there were still 730,000 journeys made between Runcorn and Widnes
  • Over 98% of all crossings were paid for on time – a record high of 98.15% in total, though this is partly due to lower traffic levels and a greater percentage of crossings being made by registered customers

The number of PCNs and income from PCNs also dropped significantly. PCNs were still issued during lockdown when people did not pay, but most enforcement activity was paused.

Neil Conway, Chief Executive of merseyflow, said: “We are pleased to see journey numbers on the rise after lockdown and the highest number of crossings paid for on time. However, we do recognise that this will be due to the fact that most journeys were made by registered customers during April and May, when only essential travel was advised.”

The merseyflow quick pay app, which is available for Apple and Android devices, has been downloaded over 39,000 times since it was launched in November. An average of 550 – 650 crossing payments are made using the app every day, with June seeing the highest number of payments being made via the app (over 16,000 in total).

In the next few weeks, the app will be updated to take on board customer feedback. This includes the option for customers to save their payment details for even quicker transactions and to make the use of the Quick Pay App even more convenient.

Neil added: “It’s great to see so many people downloading and using the app as lockdown eases. I recommend that anyone who is paying for individual crossings downloads and uses the merseyflow quick pay app as it is the quickest and easiest way to pay for individual journeys.”

Mike Bennett, Managing Director of the Mersey Gateway Crossings Board, said: “It’s unsurprising that April showed the lowest number of traffic levels recorded, however I am glad to see the numbers slowly but surely increasing on a week by week basis. I think these figures reflect the relaxing of lockdown, and we expect the traffic levels to continue rising throughout the summer.”

He added: “It’s always worth reminding people that anyone who uses the bridge regularly can register with merseyflow and save up to 10% on each journey you make.”

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, payments made on time, total revenue and what percentage of this comes from PCNs.

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