News release
24 August 2020

Residential visits to collect unpaid bridge fines can take place from Monday 24 August

Visits to residential properties to collect payment of unpaid Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs) from people who haven’t paid the charge for crossing the Mersey Gateway Bridge can begin again from Monday 24 August 2020.

In March this year, all enforcement visits relating to unpaid bridge crossings were stopped. This means any customer who had an unpaid PCN at that time, or who hasn’t paid for a crossing made during lockdown, hasn’t received a home visit from an enforcement agent.

In line with government guidance, Marston Holdings, the company appointed to collect money owed from unpaid crossings, can recommence enforcement visits to residential properties in a safe and sensitive way from Monday 24 August.

The use of an enforcement agent is always a last resort for PCNs that remain unpaid.

Cases that reach the advanced enforcement stage where an enforcement agent makes a visit to recover a debt, will have had numerous opportunities to pay, and at least five written notifications that they have an outstanding debt. These include:

  • the opportunity to pay the original £2 charge as they cross
  • the original PCN (option to pay costing £22 per PCN if paid within 14 days)
  • a Charge Certificate (option to pay costing £62 per PCN)
  • a Notice of Debt Registration (option to pay costing £70 per PCN)
  • a Notice of Enforcement (option to pay costing £145 per PCN), and
  • Notice of Enforcement reminder (option to pay costing £145 per PCN).

Marston Holdings has written to all customers who have an outstanding debt urging them to contact them directly to discuss their debt so visits can be avoided wherever possible.

Marston’s agents will not enter people’s homes to take control of goods, and they will be equipped with appropriate workwear and hygiene supplies to protect and reassure members of the public.

A spokesperson for the Mersey Gateway Crossings Board, said: “We understand that the coronavirus pandemic has impacted everyone in different ways. If you have an unpaid PCN that has been passed to Marston Holdings, that you cannot pay, we would encourage you to contact the team at Marston directly.

They added: “Marston’s customer service team can then talk to you about your options, and how to prevent an enforcement agent from visiting in future. They have a highly trained team with lots of experience in helping customers and will be able to work with people who owe money to help them pay.”

Paying for a crossing and avoiding a PCN

Merseyflow is also making it even easier for people to pay for crossings by introducing a range of new features on its Quick Pay app which is now used by thousands of people every day. Unregistered customers can set up a profile to pay automatically each time they cross – which means they need never get a PCN again.

There are five ways drivers who aren’t registered can pay for bridge crossings:

  • By downloading and using the new merseyflow app (24-hours a day, seven days a week)
  • online at (24-hours a day, seven days a week) – there is a special section on the website to allow people to pay for one-off journeys up to 12 months before they travel
  • by phone on 01928 878 878 – between 8am and 8pm Monday-Friday and 9am-6pm Saturday, Sunday and Bank Holidays
  • outside of these opening hours payment can be taken 24/7 using the automated service for journeys you have already made, which you can reach by phoning 01928 878 878
  • at merseyflow’s walk-in centre at Howard Court, Manor Park, Runcorn, WA7 1SJ, which is open: 9am-7pm Monday-Friday, 9am-6pm Saturday, Sunday and Bank Holidays
  • at one of 10,000 Payzone outlets across the UK

The easiest way for anyone who gets a PCN to pay is to visit the ‘Pay a Penalty Charge’ page on the merseyflow website, enter their PCN number, and pay within the first 14 days so it only costs £22.

Neil Conway, Chief Executive of merseyflow, said: “As always, our message to anyone who gets a PCN is please don’t ignore it. You should take action as soon as possible because if the debt is passed on to an enforcement agent, then it will increase significantly.

Neil added: “The best way to avoid getting a PCN is to register with merseyflow. If you cross the Mersey Gateway Bridge regularly, you can register for an account on our website and select to ‘auto-pay’ for your crossings, saving 10% on every crossing you make.”

“If you only cross the bridge occasionally, you can download our Quick Pay App and create a profile, this allows you to save your payment and car details, as well as select ‘auto-pay’. Setting up auto-pay means you’ll never get a PCN again as long as you have the funds available to pay.”

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