News release
15 October 2020

Four million hours of sitting in traffic avoided in the three years since Mersey Gateway Bridge opened


Commuters and Halton residents who use the Mersey Gateway Bridge have collectively saved over four million hours of time sat in traffic due to the quicker, easier and more reliable journeys that have been possible since the bridge opened almost three years ago.

A total of 67 million journeys have now been made across the Mersey Gateway Bridge since it opened on 14 October 2017.

Meanwhile, the latest quarterly Mersey Gateway figures show that traffic across the bridge is back up to over 85% of the pre-lockdown peak levels.

The newly released three-year figures show:

  • Commuters and local residents using the bridge have collectively saved 4,115,416 hours (or over 171,465 days, 24,296 weeks or 471 years) of time compared to how long their journeys would have taken using the old congested Silver Jubilee Bridge*.
  • Over 67 million journeys have been made across the river in three years.
  • The average merseyflow customer has said they save over 42 minutes every week.

The journey time savings figure is likely to be underestimated as it doesn’t include journeys made since lockdown began in March 2020 as traffic levels since then have been lower than they were in 2019. It also doesn’t make any allowance for what would have been increasing traffic levels, congestion and essential repairs on the Silver Jubilee Bridge over the past three years had it remained open.

Meanwhile, the latest quarterly Mersey Gateway figures show that traffic across the bridge is back up to over 85% of the pre-lockdown peak levels.

The average number of vehicles using the bridge every weekday rose to 64,000 in September, the highest level since March, though there was evidence in the last week of the month that the number of journeys was starting to decline slightly with the impact of new Covid-19 measures in place across the region.

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

  • Journey numbers increased monthly up to over 85% of pre-lockdown levels – but looking forward the initial signs are that the numbers for October will be down again slightly.
  • PCNs continue to fall relative to journey numbers – journey levels have dropped by 18% compared to this time last year, whereas PCNs have dropped by 20%.
  • Over 97% of all crossings were paid for on time – the percentage of people not paying on time remains very small.

Mike Bennett, Managing Director of the Mersey Gateway Crossings Board, said: ““Seeing the amount of time the Mersey Gateway Bridge has saved commuters and Halton Residents expressed in this way really strikes home the impact of the quicker, easier and more reliable journeys across the Mersey in Halton. A collective 471 years is a phenomenal savings figure and it means that every week thousands of people have extra time to spend with family and friends or doing what they want to do rather than being sat in traffic.”

Neil Conway, Chief Executive of merseyflow, said: “The bridge is an established part of life here in Halton now so the benefits it brings get taken for granted but these figures show just how significant they are over time. We’re continuing to work hard to upgrade our systems and innovate by bringing in new payment features like the merseyflow quick pay app which has been incredibly popular with customers, making it easier for them to pay for one off crossings and to enjoy the benefits of using the bridge.”

Robin Tudor, Head of PR for Liverpool John Lennon Airport said, “The Mersey Gateway Bridge has made a significant improvement to the journey time and perhaps more importantly the journey reliability for those travelling to and from the Airport from Cheshire, North Wales and beyond.”

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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