News release
13 July 2021

Traffic flowing across the Mersey almost back at pre-pandemic levels


Traffic levels across the two toll bridges over the River Mersey in Halton have almost returned to pre-pandemic levels according to new figures from merseyflow.

June saw almost two million journeys made across a combination of the Mersey Gateway and Silver Jubilee bridges, making it the busiest month for traffic since February 2020.

As government restrictions continue to ease, merseyflow is anticipating that the number of total journeys across the two bridges will continue to increase.

The latest quarterly figures, which are presented in the quarterly Mersey Gateway Bridge and Silver Jubilee Bridge dashboard and cover April – June 2021, also show:

  • Just over 13% of total journeys across the River Mersey in Halton from April to June were across the Silver Jubilee Bridge – but this is an amazing ten times less than the amount of traffic the Silver Jubilee Bridge used to carry
  • Almost 98% of journeys were paid for on time – the vast majority of people are paying for their journeys by midnight the day after they cross
  • PCNs (penalty charge notices) increased as expected as total journey numbers rise – but the level of PCNs issued as a percentage of overall journeys continues to remain low at less than 2.5%
  • Over 130,000 customers have now downloaded the merseyflow quick pay app – the vast majority of payments for journeys are now being made via the app or merseyflow website.

It is the first full quarter of figures for the new look Silver Jubilee Bridge, which re-opened as a toll bridge in February 2021 after being closed for almost three and-a-half years for essential repair and remodelling work. It now provides a local alternative to the Mersey Gateway Bridge connecting Runcorn to Widnes.

Around 250,000 journeys were made across the Silver Jubilee Bridge in June, compared to more than 1,600,000 across the Mersey Gateway Bridge.

Mike Bennett, Managing Director of the Mersey Gateway Crossings Board, said: “If you look at traffic levels across the Mersey as a barometer of economic activity then it’s clear that even ahead of this summer’s removal of working at home restrictions we are almost ‘back to normal’, even if many other parts of our lives are quite different to before.”

Mike added: “It’s also quite incredible to think that just four years ago the Silver Jubilee Bridge used to carry all of this traffic through Halton. It’s a beautiful structure but it’s worth remembering the disruption and delays we all had to endure on a regular basis when that was the only option for crossing the river in Halton.

“Today the Silver Jubilee Bridge is running at about 10% of the levels of traffic it used to carry, but it does provide an alternative to the Mersey Gateway Bridge and it’s good to see people are using it for local journeys.”

Neil Conway, Chief Executive of merseyflow, said: “We’ve now had over 130,000 downloads of the merseyflow quick-pay app and we can see that a lot of unregistered customers are using the app to pay for journeys on a regular basis.

He added: “Payments made by customers using a combination of the app and the website now account for the vast majority of one-off journeys, which shows that most people find them the easiest way to pay, but we also have a 24-7 automated payment line as well as our Contact Centre and Walk-in Centre to support customers who prefer to use those channels.”

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.

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