News release
21 January 2022

Mersey Gateway journey numbers bounce back in 2021 after impact of pandemic


The volume of traffic crossing the River Mersey in Halton shot up by more than 15% in 2021 compared to 2020 as the UK relaxed many of the travel restrictions implemented in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Over the twelve-month period, traffic levels across the Mersey Gateway and Silver Jubilee Bridges were up by almost three million journeys compared to 2020, but still over three million down on the pre-pandemic peak levels seen in 2019.

Tolling provider merseyflow is expecting to see 2022’s January-March traffic figures show a significant increase compared to last year – just over four million journeys were made across the two bridges in the first quarter of 2021, and that number is likely to be close to six million this time round.

In total, Halton residents, businesses and commuters have made over 90 million journeys over the River Mersey in Halton since the Mersey Gateway Bridge opened in autumn 2017.

The newly released quarterly figures from merseyflow include trips made across both the Mersey Gateway Bridge and the Silver Jubilee Bridge, which re-opened in February 2021. They cover October-December 2021, and show:

  • Silver Jubilee Bridge traffic increased whilst Mersey Gateway traffic dipped slightly - SJB traffic was consistent throughout the Christmas period whereas less commuters used Mersey Gateway in December due to a mix of holidays and Covid-19
  • Over 97% of journeys were paid for on time – the vast majority of people are paying for their journeys by midnight the day after they cross
  • Over 90% of payments are made through digital or automated channels – the merseyflow website, the merseyflow quick pay app and auto top-up options are widely used by customers
  • PCNs remain below historical levels from 2018 / 2019 – and have decreased by a greater proportion than the quarterly drop in journey numbers

Mike Bennett, Managing Director of the Mersey Gateway Crossings Board, said: “We’re seeing around 85% of journeys made over the river across the Mersey Gateway Bridge and 15% made using the Silver Jubilee Bridge. It will be interesting to see how that develops in 2022 as we hopefully see less and less pandemic-related restrictions and society continues to recover and move forward.”

Neil Conway, Chief Executive of merseyflow, said: “We’re continuing to invest in and develop our payment options for customers, because we want to continue to increase the amount of journeys paid for on time and to make that as simple and as easy as possible for customers. The easiest and cheapest way for most regular travellers to save money and keep it simple is to register with us at and set up an auto top-up payment so you don’t need to do anything else when you cross the river. More occasional travellers can pay 24/7 using our website, our app or by phone, so there are lots of different and easy to use options available.”

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.

To view the full dashboard statistics, click here.

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