Halton Borough Council has once again asked Government to remove tolls on Mersey Gateway for NHS workers, key workers, volunteers, carers and critical supply chain to help them as we all fight against COVID 19.
Following what the Minister described as a “robust conversation” between Cllr Rob Polhill and Baroness Vere, a Minister in the Department for Transport, the Minister advised the Council that Government were “not minded” to remove tolls from Mersey Gateway “immediately” but would “keep it under review” and make “the right decision at the right time”.
Despite the specific wording used by the Minister, the consequence of the Government’s position is that Halton Borough Council cannot remove the tolls from Mersey Gateway – which the Council believe is the right thing to do – to support NHS workers, key workers, carers, volunteers and the critical supply chain who are at the forefront of fighting COVID 19 in Halton, Cheshire and the Liverpool City Region.
Responding to this decision Cllr Polhill, Leader of Halton Borough Council said: “However you dress this up, Government has decided not to remove tolls.
“We need the permission of Government to do this, so the consequence of the Government’s position is that the Council cannot remove the tolls.
“Those who will be most disappointed will be the NHS workers, key workers, volunteers, carers and critical supply network in Halton, Cheshire and the Liverpool City Region who continue to go ‘above and beyond’ to keep us safe from COVID 19 but who, as a result of the Government’s current position, will still be distracted from their primary roles and financially disadvantaged by paying tolls.
“These are the very people we are relying on most in these difficult times.
“We urge Government to reconsider their position without delay and will continue to press Government to allow the Council to remove the tolls.”