William Eichler 16 July 2018

Council refuses to repay controversial bridge tolls

A council has refused to repay controversial bridge tolls despite a tribunal ruling they had made a number of ‘procedural errors’.

Motorists using the Mersey Gateway Bridge are required to pay Halton Borough Council a £2 fee as it is part of a ‘road user charging scheme’.

However, the legality of these charges has been challenged in two different cases by six motorists.

The Traffic Penalty Tribunal concluded the appeals would be allowed because the council had not specified the charges to be paid for crossing the bridge.

The signs warning drivers of the toll also ‘could be improved’, said tribunal adjudicator Edward Solomons.

Despite this ruling, Halton council said it is under ‘no legal obligation to repay any toll or penalty paid on failing to pay a toll.’

‘Adjudication by the Traffic Penalty Tribunal (TPT) cannot and does not, in law, invalidate or remove the powers in place from the 14 October 2017 to toll and enforce tolls on the Mersey Gateway Bridge,’ said a council statement.

‘Adjudication is specific to the case being considered, and any decision of an adjudicator only relates to that particular case.

‘A decision of TPT does not have general effect and can not remove the validity of the order or the obligation to pay.

‘Any suggestion that the council has no power to charge or enforce tolls or that the council is acting “illegally” is misleading, inaccurate and wrong in law.’

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