MERSEY Tunnel Tolls look set to be frozen at 2008 levels until April 2010, in a bid to help motorists cope with the recession.
has been welcomed by the Mersey Tunnel Users Association (MTUA) and business leaders.
A recommendation going before Merseytravel councillors at a budget meeting next Thursday (February 5) is that tolls for Class 1 vehicles - which includes cars and motorbikes - using the Kingsway and Queensway Tunnels - stay at £1.40.
Cllr Mark Dowd, chairman of Merseytravel, said: "We have many issues to consider at the meeting of the authority on February 5, and a decision on tunnel tolls for 2009 to 2010 will be taken at that meeting, so I wouldn't want to pre-empt anything.
"However, as members resposible to the public, we appreciate first hand the difficulties people are facing in the current economic climate and we also know we have a responsibility to do what we can to maintain the region's continuing regeneration."
A Merseytravel report states that, according to law, the authority could increase the toll to £1.60 for cars (a 20p rise), which would raise an additional £5.3m.
Alternatively, it could have increased the rate by 10p to £1.50, bringing in £2.5m more for Merseytravel.
Leaving tunnel tolls unchanged will lead to a loss of £1.4m of income because tunnel use is predicted to fall by 1%.
If, as expected, councillors vote to freeze tunnel tolls, prices would remain the same for Class 2, 3 and 4 vehicles.
John McGoldrick of MTUA, which campaigns for the scrapping of the tolls, said: "This is good News
for Mersey tunnel users, although we still want the tolls to be removed.
"When considering whether to increase the tolls, they are supposed to take into account the economic and social conditions.
"Bearing that in mind, it would have been surprising if they chose to increase tolls at this time."