TUNNEL tolls through the Mersey could rise to £1.60 by April, motorists have been warned.
Merseytravel are meeting on Thursday, February 4 to decide their annual budget.
That will include a decision on whether to raise tolls at the Kingsway and Queensway tunnels connecting Liverpool with Wallasey and Birkenhead respectively, with any affect coming into force in the new financial year in April.
Now pressure group, the Mersey Tunnel Users Association (MTUA), is urging residents and motorists to lobby their local councillors against any rise.
In an open letter to Globe readers, MTUA secretary John McGoldrick said: "As you may remember, any toll rise is based on the retail price index (RPI) for the previous November compared with the RPI for November 1999 - but Merseytravel can decide to levy a lower toll (or even no toll).
"The RPI in November 2009 had not changed from 12 months before, but Merseytravel can in effect implement the toll increase that they agreed but then 'froze' last year.
"This means that they could decide to raise the toll for cars to £1.60, with similar per centange rises for other vehicle classes.
"You'll remember that at Dartford - owned by the Government - the tolls for "locals" were reduced at the end of 2008 to 20p and during 2008 we campaigned for a similar reduction here.
"You may also remember that Wirral Council seemed to support our call, but they and the Wirral MPs that the council said it had written to apparently did nothing effective."
He added: "What you may not be aware of is that in 2009 when the authorities wanted to increase the tolls on the Humber bridge, the Government said 'no' and gave a grant towards the running costs of the bridge.
"Each crossing is of course different, and one difference with the Mersey Tunnels is that they make a large profit and there is no need for a toll rise to cover costs - though Merseytravel may claim to you that they don't make a profit.
"Whatever has happened elsewhere, if people on Wirral don't make representations then a toll rise is quite possible.
"We have asked all our members, that we have email addresses for, to contact the Merseytravel councillors and request that they not increase the tolls." http://www.tunnelusers.org.uk/ THE GLOBE