Motorists using the Kingsway Mersey Tunnels connecting Wallasey with Liverpool City Centre can pay contactless in any lane from this week.
People have been using the contactless card payment feature without having to drive through the ‘attended’ lanes at the Queensway Birkenhead tunnels’ toll plaza since last week.
But the feature, which Merseytravel hopes will mean faster journeys and reduced congestion, is now usable across all of the two tunnels’ total 34 lanes.
The news follows months of speculation and promises, with drivers previously having had to use staffed lanes at both plazas to pay by debit or credit card.
The function “went live” in Wallasey on Wednesday afternoon, Merseytravel confirmed.
Gary Evans, head of customer delivery, said: “We would like to thank tunnel users for their patience whilst these works have been progressed.
“The changes were led by the feedback we receive from our customers on a daily basis and we are happy to see the difference these changes have already made to the customers experience.”
According to Merseyside‘s transport body, a decision was taken to “refresh” the current system rather than to wholly replace it, so as to minimise the disruption, and also allow long-term planning for any major future changes.
The £3.1m scheme saw the existing toll machines – first installed in 2001 – replaced on a lane-by-lane basis, also to minimise disruption.
Liverpool City Region Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram said: “I’m really happy that we’ve been able to make using the Mersey Tunnels even easier by introducing contactless
“It should also mean cars will spend less time on the toll plaza, reducing congestion and air pollution and making journeys faster.”
By Tom Houghton – Local Democracy Reporter (more here).