WARNING. IN FEBRUARY 2023 A HIGH COURT JUDGE REVERSED THE DECISIONS MADE BY ADJUDICATORS OVER THE PREVIOUS FIVE YEARS. HE RULED THAT THE ENFORCEMENT OF THE PENALTIES WAS LEGAL.
(page revised 8 May 2023)
No Tolls home page Main Mersey Gateway page PETITION on 38 Degrees Facebook group
THIS HUMPTY DUMPTY DECISION MEANS THAT SOME OF OUR PREVIOUS ADVICE NO LONGER APPLIES. WE HAVE TRIED TO REFLECT THE NEW SITUATION BELOW AND IN OUR OTHER PAGES DEALING WITH THE PENALTIES
MERSEY GATEWAY & SILVER JUBILEE BRIDGE PENALTIES - WHAT YOU CAN DO
'Scrap Mersey Tolls' campaigns against the tolling of the old and new bridges between Runcorn and Widnes. The group also opposes Mersey Tunnels tolls. This page suggests what you can do to deal with Penalties on the Mersey Gateway and Siver Jubilee bridges, and includes links to other pages dealing with penalties.
On this page-
On other pages-
STAGE ONE - Making A Representation Online To Merseyflow
STAGE TWO - Making An Appeal Online To Traffic Penalty Tribunal
STAGE THREE - Traffic Enforcement Centre - Charge Certificates
STAGE FOUR - Traffic Enforcement Centre - Recovery Orders
STAGE FIVE - The Bailiffs
STAGE SIX - After The Bailiffs
Legal position as it has developed since bridge opened
Evidence For Representations And Appeals (On grounds of Procedural Impropriety)
Traffic Enforcement Centre (Apparent Illegal Use Of)
Our FULL GUIDE (May 2018)- 'Got a PCN from Merseyflow'(a pdf file). It covers the process from before you get a PCN up to the Traffic Penalty Tribunal and covers making representations in writing.
If you intend to pay the toll then we suggest that you do so even if it is past the deadline. If it is only slightly late, this may mean that you do not get a Penalty Charge Notice. Even if you still get a PCN, it may increase the chances of it being cancelled.
It seems to be best if you make the payment by phone rather than by some other means- the phone number is 01928 878 878 (though only available 8am-8pm Monday-Friday and 9am-6pm Saturday, Sunday and bank holidays).
DO NOT IGNORE ANYTHING THAT THEY SEND YOU. PAY UP OR FIGHT IT - IF YOU DO NOT THEN YOU WILL FALL INTO THE HANDS OF THE ENFORCERS. AT THIS STAGE, THERE IS LITTLE JUSTICE AND YOU CAN BE HOUNDED BY THE ENFORCERS WITH THE BACKING OF THE COURTS AND SOME POLICE.
Whatever the stage of the process you are at ACT QUICKLY, even if you either ignored or were unable to deal with previous stages of the process or did not receive earlier notices.
Be careful what you say on Facebook or other social media as you may say something which later makes it harder to fight penalties and costs.
This terrible system is the fault of the politicians, so contact your MP and councillor so that they can not say that they do not know what is going on. They may even help you!! And sign the PETITION.
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Paying tolls on a previously free crossing is bad enough, but to make it worse the politicians decided to have a penalty system which is inconveniencing many people and damaging their lives.
If you do not pay a toll for which Merseyflow think you are liable, then you will be sent a Penalty Charge Notice or PCN. For simplicity we usually refer to the 'driver' but it is not the driver who is liable to pay the toll, it is the registered keeper of the vehicle. The driver is only liable if the vehicle is hired or is a company car.
The PCNs are often referred to as 'fines' and they have been handing them out like confetti with 3,438,000 issued up to March 2023.
For those who are not registered to cross free, on average there has been one penalty issued for every 21 crossings.
If you cross without paying on time - or they claim that happened - usually Merseyflow will issue the PCN within two weeks, but you may have a long wait for the PCN as national politicians did not set any deadline for this. For a period Merseyflow even issued some PCNs twice!
The PCN will demand payment of the toll plus a penalty of £40 for each unpaid crossing. Under the national regulations, the penalty is reduced to £20 if you pay within 14 days.
We believe that the tolls and penalties do not comply with the law but after the bridge had been open for 65 months, the powerful machine behind the tolls managed to get a judge to agree that the penalty enforcement was lawful.
This means that our advice now is that if you receive a Penalty Charge Notice then you should pay it - even if you believe that it has been issued to you by mistake. You should do this within the 14 days so that you qualify for the statutory 50% reduction.
We also suggest that you make a 'representation', particularly if you think that the penalty is a mistake. Though the chances of winning are almost zero whatever the circumstances.
There can be various reasons why people do not deal with penalty charge notices or other letters that Merseyflow claim to have sent out-
Merseyflow, or whoever they contract to print and send out the letters, did not send them.
The Royal Mail or whoever is contracted to deliver the letters, may fail to do so.
The letters may go to the wrong address.
They may be opened by someone who does not pass the letter on to the correct person.
The person they are addressed to may be away from home for a long period due to work, holiday, detention or visiting.
The person may be physically ill or have a mental condition that makes it difficult for them to deal with demanding letters from Merseyflow.
The person may have difficulty with mobility, hearing or sight.
They may not be able to read.
They may not understand English.
They may have neither access to or experience with the Internet, without which it is difficult to deal with Merseyflow.
They may be overwhelmed by the amount of correspondence.
They may have tried to sort things out with Merseyflow but got no sensible answers from them.
They may even be using the crossing and deliberately not paying.
Whatever the reason for not dealing with the letters, the results are horrendous.
The total amount demanded for one £2 toll, allegedly either unpaid or paid late, could be as much as £490.
PCN stage- An unpaid toll or a toll paid late, results in a letter demanding payment of the tolls plus a penalty of £20, which increases to £40 if not paid within 14 days.
Charge Certificate stage- If the PCN letter is ignored or not received or the person fails in any attempt to deal with it then a charge certificate is issued. The amount demanded as a penalty charge for each crossing now increases to £60 plus any unpaid toll.
Recovery Order stage- If the charge certificate is ignored or not received or the person fails in any attempt to deal with it then a Recovery Order (TE3) is issued. £9 is added for a 'Court registration fee' and the amount demanded for each crossing is now £69 plus any unpaid toll.
Notice of Enforcement stage- If the Recovery Order is ignored or not received or the person fails in any attempt to deal with it then a Notice of Enforcement is issued. £75 is added as a 'Compliance Stage fee' and the amount demanded for each crossing is now £144 plus any unpaid toll.
Warrant of Control stage- If the Notice of Enforcement is ignored or not received or the person fails in any attempt to deal with it then a Warrant of Control is issued. The amount demanded for each crossing is still £144 plus the unpaid toll.
But on top of that there is now an additional 'fee' of £235 if there is a visit by the 'enforcement agent' plus a further 'fee' of £110 if they seize any of your belongings. So the total amount demanded for just one crossing could be as much as £489 plus any unpaid toll.
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# Your local MP
You can find out who your MP is and their email address at this site.
As well as contacting your MP for help or to complain, we suggest that you also copy to your MP any complaints that you make to Merseyflow etc.)
Phone- 01928 878 878
Post- Merseyflow, PO BOX 327, Runcorn, WA7 9DW
Walk in centre- Howard Court, Manor Park, Runcorn, WA7 1SJ
Website - Merseyflow.
# Traffic Penalty Tribunal
Phone- 0800 160 1999
Post- Traffic Penalty Tribunal, Springfield House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5BG
Website - Traffic Penalty Tribunal.
# Traffic Enforcement Centre (part of Northampton County Court)
Phone- 0300 123 1059
Post- Traffic Enforcement Centre, St Katharine's House, 21-27 St Katharine's Street, Northampton, NN1 2LH
Website - NONE
TEC forms -
Download TE9 forms - Witness statement for unpaid penalty charge.
Download TE7 forms - Application to file a statement out of time.
# Marston (the bailiffs)
We recommend that as far as possible you do NOT contact Marston.
If you do then they will probably badger you and try to get you to agree to pay (possibly over a few months). It also means that they will then have your phone number and email and may pester you.
Email for general enquiries to Marston- firstname.lastname@example.org
Phone- 0333 320 1822
Post- Marston Group Limited, PO Box 12019, Epping, CM16 9EB
Web form for general enquiries to Marston.
If you want to complain to Marston-
Email for complaints to Marston- email@example.com
Web form for complaints to Marston.
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The group used to issue frequent press releases (some of the ones that dealt mainly with penalties are listed below) to over thirty press contacts. As well as the press releases we have has contact with individual journalists. In recent years we have stopped initiating any contact, as virtually nothing is published either because editors do not want to upset the local politicians, particularly Labour ones, or because of negative briefings and remarks about us or even the victims.
Press Release 8 Apr 2018 -
MERSEY GATEWAY TOLLS AND PENALTIES MAY BE ILLEGA
Press Release 18 Apr 2018 - COUNCILLORS PASS NEW MERSEY GATEWAY TOLLS ORDER
Press Release 19 Apr 2018 - HALTON COUNCIL MADE LATE CHANGES TO THE NEW GATEWAY TOLLS ORDER
FOLLOWING SUGGESTIONS FROM TRIBUNAL
Press Release 4 May 2018 - TRAFFIC PENALTY TRIBUNAL HEARING MAY CAUSE MAJOR UPSET
Press Release 18 May 2018 - TRAFFIC PENALTY TRIBUNAL DECISION
Press Release 13 Jul 2018 - HALTON COUNCIL REFUSE TO REFUND TOLLS AND PENALTIES
Press Release 25 Jul 2018 - LATEST PENALTY FIGURES FOR MERSEY GATEWAY
Press Release 6 Dec 2018 - DRIVERS CAUGHT IN A PENALTY TRAP ON MERSEY GATEWAY AS PENALTIES REACH ONE MILLION FIGURE
Press Release 13 Feb 2019 - MERSEY GATEWAY TOLLS BLITZ ON DRIVERS
PR on 4th March 2019 - DRIVERS WHO MISS PAYING MERSEY GATEWAY TOLLS FACE MASSIVE DEMANDS
Press Release 11 Mar 2019 - TRAFFIC PENALTY TRIBUNAL DECISION EXPECTED SOON ON MERSEY GATEWAY TOLL PENALTIES
Press Release 11 Mar 2019 - TRAFFIC PENALTY TRIBUNAL DECISION ANNOUNCED ON MERSEY GATEWAY TOLL PENALTIES
Press Release 16 May 2019 - TRAFFIC PENALTY TRIBUNAL REJECT REVIEW REQUEST
Press Release 4 Jun 2019 - CALL FOR AN INQUIRY INTO MERSEY TOLLS AND ENFORCEMENT
Press Release 30 Jun 2019 - CAMPAIGNERS SAY MERSEY TOLLS ENFORCEMENT IS ILLEGAL
Press Release 7 Oct 2019 - Mersey Gateway - Drivers have paid £32 million penalties
Press Release 13 Oct 2019 - Mersey Gateway - Two Years On
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