(page created 29 June 2019 previously on background page)
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MERSEY GATEWAY PENALTIES - FIGURES
'Scrap Mersey Tolls' is the campaign against the tolling of the old and new bridges between Runcorn and Widnes. The group also opposes Mersey Tunnels tolls. This page gives available information on number of penaltiesa
On this page-
Merseyflow are not required to issue any figures, though they have quarterly given out two figures for each month - number of PCNs and the total 'Revenue'. Indirectly some figures can be obtained from Halton Council but despise the Freedom of Information Act it is difficult to get figures for anything from them. The Traffic Penalty Tribunal have issued some figures but they are not covered by FOIA rules.
We have with some difficulty obtained from Halton Council, figures for the numbers of PCNs etc up to the end of September 2018. The figures are staggering - though their figure for the number of appeals is widely different from figures issued by the Traffic Penalty Tribunal. We do not know who is correct but this set of figures is based on what the Council say This is what the Council gave us and this is our summary based on what the Council gave us
For the 50 weeks from when the bridge opened on 13 /14 October 2017-
855,000 PCNs were issued.
The number of PCNs has fluctuated but has averaged about 2,430 a day. The number of penalties would surprise most people, but it would not surprise the politicians. Just before the bridge opened, Halton Council told the Traffic Penalty Tribunal that they expected there would be about 2,400 penalties issued each day (from an agreement between the Council and the PATROL Joint Committee that oversees the Tribunal).
We don't know how the Council arrived at their estimate, but the only other crossing with the same system is at Dartford and in 2015/16 they averaged 7,300 penalties a day with about three times the tolled traffic - and one third of 7,300 is 2,400.
606,000 PCNs were paid and 249,000 not paid.
223,000 representations were made of which only 16,000 were rejected by Merseyflow. And 7,000 of the 16,000 rejections included an offer to in effect cancel the PCN if the toll was paid.
Only 2,300 of PCNs where the representation was rejected were then appealed to the Traffic Penalty Tribunal.
(Note that based on figures from the Traffic Penalty Tribunal the number of appeals as at end of September would have been about 4,700 - twice what the Council say it is. We do not know who is in error.)
Whatever the correct number of appeals is, the number won by the Council is - none.
177,000 Charge certificates threatening court action had been issued.
Only 17,000 of those were then paid.
That leaves 160,000 that may receive a Recovery Order (we know that lots of people have but the Council only started issuing them after the end of September).
As well as the figures from the Council which go up to the end of September 2018, we have also been able to get some figures from the Traffic Penalty Tribunal itself on three occasions - to the end of January, to end of May and to 30th October 2018.
To end of January the total issued PCNs was 242,690. To end of May it was 519,619. To end of September (calculated from the Council's 'dashboard') it was 855,000. To end of October we have not been given a figure but estimate it was 940,000.
The figures show that drivers who are not in the LUDS or Blue Badge scheme will on average receive a PCN for every sixteenth crossing.
(There were 22,334,000 crossings of which 7,750,000 were by cars registered for free residents' crossings and 852,000 were by cars registered by Blue Badge holders for free crossings. That leaves 13,730,000 crossings for which a toll would be payable and of those 855,000 got a penalty.)
PCNs appealed to the Tribunal
It seems that the vast majority of drivers who use the bridges are a soft touch. Since the bridge opened in October last year, only about 0.5% of PCNs (that is one in two hundred) has been appealed to the Tribunal.
To end of January there were 3,010 appeals, and to end of May 3,810. To end of September per the Council there were 2,319 but this figure seems to be wrong. To 30th October there were 4,950 appeals.
There figures also show that the number of appeals has been falling, from when the bridge opened to the end of January there were 27 appeals a day, since then there have only been about 8 appeals a day despite the fact that so far the Council has not won a single appeal.
Outcome of appeals
Of the 4,950 appeals to the Tribunal as at 30th October-
No appeals were dismissed (i.e. the Council had won none).
3,662 appeals had not been contested by the Council (so the appellant automatically won).
981 appeals had been allowed (the Council opposed the appeal and the adjudicator decided in favour of the appellant).
111 appeals ended without a decision (64 were 'closed by consent', 26 were 'withdrawn by the appellant' and 21 had the 'registration rejected'.
196 appeals were waiting for a decision. This seems to be because the Tribunal is looking at several test cases. The decision on the test cases will presumably be applied to the rest of the outstanding appeals.
(Note that the Tribunal and Council seem to have widely different figures for the number of appeals outstanding, the Council think that there are less than 100 appeals outstanding.)
PENALTY NUMBERS AND INCOME BY MONTH
Figures have been published on the official 'customer dashboard' for each month showing two figures - number of PCNs in thousands and the Revenue in tenths of a million pounds.
Up to 31st March 2019, there were an average of 2,300 PCNS issued each month. There is a slightly downward trend.
Figures by month
Release of Dashboard figures
On 29th May 2018 they gave on Mersey Gateway and Merseyflow sites, the figures from 14th October 2017 to 31st March 2018.
On 25th July they gave on Mersey Gateway and Merseyflow sites, the figures from 1st April 2018 to 30th June 2018.
On 22nd October they gave on Mersey Gateway and Merseyflow sites, the figures from 1st July 2018 to 30th September 2018.
On 29th January 2019 they gave on Mersey Gateway and Merseyflow sites (only Merseyflow had this in their 'news'), the figures from 1st October 2018 to 31st December 2018.
On 24th April they gave on Merseyflow site only (and only Merseyflow had this in their 'news'), the figures from 1st January 2019 to 31st March 2019.
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