Despite appeals by the small businesses, tunnels users, me, Mersey Tunnels Users Association, the CBI, MP’s both Labour and Conservatives, and many many others, Labour-led Merseytravel has forced through a rise in tunnel tolls.
As the Conservative Group Leader on Merseytravel I moved an amendment calling for a freeze on payable tolls and a reduction of 10p for Fast Tag users, sadly this was defeated, so I moved a further amendment calling for a total freeze on all payable tolls for both cash and fast tag users, and protecting the concessions for disable people, again this was voted down by nine Labour members and the Chairmans casting vote, so the cost for a car rises from £1.40 to £1.50 per crossing.
The increase, effective from the 1st April will generate a further income of over £1.8million for Merseytravel and will also allow a transfer of £4.125 million of surplus tolls to other transport schemes. The tunnel debt as of today I was told is £67.7 million pounds, measure that against the £70 million pounds Merseytravel squandered on the failed tram scheme, ‘Line One to Knowhere’
Labour tell us they are on the side of working people, well guys actions speak louder than words, and the actions of the Labour group on Merseytravel today demonstrated just how much they care about working people. Today they had a choice and they chose to add to the economic chaos caused by the last Labour Government.
Is it time Eric Pickles added Integrated Transport Authorities to his ‘To Do’ list? Personally I think so, and the sooner the better. It really is time for change at Merseytravel! (Enjoy Joe)