Dear Department for Transport,
In 2015 the government announced it would look at the feasibility of extending Mersey Gateway bridge toll discounts to residents of Cheshire West & Chester and Warrington. The department has undertaken detailed work and evaluated options for how this could happen, what the costs would be and what this would do to the contracts already signed by Halton Borough Council to deliver the scheme and the tolling infrastructure.
The feasibility study, considered the legal position and the costs to the taxpayer and concluded in January 2017 that free tolling will not be extended beyond Halton Borough Council.
Despite announcing the conclusion of the work in a brief written statement, the department has not published a detailed account of the feasibility study. Therefore I ask if the department will publish:
1) What advice was received that showed there would be a significant risk of a successful legal challenge to a decision to extend free tolling to some local Councils and not others.
1) What advice was received that showed there would not be a significant risk of a successful legal challenge to a decision to extend free tolling to Halton Council and not others.
3) Estimates to demonstrate that the cost of extending free tolling would still be at a substantial cost to the taxpayer, and how these estimates were calculated.
4) What legal advice was received that suggested tolling in Halton should be applied as per Council Tax bands.
5) What advice has been received on the charging of public transport (eg. buses) use of the Mersey Gateway bridge.
I am writing to acknowledge receipt of your request for information which
has been allocated reference number P0014821.
A response will be issued to you in due course.
Department for Transport
FOI Advice Team
Information & Security Division
Sedlescombe Road North
St Leonards on Sea
Please find attached a reply and associated document to your recent FoI
requests on the Mersey Gateway.
cid:image001.png@01D2CEFB.E17C0440 Charlie Sunderland
Team Leader, Local
2/15 GMH, Great Minster
33 Horseferry Road,
London, SW1P 4DR
020 7944 8810
Follow us on twitter
We work to defend the right to FOI for everyone
Help us protect your right to hold public authorities to account. Donate and support our work.Donate Now