Merseytravel – Work due to start on refresh of the Mersey Tunnels Toll System

The Art Deco portal to Queensway the first Mersey Tunnel

From a Merseytravel press release, it may be of interest if you are a user of the Mersey Tunnels

Mersey Tunnel users are set to benefit from an improved travelling experience as work gets underway on a refresh of the toll system in both tunnels next month (September).

Improvements that will be introduced through the refresh, some of which are the result of feedback received from tunnel users, include:

· New toll machines on both the Birkenhead and Wallasey Tunnel toll plazas

· The machines will include an improved positioning of both the coin basket and the “reject coin” slot (making it easier to collect coins not accepted)

· Improved coin analysers, ensuring the cash transaction is quicker for customers.

· A change to the process of the “staffed” lanes, where payment will be taken by the attendant rather than the cash being handed back to them to make payment at the machine – again speeding up the transaction for the customer.

· The introduction of contactless card payment into every lane, to be in operation from early 2018.

· Digital displays to indicate information about your transaction in live time as well as the status of Fast Tag account balances.

· A new, improved website for Mersey Tunnels and the Fast Tag system

A decision was taken to “refresh” the current system rather than wholly replace it, so as to minimise the disruption to the public and also allow long-term planning for any major changes in the future.

Some preparation work has already taken place for the refresh, with two test lanes installed into the Birkenhead Tunnel in late July along with work to update the systems behind the scenes.

The £3.1m scheme will see the current toll machines (which were first installed in 2001) replaced on a lane-by-lane basis from late September to January to minimise disruption for tunnel users, although customers are being advised that there may be some congestion during peak periods while the work takes place.

Once that work in all toll lanes is completed, work will begin to install the contactless card payment equipment into each lane early in 2018.

The new Mersey Tunnels website, incorporated into the main Merseytravel website with a user-friendly interface including a mobile site, is also due to launch in December.

These are the tickets my family were given when we walked through the new (2nd) Tunnel in 1971, the day before it opened to vehicles.

1st Mersey Tunnel 80th Birthday – Queensway

www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-merseyside-28372224

The BBC has the story – see link above. The 80th anniversary of the opening of the Queensway tunnel is being marked.

Merseytravel produced a booklet about both Tunnels about 10 years ago. This is the front page of it.

Merseytravel produced a booklet about both Tunnels about 10 years ago. This is the front page.

The 2.13 mile (3.4 km) tunnel linking Liverpool and Birkenhead was opened by King George V on 18 July 1934.

Another page from the Merseytravel booklet gives  some fascinating facts about the Queensway Tunnel

Another page from the Merseytravel booklet gives some fascinating facts about the Queensway Tunnel. Click to enlarge

It was the first road tunnel under the River Mersey and took almost nine years to build.

This reminded me of the 2nd Tunnel being opened in 1971 when I walked through it with my parents gathering autographs of the people who worked on it. Here are a couple of interesting photos of that event:-

This is the front page of the booklet produced to celebrate  of the opening of Kingsway Tunnel

This is the front page of the booklet produced to celebrate of the opening of Kingsway Tunnel

These are the tickets my family were given when we walked through the new (2nd) Tunnel in 1971

These are the tickets my family were given when we walked through the new (2nd) Tunnel in 1971