Drivers traveling from Liverpool to Wirral are being caught off guard by a “no change given” rule at toll booths, resulting in unexpectedly high costs for their journey. The tolls at the Kingsway and Queensway tunnels are typically £2 for most cars and light goods vehicles, with higher fees for larger vehicles. However, drivers who want to pay with cash are now finding that toll booth staff no longer provide change for notes, potentially leading to a £20 or more expense for a single £2 journey.
This policy was initially implemented by Merseytravel as a safety measure during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. Although other restrictions have been lifted, the no-change policy has remained in place. Many drivers claim they were unaware of this policy, and express frustration over the lack of warning signage before entering the tunnel.
One driver, Darren McGree, explains his experience, saying, “If you arrive at the tunnel with a note, they won’t give you change. There is no warning until you exit the tunnel, by which point it’s too late. Even if you only have a £5, £10, or £20 note, they won’t provide change. It makes me wonder how many people are affected by this and whether it is fair. In other tunnels, there is clear signage that states ‘no change given.’ If there was a warning on the Liverpool side, drivers would have the opportunity to stop and get change.”
The Liverpool City Region Combined Authority justified the no-change policy, stating it was implemented to minimize physical contact during the pandemic. They have efforts in place to communicate this policy on their website, social media, and at toll plazas. They also emphasize that only 15% of toll payments are made in cash, while the majority use contactless or card payments. Additionally, customers are encouraged to use the T-flow service for electronic payments, which offers a discounted rate for Liverpool City Region residents.
- Why do toll booth staff not give change for notes?
- The policy was originally implemented as a safety measure during the COVID-19 pandemic to minimize physical contact.
- Is there any warning about the no-change policy?
- Drivers claim there is no signage before entering the tunnel, and the only warning is displayed upon exiting.
- What are the alternative payment methods?
- Drivers are encouraged to use contactless or card payments, as well as the T-flow service for electronic payments. Liverpool City Region residents can also benefit from a discounted rate.