THOSE commuting to and visiting Liverpool could see Mersey Tunnel toll fees rise by 10p to £1.80. 

The proposed cash hike, which is to be reviewed by Merseytravel's Transport Committee next week,comes just days after Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram revealed his plans for a cheaper off-peak £1 toll for Fast tag users.

As part of his manifesto, the introduction of the £1 fast tag would fulfil one of Mr Rotheram's pledges.

The new discount for off-peak travellers would apply between 7pm and 7am Monday to Saturday and all day Sunday.

Other ideas to be considered at the meeting include continuing to provide free travel through the tunnels for emergency service vehicles and free travel for all users between 10pm on December 24 and 6am on December 26.

After recommendations are made, they will then be considered by the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, who is responsible for setting the tunnel tolls, at its budget meeting on Friday, February 2.

If these plans go ahead, the new tolls would come into effect from Sunday, April 1, 2018.

Chief executive of Merseytravel Frank Rogers said: "As always, it is for political members to take a decision on the tunnel toll levels.

"However, reflecting on the past year, it is encouraging to see more than half of the people using the tunnel taking advantage of the benefits that a Fast Tag can bring.

"If the proposed changes are approved, it will give those people even further increased savings when travelling, especially during off-peak times."

On Tuesday, Mr Rotheram said: "I fully understand that no-one likes paying tolls, so I have put forward proposals designed to reduce costs for regular and local users of the Mersey Tunnels.

"By freezing the fast tag and introducing the £1 off-peak, we are striving to make cross-river travel as affordable and convenient as possible.

“Encouraging more people to travel off-peak will also help to reduce congestion and improve air quality by reducing the number of queuing vehicles.

“A review and refresh of tunnel operations is under way, which amongst other things, will look at the introduction of contactless payment and new technology.

"As part of that process I would want to look at ways in which we can make it as easy as possible for people to use the cheapest payment option.”