ALL Mersey Gateway bridge appeals against the tolls are on hold pending a review of a decision on a case taken against Halton Council.

The Traffic Penalty Tribunal (TPT) has issued a decision that a motorist was not liable to pay the toll for using the new bridge because Halton Council, the charging authority, has not specified the sum of the charge in the Mersey Gateway Road User Charging Order 2017.

In the case of C vs Halton Borough Council, TPT adjudicator Andrew Barfoot said that Ms C, the appellant, was not liable to pay the £2 charge for using the bridge because the order does not specify that the charge is £2.

According to the adjudicator, this does not comply with the requirements set out in the Transport Act 2000.

On the evidence provided by the council the adjudicator also found that the council had failed to follow the commencement process contained in the Order itself.

Halton Council does not agree with the adjudicator’s decision on either point and has applied for it to be reviewed, while also embarking on a consultation to make a fresh order that does specify the charges.

The review application will be heard by a different adjudicator on May 8.

All other appeals relating to the Mersey Gateway Bridge that are currently with the TPT have been delayed pending the outcome of the review decision.

Halton Council says it is ‘business as usual’ and motorists should continue to pay tolls to cross the Mersey Gateway.

A Halton Council spokesman said: “After taking independent legal advice the council and Mersey Gateway Crossings Board Ltd strongly dispute this decision made by the TPT.

“The council are following due process and will rigorously dispute the adjudicator’s decision.”

The £600 million bridge opened in October. As of February, according to Halton Council, approximately 242,690 penalty charges had been issued for failing to pay the charge.

To date there have been more than 3,489 penalty charge notices appealed to the adjudicators.

Halton Council has not contested 2,543 cases and a further 449 appeals have been heard and allowed by the adjudicators, resulting in the cancellation of the penalty charge.

Some 456 appeals are currently on hold pending the outcome of the review on May 8.

The bridge is free to use for Halton residents who register, but everyone else has to pay to cross. City of Chester MP Chris Matheson has made several calls for the tolls to be scrapped.