AN MP angered at a proposed 50 per cent hike in the Mersey Tunnel toll for motorists living outside the Liverpool City Region is calling on the city's Metro mayor to rethink the policy.

Ellesmere Port and Neston Labour MP Justin Madders has written a letter to Steve Rotherham, Metro Mayor for the Liverpool City Region, questioning why the toll charge is to rise on April 1 from £1.20 to £1.80 for those using a Fast Tag while living in West Cheshire.

The price rise comes as, at the same time, motorists living in the Liverpool City Region will see their off-peak fare drop to just £1.

Mr Madders wrote: "As you may be aware, in order for my constituents to access Liverpool by car, they are met with tolls whether through the tunnels or the Mersey Gateway Bridge.

"Unfortunately, despite discount schemes being in place for local residents, my constituents miss out and based on the announcement, those who use the fast tag will now be charged an additional 60p due to living in Cheshire West and Chester.

"Do you think it is right that public servants who have had to put up with eight years of pay freezes, including the police and NHS workers, should face a 50 per cent increase?

"Liverpool is the nearest large city at only 13 miles away from my constituency; understandably, many constituents work in Liverpool or visit regularly.

"I do appreciate that as Metro Mayor for the Liverpool City Region, your policies are for the benefit of those residents who live in the region and contribute towards the cost of the department.

"However, given my constituents are being detrimentally affected due to tolling on every access to Liverpool, and they play an important role in the Mersey economy, I would ask you to reconsider."

The tolls in classes for larger vehicles will remain unchanged.

In response, Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, said: “Nobody likes the imposition of tolls but until the Government agrees to take the tunnels into the national road network, tolling is the only option to enable us to keep them open.

“I made a promise during my election to introduce a £1 fast tag for Liverpool City Region residents and last week I delivered on that promise.

“The local authorities in the Liverpool City Region have had the largest government funding cuts in the country, and cannot continue to shoulder the burden of austerity.  Extending the £1 Fast Tag outside of the city region – without receiving any additional funding to do so – would require the hardest-hit councils in the country to subsidise a discount for residents outside our administrative boundaries. I am not willing to do that.

“I am open to the potential for councils outside the city region to fund the extension of the £1 Fast Tag to their area, but this would have to be done so that it does not incur any additional cost for the Liverpool City Region and its local authorities.”