The delayed electronic tolling option for the Humber Bridge, costing £5m, will finally become available in early November 2015 bosses have announced.
The Humber Bridge Board (HBB) attributes the six-month postponement to a 26% surge in traffic since 2012, when Chancellor George Osborne cut the toll charges, then the highest in the UK, to boost the local economy.
This meant keeping more of the existing manual payment lanes open to avoid congestion, reducing the working space available for Spanish tolling contractor SICE. From 01 September 2015, drivers will be able to apply for an account and receive a windscreen Humber tag for automatic reading. Car and vans using the central freeflow lanes will then be charged a discounted £1.35, compared with £1.50 for those staying paying manually. (The HGV prices will be £10.80 and £12).
Keith Mortimer, chair of trade body ITS (UK)'s Road User Charging Group, told Transport Network: 'The Humber Bridge is an interesting hybrid of manual and freeflow operation, and might represent a way forward to full freeflow tolling while maintaining driver choice during this transition.
'We might also hope that, in the not-too-distant future, the viability of road pricing to fund mobility choices could be improved by enabling interoperability between tolls.'