Cookies - we do not use cookies to store personal information about you, we only use them to improve our website for you. For more information see our Cookie & Privacy Policy page.

Search form
Skip Navigation LinksMerseytravel > Tunnels

 Mersey Tunnels

Fast TagThe quick and convenient way to travel

Useful Information

Everything you need to know when travelling through the tunnel​

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Using the Tunnel
    • I am hoping to travel through the Tunnel. How should I plan my journey?

      Both Mersey Tunnels are open 24 hours a day, 364 days a year (on Christmas Day only Kingsway (Wallasey) Tunnel is open). However, we may close one of the Tunnels, usually at night, to carry out maintenance. All planned closures are advertised on our website and you will still be able to use the other tunnel. Accidents and emergencies do sometimes occur and, in these instances,  we reserve the right to close the tunnel at any time without notice.

    • Are the byelaws endorsable?

      Exceeding the speed limit is the only endorsable offence under the byelaws.

    • What is the maximum fine?

      The maximum fine for breach of a byelaw is £1,000.

    • Can I ride my bicycle through the Tunnel?

      Bicycles are not permitted through the Kingsway (Wallasey) Tunnel. Through the Queensway (Birkenhead) Tunnel, they are not allowed between the hours of 6am to 8pm, Monday to Friday, 7am to 8pm on Saturday and 8am to 9pm on Sunday. Please note, the time limits during a Sunday are only operational between 1st April and 30th September inclusive.

    • I have a summons relating to an offence inside the Tunnel. Do I need to attend court?

      We would recommend that you seek independent legal advice on this issue. Merseytravel is not in a position to advise whether or not you should attend court.

    • Are tolls VATable?

      The simple answer is "No", the toll rate is not liable to VAT and therefore receipts are not issued to customers.

    • What is the maximum gross vehicle weight permitted in either of the tunnels?

      For the Queensway (Birkenhead) Tunnel the maximum permitted gross vehicle weight is 3.5 tonnes, except for local bus services and emergency vehicles. For the Kingsway (Wallasey) Tunnel, the maximum permitted gross vehicle weight is 38 tonnes. Anything above that weight may still travel subject to prior approval based on a load calculation basis. For further details please email tag@merseytravel.gov.uk

    • What are the permitted size/dimensions of a vehicle through either of the Mersey Tunnels?

      For vehicles using the Birkenhead (Queensway) Tunnel then the maximum permitted vehicle dimensions are 3.9m in height, 2.7m in width and 12m in length. For vehicles using the Wallasey (Kingsway) Tunnel then the maximum permitted vehicle dimensions are 5m in height, 2.9m in width and 12.2m in length. For vehicles and trailers the maximum combined length (including any load or loads and drawbar) is 18.3 metres.

  • Fast Tag
    • I am considering applying for a Fast Tag, what benefits are there for me?

      As well as being far more convenient and allowing quicker travel through the toll booth vehicle classes 2, 3 and 4 will benefit from a discounted toll rate compared to cash payers. The scheme allows you to plan your expenditure and budget. This is the smart way to cross the Mersey even if you only make two or three journeys a week. Fast Tag can be used for all classes of vehicle and you can check how much you spend and keep a track of journeys you have made with 24/7 online account management.

    • How much is a Fast Tag?

      Fast Tags are free of charge if you have an account. You will need to top up your account  each month. If you arrive in the toll lane without credit on your account, your Fast Tag will not work. The Fast Tag remains the property of Merseytravel and must be returned if you close your  account. We will make a charge for a Fast Tag that is blocked, lost or stolen but this will be refunded on recovery of the Fast Tag. If a Fast Tag is damaged and cannot be used there will be a non-refundable charge.

    • Why won't my Fast Tag work?

      There are a number of reasons why your Fast Tag may not work. Please check the following:

      • Do you have enough money in your Fast Tag account? Remember, this is a pre-payment scheme and if your account is not in credit you cannot travel through the tunnel.

      • How old is your Fast Tag? It may be that it has come to the end of its life and needs  to be replaced.

      • Have you checked that you have fitted your Fast Tag correctly in accordance with the installation instructions? These instructions must be followed correctly and if it is not fitted correctly it may not operate.

    • How do I fit the Fast Tag to my vehicle?

      • You should have received a small plastic holder with your Fast Tag. The Fast Tag must be attached to the windscreen of  your vehicle using this holder. If it is not fitted correctly it may not operate the barrier when you approach the toll lane .


      • Fit the tag into the holder and peel off the backing paper. Attach the holder to the inside of the windscreen with the vehicle classification sticker facing inwards towards you. If your vehicle has a sloping windscreen the tag must be fitted above or behind the rear view mirror. For a vehicle with a vertical windscreen the tag must be fitted to the centre of the windscreen at its lowest point. You can remove the Fast Tag from the holder if required or when not in use.


      • Do not fit the Fast Tag where it may obscure the driver's forward view as this may affect the vehicle's MOT.

    • How do I amend my Direct Debit?

      You can do this online if you know your account number and password.
      Alternatively, please email us at tag@merseytravel.gov.uk giving your Fast Tag account number and details of the changes.

    • How is my data used and stored?
    • How do I manage my Fast Tag account online?

      When you apply for your Fast Tag online you will set up an account. We will send you your account details by post. You can thenchange your personal details, create or change your Direct Debit, make a top-up payment, and see your account balance and details of journeys you have made.

    • Can I have a refund from my Fast Tag account?

      The simple answer is "Yes", it is your money and you may request a refund at any time. But you must remember that you should leave enough money in your account for future journeys. You must  write to tag@merseytravel.gov.uk  to request a refund, giving us your account number and the amount you would like to be refunded. You must use the same email account that you registered to the Fast Tag account for security reasons. Refunds will be paid directly into the bank account from which your monthly Direct Debit is collected.

    • Why hasn't my Direct Debit gone out of my bank?

      You will be asked choose one of four possible dates for collection of your Direct Debit and usually we will collect on that date. However there may be one or two occasions where we collect on a slightly later date but this will be kept to an absolute minimum.

    • What are the Terms and Conditions of Fast Tag?
  • Residents' Discount Scheme
    • What is the Mersey Tunnel's Residents' Discount Scheme?

      Mersey Tunnels offers discounted toll rates for all residents of the Liverpool City Region. To qualify for this discounted toll rate, you must be able to provide evidence that you meet the criteria below:

      1. either: (a) be registered as living in a property in Halton, Knowsley, Liverpool, Sefton, St. Helens or Wirral local authority boundaries, i.e. your property is within the council tax area of these councils.
      2. be the holder of a valid and current UK drivers license
      3. be the registered keeper according to the DVLA of a vehicle registered in the same area. Equivalent proof that you are the keeper of the vehicle on an exclusive basis will be required for vehicles that are leased.
      4. The discount is only available to class 1 vehicles, i.e. a car or small van**

      ** A small van is a van that weighs less than 3.5 tonnes. Please see our Tolls, Fees and Charges page for a more detailed breakdown of vehicle classes.

    • How do I claim the discount?

      The discount is only available to registered Fast Tag accounts. If you choose to pay your toll by cash at the plaza, then the full toll rate will apply. Residents can apply online via our website. Once your application has been verified and eligibility approved, your account will automatically charge you the discounted rate.

    • What if I am already a Fast Tag account holder – will I automatically receive the discount?

      If you already have a Fast Tag account with Mersey Tunnels, that is not used for business purposes, and the address is registered within the Liverpool City Region then you will automatically receive the discounted toll rate.

    • What if I change address, or my Fast Tag is registered to a wrong address?

      Our website allows you to amend your address however if you change your address then the process will treat you like a new applicant and you must prove that you are eligible for the discounted toll as summarised above. You should notify Merseytravel of any change to your address or personal information.

    • What documents will I need to provide to register?

      Our online application process, or address change, will automatically verify your residency. However, if this is not possible for any reason, then you will be prompted to supply a range of documents online to verify your eligibility. The documents you should then supply are:

      • • your current driving licence
      • • your current council tax bill, or a utility bill with your name and address dated within the last 3 months
      • • your V5C vehicle registration form – showing the vehicle is registered to your address.
    • What if we have multiple cars in our household?

      The discount is allocated to your account. Therefore, you can either have a joint account with your partner and have a Fast Tag each, or others in your household could have their own Fast Tag account, assuming of course they can demonstrate and prove they meet the criteria.

    • Do I have to register to get the discount?

      Yes – you must register in advance as summarised above to be eligible for this discount. If you do not register and have a Fast Tag account, proving eligibility then the full cash toll rate will apply.

    • What happens if I register but forget my Fast Tag?

      As the Mersey Tunnel operates with toll barriers, if you arrive on the plaza without your Fast Tag, or your Fast Tag does not have any pre-paid funds in the account, then you will have to pay cash at the full toll rate. Refunds of any discount cannot be processed afterwards. Please ensure that you have your tag fitted to your vehicle to ensure that you register your journey and benefit from the discounted toll rate. We will issue simple fitting instructions with your Fast Tag and suggest it is best fitted as per these instructions.

    • How much will it cost for me to register?

      Registering for a Fast Tag account with Mersey Tunnels is free. However, the Fast Tag operates on a pre-payment basis, so during the application process you will be asked to make an initial top up of your Fast Tag account. The account cannot be opened, and will not work, without this top up. The full amount of your top up is credited towards your journeys. Your account must then always be maintained in credit to use the Tag and you can arrange this through regular monthly direct debits or payments via a debit or credit card online. However we would stress that if the Tag is not returned when you close the account, or is lost or stolen for any reason, then a £10 charge will be levied before a replacement can be issued.

      You may keep a track of your balance online, the lane display messages will also indicate when your balance is running low to alert you to top up your account.

    • Do I need to apply online?

      If you are unable to, or choose not to, apply online, then we can take paper applications at any of our Travel Centres across the region. Details of our Travel Centres are available on our website. Your application may take a little longer to process as a result. We cannot accept applications over the telephone.

    • Does the local user discount scheme apply to taxis, driving instructors' vehicles or others who use their vehicles for business use?

      Any business users, including taxis and driving instructors, who meet the other criteria for the resident discount scheme and are using their vehicles for private journeys can register for the scheme for private journeys only. All commercial trips, or trips for a business, through the Mersey Tunnels must be declared and paid for via cash or a separate business Fast Tag.

    • If I move house or change my car will I need to re-register?

      If you move house you will need to let us know. If you change address you will have to provide your new details and prove eligibility for the discount. If you change your vehicle then as long as it is the same vehicle class as your last vehicle, then it is a case of simply transferring your Fast Tag from your old vehicle into your new one, and it will continue to work and be linked to your account.

    • What happens if my Fast Tag is lost or stolen?

      If your Fast Tag is lost or stolen, please report it to us as soon as possible by email tag@merseytravel.gov.uk. As soon as you report the loss or theft, then you will no longer be liable for journeys made using that Tag. A replacement tag can only be issued once a £10 replacement fee is paid by you – this can be taken from your Fast Tag account funds if you prefer.

    • I only have an old-style (non-photo) driving licence. Will that be accepted as suitable proof when applying for the resident discount scheme?

      The old paper licence is valid and will be accepted. However, you must also provide a copy of the other documents as requested.

    • I use a hire car on a regular basis, am I able to apply for the residents' discount?

      The discount is only eligible to residents of the Liverpool City Region, for personal use, not business. Therefore, if you hire a car and use it for personal reasons, not business, you are able to apply for a Fast Tag account and receive discounted tolls. Please ensure the Fast Tag is removed from the hire car when you have finished using it or you will be charged for journeys that you have not made.

    • I have no documents confirming my residency, am I still able to apply?

      No. This discount is only available to people who can confirm residency of an address within the Liverpool City Region – see previous detail. Until you can do this, we cannot offer you discounted tolls.

    • Does my eligibility for this discount expire – do I need to renew?

      At this point there is no requirement to renew your application annually.

  • Concessionary Travel
    • What do I need to qualify for concessionary travel?

      You can apply for free travel through the Mersey Tunnels if:
      You hold a Disabled Persons (Blue) Parking badge
       and
      • receive the highest rate of mobility component of the Disability Living Allowance;
      or
      • you are over 65 and receive the highest rate of Attendance Allowance;
      or
      • you receive the enhanced rate of the mobility component of the Personal Independence Payment;
      or
      • you receive the mobility supplement of a War Pension.

      Click here for more information.

    • Do I have to be in the vehicle to use the Tag?

      Yes, it is a condition of issue that is strictly monitored. If you are not in the correct vehicle, or not in the vehicle at all, and someone tries to use the concession, then it may be confiscated. There are more details on the conditions of use here.

    • Will you send me a new concessionary Fast Tag at the end of the year?

      No, we will add your new allowance to your Fast Tag automatically on 1st April each year and so you should keep your Fast Tag and continue to use it. You cannot carry forward any journeys left in your account on 31st March and they will be cancelled.

    • What do I do if I change my vehicle?

      If you wish to change your nominated vehicle please call 0151 330 1004. Our staff will be able to help you over the telephone, between 8am and 8pm, Monday to Friday.
      Or you can visit a Merseytravel Centre. Full address details and opening hours can be found here.

  • Tunnel Tours
  • Contact us
    • Our postal address is: Merseytravel, PO Box 1976, Liverpool, L69 3HN.
      For Tunnel Fast Tag enquiries please email tag@merseytravel.gov.uk. For all other enquiries please email ask@merseytravel.gov.uk.  
      Our telephone number is 0151 330 1004. Lines are open 8am to 8pm, Monday to Friday for general enquiries.

      You may also obtain or submit your application for Fast Tag or the Mersey Tunnels Concessionary Travel Scheme via a Merseytravel Centre. These are located in Birkenhead, Bootle, Huyton, Liverpool One, Queen Square and St Helens bus stations. Opening hours at these centres vary and further details can be found here.

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​