Progress continues on the Mersey Gateway project, but its opening will come at a price for many.
Costs for commuters from outside of Runcorn and Widnes who cross the river every day could be more than £1,000 a year.
As it stands those living in Halton borough will be able to use it for free, but everyone else pays full price.
A £2 toll for each trip across the Mersey Gateway and the existing Silver Jubilee bridge was announced in January.
Before the General Election in May 2015, Mr Evans said: “The Chancellor has agreed to consider extending exemptions for residents in Cheshire West and Chester.
“If I’m re-elected, I’ll be banging on the Chancellor’s door and calling for exemptions from the toll for all local residents.”
But the Conservative MP says he is ‘standing by’ those comments.
The Chronicle first requested a response from Mr Evans on the issue on February 1. We received a reply yesterday (March 8).
He said: “For the last 18 months, I have been tirelessly lobbying officials at the Treasury and Department for Transport asking them to look at how such a scheme might operate and I will continue to work with ministers and officials to fight for a scheme that will benefit all Weaver Vale residents.”
After announcing it would examine the feasibility of discounts for CWaC and Warrington drivers in 2015, the DfT is now seemingly ruling it out.
For those outside Halton, registering for the ‘merseyflow’ toll system could net you up to a 20p discount.
There are also monthly passes worth £90 for unlimited use, which is equal to 25 fully discounted return trips, or £60 for off-peak crossings only.
The Mersey Gateway bridge is due to open in autumn 2017, when the Silver Jubilee will then shut for repairs for 12 months.
Chester MP Chris Matheson described the tolls as a ‘broken promise’ from the government for those in Cheshire West.
Mr Matheson said: “They talk about ‘financial reasons’ for the decision, but what about the finances of commuters who have not had the opportunity to prepare for this?
“We’re talking about people getting hit for over a thousand pounds extra every year in some cases, just to get to work.”
“If people are already working on the other side of the water, they’re going to need a hefty pay rise just to stand still.”
Eddisbury MP Antoinette Sandbach, whose constituency covers parts of Northwich and Winsford, was unavailable for comment on Wednesday.
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