Liverpool

Driver has £26,000 of Mersey Gateway toll fines waived

Mersey Gateway
Image caption Jack Murray, 20, said he lost sleep over the Mersey Gateway bridge fines

A young driver who notched up £26,000 in toll bridge fines has had the penalties waived.

Jack Murray, 20, from Runcorn, said he suffered sleepless nights because of the fines imposed by the operators of the Mersey Gateway bridge in Cheshire.

Mr Murray did not include his council tax bill when he applied to pay discounted tolls online, meaning his application was never completed.

Bridge operator Merseyflow is waiving the fines as a "goodwill gesture".

Mr Murray, who works as an HGV driver in Kirkby and uses the bridge for his commute, thought he had secured the discount for residents of Halton Council when he emailed his driving licence, car log book and pay slips to the council.

However it was never registered because he did not include a copy of his council tax bill.

As a result, he started accruing fines and bills for unpaid tolls which eventually totalled £26,000.

'Bailiffs at my door'

When he received the first fine he thought it was a mistake but when he challenged the penalties he was told he was past the deadline for appeals.

"I was very frustrated when I found out," he said.

"I lost sleep and I lost my appetite - I was thinking about it all the time. It was very stressful.

"I'm relieved that I won't have the bailiffs at my door but I just hope nobody else has to go through what happened to me."

Neil Conway, chief executive of Merseyflow, said it had apologised to Mr Murray for "any distress that has been caused."

He added: "As Mr Murray has now provided all the relevant documents, we can confirm that he does qualify for the local user discount scheme and as a goodwill gesture we are able to waive all the penalty charge notices and any related court fees."

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