Work has begun on an ambitious £5.2m project to implement a new electronic tolling system at the Humber Bridge.
The project will include a major redevelopment of the tolling plaza and systems, alongside the creation of some of the first ‘open tolling’ free-flow lanes in the UK.
These will enable drivers to cross the Humber Bridge without stopping, and are designed to reduce crossing times and congestion at busy times.
The existing tolling systems at the Humber Bridge have remained largely unchanged since the bridge opened in 1981, and were in need of replacement.
Customers who want to take advantage of the new electronic tolling will attach a small ‘tag’ to the windscreen of their vehicles, which will be automatically read each time they cross the bridge. These tags will be tied to a customer account, which will then be debited each time they cross the bridge.
The project is set to be completed by Autumn/Winter 2014, and will see the number of traditional cash tolling booths at the Humber Bridge reduced from six in each direction to three.
The tolling booths will also be redesigned to feature automatic barriers, in an effort to streamline the tolling and crossing process.
Benefits of the scheme include uninterrupted crossing, leading to faster journey times, a way to avoid fumbling for loose change or pre-paid tickets at the toll plaza, improved convenience and a user-friendly toll account.
Peter Hill, general manager and Bridgemaster of the Humber Bridge sees the project as a very positive step. He said: “The toll collection system currently in operation at the Humber Bridge has remained largely unchanged for the past 30 years, and still uses a 15 year-old computer system, along with obsolete equipment and programming technology which requires an increasing amount of maintenance.
“When faced with the unavoidable need to replace the system, we made it our aim to provide bridge users with the most convenient crossing experience possible and opted to bring in a new scheme which will offer a modern, innovative and sustainable solution for the future.
“Operating with efficient, reliable and proven technology, the new system will provide significant benefits to our customers, place the Humber Bridge at the forefront of innovation once again.”
Regular updates about the progress of the works, and any disruptions or delays will be made available on a dedicated website, at www.humberbridgetollproject.co.uk, and details regarding obtaining tags and registering for toll payment accounts will be announced closer to the official launch of the new system.