TUNNEL tolls could rise by 10p for cars or cash-strapped transport authority Merseytravel will miss out on generating an additional £2.6m.
A Merseytravel report warns of “significant reputational and financial risks” associated with the annual process of setting the tolls.
Under the Mersey Tunnels Act the transport authority can raise the level of tolls – currently £1.50 for a car – by inflation each year.
But in past years it has discounted the rate.
Inflation, measured using Retail Price Index, at November was 2.7%, meaning the “authorised” level for cars is £1.80 from April.
Although a 30p increase from the £1.50 level is not on the cards, the report discusses the impact of a 10p toll rise.
But it stops short of suggesting a 10p increase, instead it calls on officials to formulate a recommendation for a meeting next month.
The last time tunnel tolls went up was in April 2011, when a 10p rise was levied on cars.
John McGoldrick, secretary of the tunnel users association, said: “The more years that go by without a toll increase the more likely it is that there is going to be a rise.
“No doubt there will be somebody trotting out the usual excuses that train and bus fares have gone up.”
There are no local elections this year across Merseyside.
“They may feel that if they want to do something unpopular they stand a better chance this year,” added Mr McGoldrick.