Humber Bridge payment system to be overhauled with toll booths scrapped after 40 years to improve traffic flow

The toll booths on the Humber Bridge are set to be scrapped to make way for a cashless system which will mean an end of queues when crossing.

Open road tolling is to be introduced at the Humber Bridge Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe

Management at the landmark crossing say the move will make journey times quicker, with drivers no longer having to stop.

The project - which will involve a new payment website - is in the “very early stages” of development, with the bridge board starting a procurement process for consultants.

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Currently motorists crossing the bridge can either opt to use toll booths or buy a "tag" which is fitted into the vehicle, and detected as it crosses the bridge, with the toll deducted from an online account.

Earlier this month the Tyne Tunnel adopted a new “open road tolling” system dispensing with barriers and traffic lights, and journeys registered via Automatic Number Plate Recognition cameras instead.

Motorists either use a pre-paid account or pay before midnight the following day.

Chair of the bridge board Coun Sean Chaytor said a free flow system would cope with increases in traffic, cut emissions from queuing traffic and was likely to require “more staff to work in the office”.

He said: “A free flow system addresses the limitations of the current hybrid (tag lane and toll booths) situation.

“The new system will have a huge, positive impact on crossing times, and with a brand new website dealing with payments, the whole experience of using the Humber Bridge will be significantly improved.”

The bridge’s chief operating officer Andrew Arundel reassured motorists that work was unlikely to start for some time.

He said he was aware some drivers may be concerned about disruption shortly after maintenance work on the bearings at the Barton side had been completed.

There would be a variety of ways to make payments - including from those who preferred not to go online. Open tolling was introduced at the Dartford Crossing in 2014.