AN INFLUENTIAL lobby group warned increasing Mersey Tunnel tolls by 10p would be “economic madness” for the region’s employment prospects.
The Federation of Small Businesses, which has thousands of members in Merseyside, said the toll amounts to a transport tax and should not be increased.
John Allan, chairman of the Merseyside, West Cheshire and Wigan federation, said: “To increase the Mersey Tunnel toll, particularly at a time when the economy remains in such a fragile state, would be extremely harmful for small businesses in Merseyside and across the North West. It would amount to economic madness as far as the region’s growth and employment prospects are concerned.”
He claimed the Merseytravel report which discusses the complex arrangements behind the toll was “flawed”.
Mr Allan added: “These additional transport taxes, which will hit small firms and their employees hardest, are being discussed as components of the ‘business plans’ of imminent infrastructure projects.
“We must remember that the point of infrastructure development is to facilitate commerce and enterprise and create long-term prosperity, not swell council coffers in the short-term.”
Mr Allan highlighted decisions to scrap the tolls on the Humber Bridge.