Guide to UK Toll Roads and Bridges

16th Apr 2024

By Kenny Longdon

What are Toll Roads?

Toll Roads are usually dotted all over a specific country and require you to pay a fee, in order to use the road.

They are usually motorways, bridges or tunnels on major A-roads, although they can also be on minor roads, too.

This blog will look at the frequently asked questions when it comes to UK toll roads, which are highlighted below:

Why does the UK have toll roads?

Toll Road Road Writing

Like many countries, the UK has multiple toll roads dotted all over the country. Toll road fees go towards improving roads and maintaining them, too.

Motorways and bridges make driving in the UK a lot faster, and so it's not uncommon to see tolls on some key tolls roads and bridges such as the M6 Toll in the West Midlands and the Dartford Crossing in Essex, as these can significantly reduce journey times.

Therefore, paying a toll is a great way to save time on your journey, although you can avoid them if you prefer, which is talked about further on in this blog.

How to pay UK toll roads, and how much do they cost?

M6 Toll Booths

Depending on the exact toll road in question, there is usually a set way or ways to pay the toll.

  • Online - Some tolls like the Dartford Crossing in Essex require you to pay online by midnight the day after you cross.
  • Contactless - Toll roads like the M6 Toll require you to use contactless payment when entering to use it.
  • Cash - There are also some tolls which will only take cash when you get to the toll booth.

It's worth noting some toll roads will only accept one form of payment, whether it's an online payment, via contactless only, or via cash only.

Toll charges vary and are usually just a couple of pounds for cars, but can increase to around £9 when on roads like the M6 Toll in the West Midlands. Factors affect price on the M6 Toll too, like route, and more specifically where you get on the road and off it.

It's also worth noting that if you're driving a van or lorry, you'll most likely have to pay more too, up to around £15 in some cases.

How many toll roads are in the UK?

Humber Bridge Toll at Night

When totalling up the number of toll roads listed currently on the Government website, which is seen as the most up to date, there are 19 toll roads, along with two other road charging schemes (London Congestion Charge and Durham Road User Charge Zone). These are listed as:


  • M6 Toll - West Midlands
  • M25 - Dartford Crossing, Dartford, Esse

Bridges and tunnels on A-roads

  • A4 Batheaston Bridge - Bath,
  • Somerset, A15 Humber Bridge - Hull, Yorkshire
  • A19 Tyne Tunnels - Wallsend, Tyne and Wear
  • A38 Tamar Bridge - Plymouth, Devon
  • A41 Mersey Tunnels - Birkenhead, Liverpool
  • A57 Dunham Bridge - Lincoln, Lincolnshire
  • A59 Mersey Tunnels - Wallasey, Liverpool
  • A533 Mersey Gateway - Halton, Cheshire

Bridges on minor roads

  • B471 Whitechurch Bridge - Pangbourne, Berkshire
  • B3129 - Clifton Suspension Bridge - Bristol
  • B4350 - Whitney-On-Wye Bridge, Whitney-On-Wye, Hereford
  • B4044 Swinford Bridge - Swinford, Oxfordshire
  • B5159 Warburton Bridge - Warburton, Greater Manchester
  • Alwark Bridge - Alwark, North Yorkshire
  • Kingsland Bridge - Shrewsbury, Shropshire
  • Cartford Bridge, Preston, Lancashire

How to avoid toll roads

M6 Motorway at Night

Toll roads as mentioned are created to reduce journey times, but if you don't have to worry about saving time or would rather just avoid a toll road, you can do that too.

Apps like Google Maps are useful when planning or following route guidance and feature handy options where you can select 'Avoid Tolls', by clicking the three dots next to 'Your location' when planning a route.

If you're using any other sat-nav, there is normally an option to 'Avoid Tolls', too.

However, if you're using an old school map, you may have to double-check when it was published as it may not express some routes and the toll roads on it.

Toll Roads Abroad

Toll Road Evening

Toll roads abroad are also common place and are in operation throughout Europe and further afield.

It's always best to check a particular country's rules and regulations surrounding toll roads and payment before driving through it, as charges and rules could differ from UK toll charges and rules - such as payment and protocol.

We have various driving guides for France, Italy and Spain, which you may also find useful.

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