Can I pay the Itchen Bridge by card and cash? And is it free at weekends?

Are you planning to use the Itchen Toll Bridge in the evening or at the weekend and want to know if it is free during these off-peak periods? Find out the answers here - and if you'll need to pay the charge on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year's, too. 

Itchen Bridge Toll Bridge, Southampton, EnglandFind out how much you pay and if the Itchen Bridge is free to use before you arrive  (Credit: Henry Burrows)

Is the Itchen Bridge free to use in the evenings?

The Itchen river crossing is not free during evening and overnight periods, but users will get a discount for crossing in the off-peak hours.

Cheaper weekday off-peak hours are in force from 9.30am to 4pm, then again from 6.30pm through to 7am the following morning.

See below for the price payable during the evening.

Is it free to use at weekends?

No - the Itchen Bridge is not free to use at weekends, however all crossings on Saturday and Sunday are charged at off-peak rates.

How much is it to use the Itchen Bridge?

The following charges as advertised by Southampton City Council.

Vehicle  Height at first axle Toll due Concession charges
Class 1 - motorcycles and three-wheeled vehicles n/a No charge payable n/a
Class 2 - cars, small vans and small 4x4s Up to 1.33 metre 80p (peak), 70p (off peak)

Residents Concessionary charge: 40p (peak), 30p (off peak)
Electric vehicle: Free
Disability: Free

Class 3 - large vans (e.g. transit) and large 4x4s Between 1.33 metre to 2.39m £1.40

Business Concessionary charge: 60p

SCC registered taxi: 60p

Electric vehicle: Free

Class 4 - HGVs More than 2.39 metre £25.00

Business Concessionary charge: £2.00

Do I pay both ways?

Yes. The toll is payable in both directions when using the crossing.

Do I need to pay to cross the Itchen Bridge on Christmas Day and Boxing Day?

Good news for drivers travelling to see friends and family, the route is free to use on Christmas Day. Boxing Day and New Year's Day will be charged at off-peak rates.

Do I need to pay on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day?

Yes - the bridge crossing will be charged at standard rates for New Year's Eve and New Year's Day.

Is there a route to avoid paying the toll?

Yes, drivers can head inland and cross on the A3024 on the Bitterne Road. This will add around 10-15 minutes to journey, but will avoid the need to pay a toll.

Can I pay by cash to cross the bridge?

Yes, cash is still accepted on the crossing, with 10p, 20p, 50p, £1 and £2 coins allowed. No change is given, however, so try to have correct money.

Can I pay the charge using contactless payment on my card?

Yes. The use contactless cards is accepted for payment on the Itchen toll crossing. This is a recent addition to the services and should help speed up journeys at peak times.

The card readers can be found at the each toll booth and are easily accessible from within the vehicle when paying to use the service.

I have an electric car, do I get to use the crossing for free?

Yes. Drivers of electric cars (EVs) are able to cross for free, but they must register their vehicle beforehand. EVs can be registered in advance here

Is the Itchen Bridge closed due to Storm Franklin and others like it in 2022?

The Itchen Bridge is often closed due to high winds, with closures in place during Storm Eunice in February. Check with local travel sites to see if the bridge remains open during Storm Franklin and other storms in 2022. Click here for the latest storm updates on the Itchen Bridge.

What happens if I can't pay for using the Itchen Bridge?

If you use the bridge and find you have no way to pay the toll, you can take a form called a deferred payment. This will allow you seven days to pay the original toll, along with a £2 admin fee.

You can also settle a deferred payment by phoning the crossing head office on 023 8043 1040.

Do I need to pay if I have a Blue Badge?

Residents and non-residents of the city and surrounding area can apply to receive exemption from paying the toll. The driver or passenger must obtain a Smart Cities card first, though. Blue Badge holders can register for the Itchen Bridge exemption here

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