Is the Itchen Bridge free at weekends and evenings?


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 at other times such as Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year's Eve, 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 evening?

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 the bridge free 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 the toll?

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 the toll both ways?

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

Is it free 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 should be charged at off-peak rates as it is a Bank Holiday.

Do I 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 (but this will be off-peak for 2023 as New Year's Eve falls on a Sunday) and New Year's Day (as a Bank Holiday) will be charged at off-peak rates also.

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 your 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 using contactless payment?

Yes. The use of 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 each toll booth and are easily accessible from within the vehicle when paying to use the service.

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Do electric cars need to pay?

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 storms when they happen?

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 an 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

Itchen Bridge top-up information

SmartCities card holders will be sent a low balance warning message at the bridge when they have eight or fewer crossings left on their SmartCities card. Use the 'Quick top-up' option to quickly add money to your account.

Latest storm news

The Itchen Bridge storm information can be found here. 

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