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You are here:home > Living > Smartcities > Itchen Toll Bridge

Itchen Toll Bridge

The Toll to cross the Itchen Bridge can be paid by cash or by Smartcities card only. We are unable to give change; coins accepted are 10p, 20p, 50p, £1 and £2. Toll rates are determined by the vehicle’s height and whether it is peak or off peak times. Please see Using the Itchen Bridge information below.

Anyone can apply for a Smartcities card to pay the toll (online applicants need to be over 17 years old). The card will automatically apply a resident's concession for Southampton City Council residents or allow free crossing for eligible disabled persons. There is no toll for motorcycles, cyclists or pedestrians.

Existing Smartcities/Southampton bus pass card holders can apply for their card to be upgraded to pay the toll by completing this form* Applications for new cards to pay the toll can be made Online by completing this form* or in person.

*These online forms cannot be used to apply for the Disabled Person's Concession, which is for eligible Southampton residents and non residents, as we need to see evidence of qualification. Please see Further Smart Card Information below for where to apply and the evidence required. Businesses can apply for multiple Smartcities cards under one account as an easy way to manage payment. Please see below.

For the latest news regarding Roadworks and Traffic around Southampton and the Itchen Bridge area please follow this link

Adding Credit to your Itchen Bridge account online

Once you have your Smartcities card with the Itchen Bridge service assigned you will be able to add credit to your Itchen Bridge account online with a credit or debit card. Please see the Top up your Smart Card online manual and note the following:

  • The payment system works better with Microsoft Operating systems using Google Chrome 2.0 or above, Mozilla Firefox 3.0 or above or Internet explorer 8, 9 and 10. For Apple Mac Operating Systems from version Snow Leopard onwards with Mozilla Firefox 3.0 or above.

  • Please always make sure that you log out of your account

For other ways of adding credit to your account please see the Further Smartcard Information below.

Further Smart Card Information

1. Upgrading your existing Smartcities/bus pass card for use on the Itchen Bridge

To request that your existing card is upgraded to pay the toll please complete this online form.* We will send you details of how to add credit to your account once the function is activated. The resident's concession will be applied for residents of Southampton City Council.

*As evidence of qualification is required for the Disabled Person's Concession, the online system is unable to process applications for this. Please see below for where to apply and the documents required. The Itchen Bridge Card Upgrade form can be printed from this page.

2. Applying Online for a Smartcities card

Follow this link to Apply online.*

Residents and non-residents can apply for a card to pay the toll online. You need to be at least 17 years of age to apply online. We will do an automated check to confirm your identity and eligibility for the resident’s concession. All you need to do is complete the form and upload a digital photo of yourself or use a webcam to take your photo. If you would like help to complete the online application, Bitterne and Central Library have webcams to capture your picture and can help you with your application.

The resident’s concession will be applied to the card for residents of Southampton City Council.

* As evidence of qualification is required for the Disabled Person's Concession, the online system is unable to process applications for this. Please see below for where to apply and the documents required.

3. Where can I apply for a new card or an existing card to be upgraded?

You can apply for a new Smartcities card or an existing Smartcities/bus pass card to be upgraded for use on the Itchen Bridge in the following venues:

4. What documents do I need to take when applying for a new card?

Along with your application form please take the following documents when applying in one of the above venues:

  • Proof of your address on a document in your name, not more than three months old (Utility bill, Bank statement, current Council Tax bill or Official correspondence)
  • Proof of your personal identification on a document containing your date of birth (Driving licence, Passport or Birth Certificate if in your current name).
  • A colour passport style photograph taken on a light background. 
  • For the Disabled Person’s Concession please see below for the additional documents required to show evidence of qualification.

The application form can be printed from this page, is available from the venues given above or you can request one to be posted to you. Please note that we cannot accept postal applications.

5. Documents required for the Disabled Person's Concession

Two documents are required to show evidence of qualification for the disabled person's concession for the Itchen Bridge. The first one being one of the following:

  • A recent letter from the Department for Work and Pensions  confirming being in receipt of the higher rate of the mobility component of Disability Living Allowance

  • A recent letter from the Department for Work and Pensions  confirming being in receipt of Personal Independence Payment at 8 points or above against the ‘moving around’ activity

  • Current evidence of being in receipt of a mobility supplement under article 26A of the Naval, Military and Air Forces etc (Disablement and Death) Service Pensions Order 1983, including such a supplement by virtue of any scheme or order under article 25A of the Personal Injuries (Civilians) Scheme 1983

And also a photocopy of both sides of your blue badge.

6. Renewing the Disabled Person's Concession

You can apply for your Smartcities card to be renewed up to 1 month before the expiry date on the front of your card. Evidence of qualification as given above is required to renew your card. Renewals can be made in one of the following ways:

  • by visiting a Southampton library, local housing office or Gateway at One Guildhall Square with your current Smartcities card, qualification documents and evidence of your address.

  • by sending copies of your Smartcities card, qualification documents and address evidence by post to Smartcities, Floor 4, One Guildhall Square, Southampton, SO14 7FP

  • by sending copies of your Smartcities card, qualification documents and address evidence by email to smartcities@southampton.gov.uk

7. Business cards

Businesses can apply for smart cards as a means of managing payments. You can apply for the Commercial Smartcities card/s by completing a paper application form which can be printed from this page or can be requested by telephone: 023 8083 3008. This form gives the documents required and the address of where it needs to be posted to.

Businesses will be able to have multiple smartcities cards, with each card linked to each vehicle and manage those cards online via the online account management system. Information about adding credit online will be sent with the cards.

The Commercial Concession scheme is available to owners and operators of vehicles registered to, and operating from premises within the Concession zone. The Concession zone is an area of Woolston, Weston and Sholing bounded on the north by Sholing Road, South East Road and Heathfield Road; on the east by the City boundary; and on the south and west by the river and shoreline, including all those premises situated on the northwards extension of Hazel Road.

If your business is outside of the Concession zone, you can still apply for Smartcities cards, but you will not be entitled to a concession. Your cards will enable you to make prepayments on your Itchen Bridge account without having to worry about having the exact change.

Smartcities cards for businesses within the concession zone will need to be renewed once a year in March.

8. Adding credit to/topping-up your Itchen Bridge account

Before you can use your card at the toll bridge you will need to add credit to it and keep it topped up. You will be able to do this online with a credit or debit card. Please note that although your account summary will show any payments made within a short period of time, it may take up to 2 hours to update your account at the Itchen Bridge toll readers.

Alternatively you will be able to top up by phone: 023 8083 3008 (Monday to Friday 8.30am to 5.00pm), in person at Peartree and Sholing local housing office on Portsmouth Road, Woolston (Tuesdays and Thursdays 8:30-12:30 and 13:30-16:00 only) or in the cash office in Gateway at One Guildhall Square with cash or a credit or debit card. Please allow 1 working day for your account to be credited when using one of these payment options.

Cash office opening times

9. How quickly can I get an enabled Smartcities card?

Please allow two weeks from applying for your card.

10. What other services can I get on the card?

When you complete the application form you’ll be asked which services you’d like to have. For example the card can be a library card, an Organ Donor card and if you are eligible a concessionary bus pass for residents of Southampton City Council. Follow the links on the left of this page for more details on the services the card offers.

11. What if I lose or damage my card?

Cards that are lost, stolen or damaged will be replaced after an administration fee is paid, unless a police crime reference number is supplied (only one card per year will be reissued free of charge when a crime reference number is provided).

Please see the lost and stolen card link to the left of this page for further information.

12. Can I get a refund for credit on my Itchen Bridge account if it is no longer required?

Yes, however an administration fee of £10 will be deducted from the amount refunded. Please email or write to the Smartcities office to close your Itchen Bridge account and arrange a refund.

Email: smartcities@southampton.gov.uk

Address: Smartcities, Southampton City Council,
Floor 4, One Guildhall Square,
Southampton, SO14 7FP

Using the Itchen Bridge

1. Toll Charges

Peak times are Monday to Friday 07:00 to 09:30 and 16:00 to 18:30. All other times are off peak, including weekends and bank holidays. There is no charge on Christmas Day or Boxing Day.

The toll is based on the height of the vehicle at the first axle. This is measured in a straight vertical line through the front wheel to the point at which the top of the vehicle/windscreen crosses this line. To help you find out which class your vehicle is in please see the following guide:

Vehicle height classification 

The resident's and disabled person's concession applies to Class 2 vehicles. The Concessionary Toll in Classes 3 and 4 apply to Businesses within the Concession Zone with Smartcities cards.

2. How to use the automation - Smartcities card

Your Smartcities card should be placed against the reader so the symbol is covered. As your account details register, the screen will show the amount due and fee taken after applying any local concessions.

Low Balance Warning 
You will start getting 'low balance' warning messages when you use your card at the toll bridge when your account balance drops below £3.20. You can check your card balance online

Insufficient Funds Warning
If you do not have enough money on your account to pay the toll you will get an ‘insufficient funds’ message under the traffic light which will remain red. You should pay the toll in cash until you have been able to-top up your account.

We have created a handy guide showing you how to use the automated equipment.

3. What do I do if my card doesn’t work and I don’t have cash?

All cards are confirmed as working before being sent to customers but a small amount of cards fail for unknown reasons.

Please ensure you have a Smartcities card enabled for use on the Itchen Bridge and that you have added credit to your account. Follow the instructions on using your card above. If you get an ‘Error’ message then call us on 023 8083 3008 or email smartcities@southampton.gov.uk

If you have no form of payment, press the help button to speak to an operative.

If you have lost your Smartcities card you will need to request a replacement card, and an administration fee will apply. Please follow this link for replacing cards information.

4. How to use the automation - cash

When you arrive at the machine the amount due, based on the height of your vehicle will be displayed under the stop light.

10p, 20p, 50p, £1 or £2 coins will be accepted. Unfortunately the toll machines are unable to give change, and so you will need to ensure you have either the exact change, or insert coins exceeding the charge value.

Coins should be deposited in the collection bucket. Unacceptable coins will be ejected into the ‘returned coins slot’.  If they are a valid denomination sometimes a quick wipe and re-entering into the bucket suffices, but sometimes the coin is too dirty or not genuine and it will be rejected.

There is a known issue with the new 10p coin, which we are working to resolve.

We have created a handy guide to print out and keep showing you how to use the automated equipment.

5. Can I get a receipt?

Yes, when you have paid with coins or used your Smartcities card you can press the receipt button.

6. Guidance for motorcyclists

chevron marking for motorcyclesPlease approach the payment machine on either side of the marked chevron.  This ensures that the system recognises your motorbike and raises the barrier (if fitted) to allow free passage. 

Passing centrally through the chevron will lead to the barrier not raising or you may be charged a fee if your vehicle has been incorrectly identified.  Invoices are raised for vehicles that fail to pay the applicable toll.

Please slow down to allow the light to turn green and the barrier to raise.  Please only proceed in single file or you risk being identified as a car and being charged to cross.

7. Why aren't all the lanes open all the time?

From midnight until 6am we aim to keep at least two lanes open in either direction.

Our daytime operation begins from 6am and we have three lanes open coming into the city from around 6.30am until around midday. We then change to three lanes leaving the city until 10pm.

We aim to keep at least two lanes open in either direction at all times unless there is a major fault with one or more of the machines.

8. Legislation information

The council had to submit a Private Bill to Parliament to obtain authority for charging the tolls. The Bill went to three readings in the House of Commons before being passed to the House of Lords in May 1973. The Lords Select Committee allowed the Bill to pass, and it became law in July 1973.

The Private Bill is now incorporated in the Hampshire Act 1983, which now provides the legal powers by which the council operates and maintains the bridge.

9. Itchen Bridge office contact details

Itchen Bridge office, Portsmouth Road, Woolston, Southampton, SO19 9AD

Telephone: 023 8043 1040

Email: itchen.bridge@southampton.gov.uk

Downloadable documents

Icon Name of file Size Download time
PDF document Top up your Smart Card online manual 255 KB 1secs @ 2Mbps
PDF document Vehicle height classification printable 28 KB 0secs @ 2Mbps
PDF document Using automation handy guide 106 KB 0secs @ 2Mbps
PDF document Smartcities application form 679 KB 2secs @ 2Mbps
PDF document Itchen Bridge Card Upgrade 111 KB 0secs @ 2Mbps
PDF document Business Application Form 106 KB 0secs @ 2Mbps
PDF document Boundary Map for Local Business Concession 100 KB 0secs @ 2Mbps
PDF document Itchen Bridge tolls order 1444 KB 5secs @ 2Mbps
Link to download Adobe Acrobat if required

Contact information