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Severn crossing tolls to halve

Jun 07, 2016
News that tolls on the Severn bridges are to be halved has been described as a step in the right direction by the Freight Transport Association.

George Osborne announced as part of his budget statement in March that the government will halve tolls on the Severn River Crossings, once the crossings are in public ownership in 2018, subject to public consultation. Alongside this, it will also review the costs and benefits for developing a free-flow barrier-free tolling system. 

The Severn Bridge tolls are the most expensive in the UK, costing £6.60 for a car, £13.20 for a van and £19.80 for a coach or lorry.  This is a significant financial burden for all companies operating vehicle fleets in South Wales and for people commuting to work across the estuary. 

Responding to the Chancellor’s announcement, Ian Gallagher, FTA Head of Policy for the South West and Wales, said, “As always the devil is in the detail – the Chancellor has said that the tolls will be reduced when the bridges are in public ownership but this is subject to public consultation.  If the government must consult, this should be carried out prior to handover so that a reduction in charges is in place from day one.” 

The FTA has previously stated that the tolls are an unfair burden on both businesses and commuters and called for them to be reduced as soon as possible. 

Mr Gallagher added, “Reducing the tolls will be a welcome shot in the arm for businesses and commuters who use the bridges daily, allowing businesses to invest in the things that matter such as new vehicles and staff recruitment.” 

It is predicted there will be an outstanding debt of approximately £50 million on the bridges at the time of the changeover.  

Photo: The Severn Bridge tolls are the most expensive in the UK.

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