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Severn Crossing tolls not for profit

Sep 04, 2016

Andrew Jones, the then Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Transport, recently announced that the Severn Bridges won’t be a ‘cash-making exercise’ when they return to public ownership. This has been hailed as a big win for the Freight Transport Association and its members.  

In June the FTA hosted a Severn Bridge Summit at Westminster attended by the [former] minister and other MPs which called for clarity on the future of the crossings and reduction or removal of the high toll charges currently in place.  

On 4 July Mr. Jones told the Welsh Affairs Committee that the bridges could return to public ownership as early as October 2017, when the tolls charges would cover maintenance costs only. When quizzed by committee chairman and Monmouth MP David Davies, he said the bridges would not make a profit for the government or be used to fund the building of another crossing.  

Mr Jones indicated that incentives could be introduced to encourage lorries to use the bridges at night, similar to the 10pm – 6pm free period at the Dartford crossing – and lower toll charges could be offered for greener vehicles.  

Ian Gallagher, FTA’s Head of Policy for the South West and Wales said, “FTA has been pressing for these tolls to be reduced or scrapped altogether so it’s a success for fairness and a big win for our members. It’s encouraging to hear that there may be overnight concessions and reductions for greener vehicles too as soon as the bridges return to public ownership. This is a vital connecting route and any reduction in charges will be of huge economic benefit to hauliers who regularly use the bridges.”  

Photo: Severn bridges won’t be a ‘cash-making exercise’ once in public ownership.

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