SEVERN CROSSING TOLLS TO BE SLASHED
THE cost of using the Severn Bridge will be more than halved under new government plans.
Cars, small vans and small buses will pay £3 in tolls from 2018 while larger vehicles will pay £10. The changes would come into effect when the Severn Crossings go into public ownership in 2018.
The current price for a car is £6.70 but is only paid when cars are coming into Wales from England.
A proposed “free-flow tolling system”, aimed at reducing congestion, would mean cars pay £1.50 each way on both bridges and larger vehicles would pay £5.
A letter to all Welsh MPs and AMs has been sent by Wales Office minister Alun Cairns and UK transport minister John Hayes.
Ministers say they will offer “substantial savings for all those who use the crossings”.
“Once the crossings revert to public ownership, cars will pay only £3, which is more than the 50% reduction we announced at Budget 2016.”
Under the plans, cars will pay £3, as will drivers of vans and small buses who will benefit from a 75% reduction. The largest vehicles will also get a 50% reduction.
Those who use the TAG system will also receive further discounts.
The Government has said it will continue to look for “further reductions if possible in the future”.
At an event in November Mr Cairns said he wanted to look at introducing “free-flow” charging system on the crossings in a move similar to the Dartford Tunnel.
Even if charges are introduced in both directions, it is understood the total cost would remain at £3. A consultation on those aspects of the plans will be announced on Friday. But some do not believe the cuts go far enough.
Councillor John Warman, from Campaign Against Severn Tolls (CAST), said: “The tolls should be abandoned altogether.”
Cabinet Secretary for Economy and Infrastructure Ken Skates said: “The Welsh Government has repeatedly called for the tolls to be scrapped once the Severn bridges revert to public ownership and we will continue to lobby the UK Government for this. We, like communities and businesses on both sides of the border, would hope to see this made a reality at the earliest opportunity.”
The Severn Bridge toll station on the Welsh side