MOTORISTS TO PAY LESS ON CROSSINGS FROM JANUARY
THE Severn Crossing tolls will be reduced in January 2018 when both bridges return to public ownership, it was announced today.
After the Severn Crossings return to public ownership on January 8, 2018, the rate will be reduced for all drivers who use both bridges.
Secretary of State for Wales Alun Cairns announced the decision, saying the move was “yet another strong indicator that Wales is open for business”.
From January 8, 2018, car drivers will pay £5.60 instead of £6.70, small buses or vans will cost £11.20 instead of £13.40, and lorry and coach drivers will pay £16.70 instead of £20.
The announcement comes after July’s confirmation that the UK government will abolish the tolls altogether at the end of 2018.
It will be the first time the tolls have been reduced since they were introduced in 1966. The normal annual inflation increase, due on January 1, 2018, will also not be applied.
It has previously been estimated that getting rid of the tolls will boost the south Wales economy by around £100m a year, while motorists could save more than £1,400 per year (based on a monthly charge of £117.92 over 12 months).
Mr Cairns is due to announce the news to Welsh business representatives at the CBI Wales Regional Council meeting in Newport, where he is set to outline how the UK government is working towards its exit from the EU.
Today also sees the UK government publishing its response to the consultation on its proposals to reduce the Severn Crossing tolls launched earlier this year.
In light of the response, the government confirmed it will not press ahead with halving the tolls, but instead commit to abolishing the tolls entirely at the end of 2018.
Alun Cairns said: “For so many years the tolls on both Severn Crossings have been seen as an economic and symbolic barrier to Wales’ future prosperity.
“Our decision to reduce the tolls – before abolishing them – will cut costs for businesses, for commuters and tourists alike, helping boost jobs and trade in Wales and across the South West.
“This is yet another strong indicator that Wales is open for business and of the UK government’s commitment to making the right decisions for Wales’ future.”
The first Severn Bridge was opened in 1966.
> New Future Generations Commissioner Sophie Howe and, inset, an artist’s impression of the proposed black route for the M4 relief road