Tolls re­moval won’t help the cli­mate cri­sis

Glamorgan Gazette - - Your Views -

AS the Sev­ern bridge tolls are re­moved I wanted to com­ment on how in­ap­pro­pri­ate such a move is con­sid­er­ing the cli­mate emer­gency we cur­rently face as out­lined by the IPCC re­cently.

En­cour­ag­ing pri­vate car use over pub­lic trans­port that this move does, par­tic­u­larly in area with well-pub­li­cised road prob­lems, is an act of folly.

The use of tolls can be a use­ful lever of pub­lic pol­icy to con­trol traf­fic flows and trans­port type, some­thing the Sev­ern tolls, or Wales have not prac­ti­cally em­braced, but some­thing that re­ally should be part of our pol­icy mix. We would not be alone in do­ing this and can learn from else­where such as the Lon­don congestion charge and dis­credit the eco­nomic ar­gu­ment against tolls when we com­pare with the tolls net­works in France, Ire­land or even the wider UK where tolls re­main on many, many cross­ings such as the lower Thames, Mersey or Humber rivers. One won­ders when the Cled­dau bridge in Pem­brokeshire will now be toll free?

I would sug­gest a lower toll to ease the fi­nan­cial bur­den on those who must use the bridge could be ap­pro­pri­ate, but with rev­enue still col­lected to en­hance other travel pro­vi­sion in Wales such as for ac­tive travel routes, where re­cent ONS fig­ures show we have seen lit­tle dis­cernible im­prove­ment in re­cent years de­spite the Ac­tive Travel leg­is­la­tion. What we need is in­vest­ment and we have re­moved a suit­able stream of fund­ing this week.

Brexit may take the head­lines but let us be clear that we have a cli­mate emer­gency now, and we need to be work­ing to ad­dress that ev­ery day. Ceri Davies, Chair­man, Cardiff and Re­gion Green Party

ROWAN GRIF­FITHS

Work has been tak­ing place to re­move toll booths on the Prince of Wales Bridge

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