Tolls removal won’t help the climate crisis
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
Work has been taking place to remove toll booths on the Prince of Wales Bridge