The Severn Bridge Tolls will be radically overhauled when the two crossings pass into public ownership.
Transport Minister Andrew Jones’s announcement that the Severn Bridges won’t be a “cash-making exercise” when they return to public ownership has been hailed as a big win for the Freight Transport Association (FTA) and its members.
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, added, “FTA has been pressing for these tolls to be reduced or scrapped altogether so is 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.
FTA last month hosted a Severn Bridge Summit at Westminster attended by the 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.
“This is a vital connecting route and any reduction in charges will be of huge economic benefit to hauliers who regularly use the bridges.”
Robin is the longest serving chairman of The Western Group. He’s been vice chairman or chairman for over ten years and oversees the annual Western Group PR Driving Day each summer assisted by the group committee and supported by group members.
He contributes to a number of outlets in Wales and the UK, including the Driving Force editorial syndication agency feeding the biggest regional news and feature publishers in Britain.
Robin specialises in the Welsh automotive sector and motor related businesses with interests in Wales and publishes WheelsWithinWales.uk which covers news, features, trade and motor sport in Wales.