Drivers and businesses will benefit from proposed cuts to Severn Crossing tolls following the return to public ownership, Transport Secretary Chris Grayling announced whilst on a visit to Wales with Welsh Secretary Alun Cairns.
The government’s proposals would see the prices paid for all vehicles halved, making a significant difference to commuters, travellers, and small businesses in particular, with some drivers seeing savings of more than 75%.
The lower toll charges would be introduced when the crossings return to public ownership and will save drivers and businesses money helping boost the economy. It is expected that the new toll charges would be introduced in 2018.
The government is also looking at removing toll barriers and introducing free-flow tolling on the Severn Crossings that will help cut congestion and journey times.
Secretary of State Chris Grayling said:
The government is determined to make the right decisions for Britain’s future and reducing the tolls on the Severn Crossings will cut costs for businesses helping boost jobs and trade in Wales and across the south-west.
The future toll prices announced today will not only guarantee the future and safety of the crossings for generations to come but will also boost the economy whilst offering the best value for money for motorists and the taxpayer.
Once the crossings return to public ownership they will be managed by Highways England.
Under the proposals:
- cars will pay £3.00 instead of £6.70, more than a 50% saving
- small buses or vans will pay £3.00 down from £13.40, a saving of 75%
- lorries and coaches will pay £10 instead of £20, a saving of 50%
Blue Badge holders and motorcycles will continue to be exempt from the tolls. The money raised will pay for the operation and maintenance of the crossings as well as future improvements.
Welsh Secretary Alun Cairns said:
This is excellent news for people living and working in Wales who use the Severn Bridge, particularly van drivers who will pay over 75% less money.
These savings will make a huge difference to those who use the crossing regularly and it will provide a major boost to companies pitching for new business, who can now be much more competitive.
The Severn Crossing is a vital artery into Wales and reduced tolls demonstrate once again that Wales remains open for business.
The Government has also set out plans for these reductions to be applied to the rates paid by electronic TAG users, who are amongst the most regular users of the crossings. Under the proposals TAG Toll charges will also reduce:
- cars will save £65.12 a month
- small buses and vans will save £183 a month
- lorries and coaches will save £198 a month
The removal of toll barriers and the introduction of free-flow tolling on the Severn Crossings would also allow two-way charging which could mean the price charged for a single crossing will be halved.