Severn Bridge toll charges to be dropped after 10 years of campaigning


The Severn Bridge looking from Aust towards Chepstow. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday September, 30, 2016. Photo credit should read: Ben Birchall/PA Wire

After years of campaigning, it has been announced that the toll on the Severn Bridge will be abolished in 2018.

The bridge was originally built in 1966 and the current toll charge was set more than 25 years ago with cars paying £6.70, large vans £13.40 and busses and lorries £20.

Theresa May promised to abolish the charges during the general election. Welsh secretary Alun Cairns confirmed the decision, saying: "The decision to abolish the Severn tolls next year sends a powerful message to businesses, commuters and tourists alike that the UK Government is committed to strengthening the Welsh economy."

"By ending tolls for the 25 million annual journeys between two nations we will strengthen the links between communities and help to transform the joint economic prospects of south Wales and the south west of England."

Cairns also added that the Welsh economy could be boosted by as much as £100 million a year thanks to the move.

The Freight Transport Association (FTA) has fought for the charge to be abolished for more than a decade, with many heavy goods vehicles unable to use the bridge due to the extortionate price.

The FTA's head of policy for Wales and the South West, Ian Gallagher, said: "We have fought long and hard on behalf of FTA members to get these charges removed. They represent a huge financial burden for logistics companies in the area – money that would be better spent on up skilling, recruitment and purchasing greener vehicles.

"The announcement today heralds the death knoll of what are the most expensive tolls in the UK."