Tuesday 25th Oct 2016 - Logistics Manager

Cut the burden of bridge tolls, says FTA

The Freight Transport Association is calling on the government to reduce the toll on the Severn bridge, describing the current price as “crippling” for businesses.

Ministers have announced plans to freeze tolls on the Humber bridge, but the FTA says these are in some cases “already significantly lower than those on the two Severn bridges”.

Ian Gallagher, FTA’s policy manager for Wales and the South West, said: “The cripplingly high cost of using the Severn Bridge is a huge detriment to businesses in South Wales and western England.

“Some of FTA’s members, which operate vans and trucks, are spending tens of thousands of pounds each month just on bridge tolls, making it a tax on doing business in this part of the UK. A serious rethink is needed.”

The FTA has suggested amending the current contract with the bridge’s builders, Severn River Crossing, to reduce the level of tolls but to levy them over a longer period of time.

This would still notch up the same level of income but would place less of a burden on businesses.

FTA is also advocating a lower tariff for night-time crossings for commercial vehicles.

“At present, it costs our members up to £16.30 each time they cross the bridge into Wales.  If that figure was to be reduced, overall or overnight, this could be just the sort of stimulus the economy in South Wales in particular needs,” said Gallagher.