The Freight Transport Association has called on the government to guarantee its pre-election promise to remove all charges on the Severn bridges.
Ian Gallagher, head of policy for Wales and the South West, said: “Removal of tolls on the Severn Bridges has been a key FTA priority for many years, so the election commitment by all parties to end the charges was welcome. FTA members are now looking for a firm guarantee from the Government to deliver on this promise to deliver much needed revenue to business at a time when inflationary pressure continues to grow.”
Currently it costs £20 for an HGV to cross into Wales and £13.40 for a van. The FTA said this represents a massive burden on road haulage businesses who have seen year-on-year price increases, costing the sector millions of pounds.
The administration of the two bridges at the Severn Crossing is due to revert to central government control at the end of this year or in early 2018, when toll charging will automatically end. However, a new charging system is currently planned to replace the tolls and FTA want the government to scrap charges altogether at the first opportunity.
A study by consultants Arup in 2012 found that scrapping the toll would boost Welsh GDP by £107 million. This figure is more than the amount raised annually by the Severn Bridge toll.