Daily toll prices for the Severn Bridge have been cut from £20 to £16.70 for HGVs. This comes after Severn River Crossings handed over all the operations and management of the Severn Bridges to Highways England.
Severn River Crossings said it was set up to design, finance and build the second road bridge over the Severn, and that once the cost of building, finance and operations are repaid, they return to Government ownership.
“Hauliers operate to very tight margins so any measures to reduce their costs is welcome,” said RHA chief executive Richard Burnett. “The eventual removal of tolls will be a tremendous boost to the local businesses and haulage firms who rely these major routes. “However, the inevitable increase in traffic will put a big strain on the current infrastructure. Hauliers and businesses need strong reassurance that, as the deadline for the end of tolls approaches, the necessary steps needed to maintain smooth traffic flow are put in place as a matter of urgency.
“If the roads can’t cope then any potential savings will be in vain.”
Ian Gallagher, FTA policy manager for Wales and the Southwest said: “Today marks a turning point for users of the bridges, although the reduction by the rate of VAT has little impact on the business community which, in many cases, can reclaim this cost. The intended removal of all charges on the bridges by the end of this year is a welcome boost to logistics businesses in both the South West and South Wales already facing serious financial pressures. With the uncertainty of Brexit looming, anything which can help to boost business revenues is great news to keep economies on both sides of the Severn estuary trading effectively.”