FTA calls on government to scrap Severn tolls

The Freight Transport Association (FTA) has called on the government to keep its pre-election promise to stop charging bridge tolls on both 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.”

At present, it costs £20 for an LGV to cross to Wales and £13.40 for a van or LCV. The FTA has said that this represents a major burden for road haulage and delivery firms that have seen annual price increases that costs the sector as a whole millions of pounds.

The two bridges over the Severn are currently administered by a private firm, but this will revert to central government later this year or in the first part of 2018. Toll charging will automatically end when this occurs. At present however, a new charging system is planned that would replace the tolls – the FTA wants the government to scrap these charges altogether as soon as it can to help businesses using the bridges.

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.
 
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