Tuesday, September 19, 2017

New Severn Tolls Announced for 2018

Reduced Amount to Cover Government Costs before Abolition in 2019
Shipping News Feature
UK – Following the return of the Severn Crossings to public ownership from January 8, next year, the UK government has announced its decision to reduce the bridge tolls for the first time since its introduction in 1966, in line with the commitment made by the UK Government in Budget 2015. Additionally, the normal annual inflation increase, due at the start of 2018, will also not be applied.

The announcement comes hot on the heels of the July's confirmation that the UK Government will abolish the tolls altogether at the end of 2018, in the hopes of strengthening the economic links and prospects of South Wales and the South West of England.

From January 8, 2018:

  • Cars will pay £5.60 instead of £6.70
  • Small buses or vans will pay £11.20 down from £13.40
  • Lorries and coaches will pay £16.70 instead of £20

It is estimated that the abolishing of the tolls will boost the economy of South Wales by around £100 million a year. During the consultation phase of this decision, the government had also proposed halving the tolls, but due to the responses it received, the government instead committed to abolishing them.

With the Crossings reverting to government control, the tolls will no longer include VAT, hence the drop in prices. This last period of tolling will allow costs incurred by taxpayers relating to the crossings – previously and over the final year of tolling – to be recovered. Secretary of State for Wales Alun Cairn, commented:

“For so many years, the tolls on both Severn Crossings have been seen as an economic and symbolic barrier to Wales’ future prosperity. Our decision to reduce the tolls - before abolishing them altogether - will cut costs for businesses, for commuters and tourists alike - helping boost jobs and trade in Wales and across the South-West.

“This is yet another strong indicator that Wales is open for business and of the UK Government’s commitment to making the right decisions for Wales’ future as part of a strong United Kingdom.”

TAG prices will fall by the same proportion, reflecting the removal of VAT. There will be no change to the types of TAGs offered. Further consideration is being given to the issue of season TAGs purchased from 8 December, since they will extend beyond the period of returning to public ownership.