Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Removal of Severn Bridge Crossing Tolls Delights Road Haulage Freight and Logistics Community

Businesses and Public Alike Will Welcome Early Christmas Present
Shipping News Feature
UK – Both the general public and the road haulage community will be grateful for an early Christmas present if they have to enter Wales by road, with the permanent removal of the tolls at the two Severn Crossings on December 17. The government is fulfilling a promise made in July 2017 to scrap tolls completely on the key link between England and Wales and is estimated to save regular motorists more than £1,000 per year and have an economic boost to the Welsh economy of an approximately £100 million each year, a fact that will delight freight and logistics groups in the region.

Businesses generally will benefit from the strengthened links between cities stretching from Swansea to Swindon, no longer burdened by the long criticised financial barrier between the communities of both Wales and south west England. Secretary of State for Wales Alun Cairns said:

“It has long been my ambition to see the tolls abolished, doing away with a barrier that has hindered Wales’ economic prosperity for more than half a century. Today marks an important leap forward in Wales’ economic potential, increasing our appeal to external investors but also ensuring businesses, commuters and tourists on both sides of the border are no longer hampered by a fee restricting them from carrying out their everyday lives.

“Removing the tolls will cement the already strong ties between the economies and communities of South Wales and the South West of England, creating a growth corridor for prosperity to flourish from Cardiff, through Newport to Bristol and beyond.”

At the beginning of the year, the government lowered the tolls for the first time since its introduction in 1966. The Freight Transport Association (FTA), which has long campaigned for the removal of the tolls, welcomed the news, with Sally Gilson, FTA's Head of Policy for Wales, commented:

“The Severn bridge tolls have served as a consistent barrier to economic growth and an unfair burden to both employers and employees alike as they cross between England and Wales. The removal of the tolls will provide a much needed boost to logistics businesses in both the South West and South Wales, unlocking new potential for growth in the region and ensuring that businesses along the Severn estuary are able to trade effectively during a challenging economic climate.

“Removal of the tolls has been a long-term policy position for FTA, with members on both sides of the bridges incurring some of the highest toll charges in the UK just to go about their daily work. Our members spend millions of pounds on the crossings every year, money which can now be invested in future-proofing their businesses with initiatives such as staff upskilling, recruitment and purchasing greener vehicles.”

Photo: ‘The Severn Bridge’ a work in oils by William Thomas Williams 1909 – 1995.©