Thornbury and Yate MP Steve Webb, whose constituency includes the original Severn Bridge, has welcomed the announcement in the Budget of plans to cut tolls when the Bridge returns to public ownership in 2018. But he has said that his ‘no more tolls’ campaign will continue until the whole charge is scrapped.
At present, cars pay £6.50 for a journey into Wales whilst vans pay £13.10 and HGVs £19.60 per trip. In 2018 the revenue from tolls is expected to have paid off the original construction costs of the two bridges and under law ownership of the bridges will return to the taxpayer. Before Christmas, local MP Steve Webb launched a ‘no more tolls’ campaign calling for the tolls to be scrapped at that point.
Today’s Budget announced an important step forward with VAT to be abolished on tolls in 2018, with the higher rate for vans being reduced to the general rate for cars.
Commenting, Steve Webb said:
“I am pleased that the Chancellor has responded positively to our campaign and that tolls will be cut from 2018. This is a welcome step in the right direction. But it remains the case that once the construction costs have been repaid, there is no justification for an ongoing toll which continues to bear heavily on local people who travel over the bridge for work or leisure. We will therefore be keeping up our campaign until the tolls are completely abolished”
The online petition can still be signed at www.stevewebb.org.uk/nomoretolls