FTA: Govt should keep its Severn toll promises

Written by Ellie

The Freight Transport Association (FTA) has called on the government to "keep its promises" regarding the removal of all charges for use of the Severn crossings in Wales.

Spanning the Severn estuary, the two bridges carry the M4 and M48 motorways, and currently have some of the highest tolls for their use of any route in the UK.

However, the government pledged prior to this month's general election that all tolls on the crossings would be scrapped as part of efforts to improve the confidence and sustainability of businesses in the area.

Currently, the toll stands at £20 for heavy goods vehicles and £13.40 for vans leaving Wales.

FTA head of policy for Wales and the south-west Ian Gallagher has therefore highlighted the significant cost impact for fleet operators and logistics providers through sustained use of the crossings.

He argued: "This unnecessarily high cost of doing business in Wales has been recognised as a barrier to inward investment by our members and their customers, and puts Welsh freight operators at a disadvantage when tendering for business in England."

As a result, the body has now stated that the government must fulfill its pre-election rhetoric and scrap these charges completely at the first opportunity to do so. This could come as early as next year, as the administration of the two bridges will return to full central government control in 2018.

Molly Benton, brand manager at Fuel Card Services, adds: "The removal of tolls for the Severn crossings would be a positive development for businesses in Wales and all regular users of the bridges – helping high-volume users to save thousands of pounds per year."

Posted on 23rd June 2017

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