FTA calls for rethink on Severn Bridge tolls Fri Jul 31 14:29:00 BST 2009

"The cripplingly high cost of using the Severn Bridge is a huge detriment to businesses in South Wales and western England. Some of FTA’s members, which operate vans and trucks, are spending tens of thousands of pounds each month just on bridge tolls, making it a tax on doing business in this part of the UK. A serious rethink is needed"

Ian Gallagher, FTA’s policy manager for Wales and the South West

The time has come for the Government to rethink tolls on the Severn Bridge, according to the Freight Transport Association (FTA). The call came as ministers announced their intention to freeze tolls on the Humber Bridge, which are in some cases already significantly lower than those on the two Severn bridges.

Ian Gallagher, FTA’s policy manager for Wales and the South West, said:

“The cripplingly high cost of using the Severn Bridge is a huge detriment to businesses in South Wales and western England. Some of FTA’s members, which operate vans and trucks, are spending tens of thousands of pounds each month just on bridge tolls, making it a tax on doing business in this part of the UK. A serious rethink is needed.”

One of the possible solutions that FTA has suggested is amending the current contract with the bridge’s builders, Severn River Crossing plc, to reduce the level of tolls but to levy them over a longer period of time. This would still accrue the same level of income but would place less of a burden on businesses, many of which are already struggling as a result of the recession.

FTA is also advocating a lower tariff for night-time crossings for commercial vehicles.

Gallagher continued:

“At present, it costs our members up to £16.30 each time they cross the bridge into Wales. If that figure were to be reduced, overall or overnight, this could be just the sort of stimulus the economy in South Wales in particular needs.”

Notes to editors

A comparison of tolls and charges on UK crossings is outlined below:

Light goods Heavy goods vehicles
Cars M/cycles vehicles 2 axles 3 axles 4 axles
Humber Bridge 2.70 1.20 4.90 10.90 14.60 18.30
Severn Bridge 5.40 - 10.90 16.30 16.30 16.30
Dartford River Crossing 1.50 - 2.00 3.70 3.70 3.70
Tamar Bridge 1.00 - 2.50 4.00 4.00 5.50
Skye Bridge - - - - - -
Forth Bridge - - - - - -

The Freight Transport Association represents the transport interests of companies moving goods by road, rail, sea and air. FTA members operate over 220,000 goods vehicles – almost half the UK fleet. In addition they consign over 90 per cent of the freight moved by rail and over 70 per cent of sea and air freight. FTA’s website can be found at www.fta.co.uk

For further information please contact FTA’s media team on 01892 552255/01892 552244 or, out of hours, on 07985 874248 or 07818 450425.

 

FTA Press Office

01892 552255
press.office@fta.co.uk