Smaller business hit by high toll costs
THE Freight Transport Association believes the government should rethink the “crippling” cost of the tolls on the Severn Bridge.
The FTA is lobbying this cause as ministers announced their intention to freeze tolls on the Humber Bridge, where the tolls for van users are already less than half those on the two Severn bridge.
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.”
It currently costs £10.90 for a van to cross the Severn into Wales. This compares with £4.90 for the Humber Bridge; and £2.00 for the Dartford Thames Crossing.
The FTA has suggested 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.