TOLL: Severn Bridge to fund M4 relief?
Severn Bridge tolls should not help finance additional infrastructure projects like the £1billion M4 relief road, the Freight Transport Association (FTA) have insisted.
Jane Hutt, Welsh Finance Minister, yesterday confirmed to MPs that the South Wales M4 relief could be paid for by passing motorists.
Ms Hutt said the Welsh Government want administration of the two bridges to be passed to it in 2018, when they will likely revert to public ownership.
She added the tolls would remain in place to cover maintenance and provide a revenue stream.
However, the FTA claim it is unfair to ask road users to support other initiatives through the tolls.
Ian Gallagher, FTA’s Head of Policy for Wales, said: “FTA welcomes the suggestion by the Minister that there could be a reduction in tolls for essential users such as lorries.
“However as the bridges would have been paid for by users they shouldn’t be asked to finance additional infrastructure which really should be funded by government.
“FTA members pay hundreds of thousands of pounds in tolls and normally this comes directly off the bottom line.
“The government must answer the question, at what level can a toll be set so that it benefits users and provides a meaningful revenue stream?”
Image courtesy of Highways Agency, with thanks.