Commenting on the UK Conservative Government’s announcement that the Severn Bridge tolls will be abolished by end of 2018, Shadow Transport Secretary, Russell George AM, said:
“Welsh Conservatives have long called for the abolition of the Severn Bridge tolls and this move will provide a huge boost to motorists and a shot in the arm to the Welsh economy to the tune of £100m.
“The bridges are used by more than 25 million vehicles each year and the removal of tolls will put money back in the pocket of hardworking motorists who will save over £1,400 per year*.
“This bold decision by the UK Conservative Government will encourage greater investment, make our economy more competitive and demonstrates Wales is well and truly open for business.
“However, this news could also have a potential impact on traffic numbers on the M4 and all eyes will now move to the Welsh Labour Government to see how they plan to tackle this long-standing problem.
“After years of inaction and dawdling, motorists and business alike will be expecting Labour Ministers to get on with the job of delivering the motorway grade solution necessary to help relieve congestion on the M4.”
Notes to editors:
*Based on a monthly tag charge for motorists of £117.92 over 12 months
The Severn Bridge was built in 1966 and a second crossing was completed 30 years later.
The first Severn Bridge was opened in September 1966, providing a direct link from the M4 motorway into Wales, with a toll in place for use of the bridge to pay for the cost of construction. It continually operated above capacity and in 1986 the then Government stated that a second bridge would be constructed.
In 1988 it was announced that tenders would be invited from private consortia to fund, build and operate the second bridge and take over the operation of the first bridge. In 1990 the concession was awarded to Severn River Crossing PLC (“SRC”). Construction work also started in April 1992 and the second bridge was opened in June 1996.