July 11, 2017 at 8:51 AM
Drivers who use the Severn Crossing on a regular basis could find themselves £1,400 better off, following confirmation its toll charges will be scrapped from the end of 2018; the charge to use the bridges to cross the Bristol channel from South West England to South Wales have been described as a 'tax on Wales'.
Welsh Secretary Alun Cairns said removing the charges (up to £20 for lorries and buses) will pump an extra £100 million into the local economy. Tolls are currently collected on the English side, but only apply when heading west into Wales, which caused some to brand them as a 'tax on entering Wales'.
When the Severn Crossing opened, the toll for all vehicles except motorbikes to use the new crossing was 2s 6d (the equivalent to £0.125 today). Currently, to use either the Severn Bridge or the Prince of Wales Bridge - opened in 1996 and formerly known as the 'Second Severn Crossing', the toll for cars and passenger vehicles up to 9 seats reached a high of £6.70 (from 1st January 2017), having risen steadily by up to 30p every year since 1992 - when the charge due was just £2.80; prior to 1992, tolls were charged to enter and leave Wales. In 2017, commercial vehicles over 3500kg paid the most to cross into South Wales - £20.00 per westbound crossing.
In 2016, George Osborne, the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced that the cost of using the Severn Bridge to get into Wales would half in 2018. In July 2017, Welsh Secretary Alun Cairns announced the charges would be scrapped altogether at the end of 2018. From 8th January 2018, the Severn toll for cars was cut to £5.60, £11.20 for commercial vehicles up to 3,500kg and buses up to 17 seats. Commercial vehicles over 3.5tonnes how have to pay the new rate of £16.70 per westbound crossing. Whilst it's good news for motorcycles and disabled badge holders who are exempt from paying toll charges to enter Wales, however, they must both have their eligibility checked and are still required to stop at the toll booths.
The bridges will be operated by Highways England when it returns to public ownership after 25 years in the hands of Severn River Crossings PLC, who took over ownership and operation of the bridge in 1992 as part of the deal to build the second Severn Crossing - now known as the Prince of Wales Bridge.
That means those visiting from England to check our Aberdare Ford's fantastic new Ford offers and quality used cars will be £6.70 better off!
Full story here