Severn Bridge toll cuts don't impress

Severn Bridge toll cuts don't impress

Motorists will stay be paying too much in toll charges to cross the England-Wales Severn Bridge even after price reductions come into effect, claim business leaders.

The charge will fall 17% from the current £6.50 to £5.40 in 2018 for those using the iconic crossing.

The move was announced in Chancellor George Osborne's Budget speech on Wednesday and will mean a 59% drop for van drivers who currently pay £13.10.

This is the first time the charge has gone down. The fall comes as a result of the structure being publicly owned once more in 2018 when toll VAT charges will be dispensed with.

But a leading small business body has criticised the Chancellor for not reducing the charges still further. Janet Jones, the Federation of Small Businesses Wales's (FSB) policy chairwoman, describes the extent of the cut as "disappointing".

She said it is estimated that the present toll rates cost Wales's economy £107 million every year. Ms Jones wants a bare maximum charged - perhaps £1.50 - just to fund maintenance costs.

Copyright Press Association 2015