Bridge-toll row branded 'absurd'

It is "plainly absurd" drivers cannot pay the toll on the Severn bridges with their debit and credit cards, according to the First Minister for Wales Rhodri Morgan .

He said there was a dispute between the company operating the crossings and the UK Government over allowing drivers to pay with cards instead of cash.

Mr Morgan was asked at First Minister's questions in the Welsh Assembly whether it was that 1 a disagreement over banking charges was holding up the introduction of the facility.

He said the Government thought the "on costs" of processing card payments should be met by the company, whereas the company thought the Government should pick up the bill. Mr Morgan told AMs he had asked transport secretary Geoff Hoon to resolve the problem quickly.

He said: "What we have said is that whoever is right about this, don't hang about too much, solve this problem expeditiously, get it done over the next few months because it's plainly absurd that you can't use debit or credit cards for such an important crossing to us."

The current toll price for cars and vehicles of up to nine seats is £5.40.

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