Severn crossing tolls set to rise

Car drivers face a 20p rise in toll on the Severn bridges from next year, while the charge for vans will go up by 60p and lorries by 80p.

Once the inflation-linked toll increase takes effect in January, car owners will have to pay £5.70 to drive across the bridges. Van and lorry drivers crossing into Wales will be charged £10.90 and £17.20 respectively.

A temporary system, introduced before the Ryder Cup last month to enable motorists to pay using debit and credit cards without the need for PIN, will be made permanent in the new year.

Transport minister Mike Penning, who confirmed the price revisions in his evidence to the Commons' Welsh Affairs Committee, also supported a "free-flow technology" for tolls that would reduce congestion as well as make "substantial savings".

He said: "I think we should have free-flow. I think it's an economic issue as well as an issue of almost morality, if you wish.

"Is it right you make people queue to pay something when you have the technology to prevent it?"

Mr Penning confirmed the UK Government would re-open negotiations with the company that runs the bridges - Severn River Crossing Plc - before 2017 to try to introduce the system.

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