FTA calls on Government to keep Severn toll promise

The Freight Transport Association (FTA) is calling on the Government to guarantee its pre-election promise to remove all charges on the Severn Bridges. The FTA represents the transport interests of companies moving goods by road, rail, sea and air in the logistics industry.

Before the UK General Election both parties, Labour and Tories, promised to scratch the toll charges on Severn Bridge. The two bridges spanning the Severn estuary on the M4 and M48 motorways have the highest toll charges in the entire UK network. This represents a massive burden on road haulage businesses who have seen year-on-year price increases, costing the sector millions of pounds. Therefore, the removal of the Severn toll charges would deliver economic benefit to the whole area and cut the businesses costs by a good amount.

Ian Gallagher, FTA Head of Policy for Wales and the South West, said: “FTA members are now looking for a firm guarantee from the Government to deliver on this promise to deliver much needed revenue to business at a time when inflationary pressure continues to grow.”

The administration of the two bridges at the Severn Crossing is due to revert to central government control at the end of this year or in early 2018, when toll charging will automatically end.

Gallagher explains: “This unnecessarily high cost of doing business in Wales has been recognised as a barrier to inward investment by our members and their customers, and puts Welsh freight operators at a disadvantage when tendering for business in England.”

The costs to cross into wales are £20 for an HGV and £13.40 for a van.

A study by consultants ARUP shows that removing the toll and charges would boost the Welsh GDP by £107 million which is more than the amount raised by the toll.