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UK News Severn bridges congestion charge being considered as traffic volumes and jams have soared since the crossing toll was scrapped in 2018

12:51  14 february  2020
12:51  14 february  2020 Source:   thisismoney.co.uk

No more tolls or charges on the Severn Crossings, says UK Government

  No more tolls or charges on the Severn Crossings, says UK Government The UK Government has rejected the idea of charging on the M4 at the Severn bridges Congestion has risen significantly on both sides of the river, including in areas like Chepstow, as a result of the removal of the tolls on drivers using the Severn bridges.

Image caption Tolls to cross the Severn bridges were scrapped in 2018 after 50 years. Fees may be reintroduced on the Severn crossings between The number of vehicles using the two bridges after the tolls were scrapped in 2018 has increased and probably made congestion worse, the West of

Charges for crossing the two bridges will be scrapped from Monday. “The abolition of tolls on the Severn Bridge will inevitably increase the volume of traffic on this particular route.” Tolls have applied to the original Severn Crossing since 1966 and the second crossing , renamed the Prince of

The Severn crossing toll was only scrapped in December 2018 but authorities have announced they could start charging motorists again due to an increase in traffic levels.

The West of England Combined Authority (WECA) could introduce a congestion charge on both sides of the two Severn bridges after confirming that traffic has worsened since the tolls were abolished some 13 months ago.

It said it is considering 'charging measures and controls' in an effort to curb the number of jams at the crossing.

a bridge over a body of water: Congestion charge: Motorists could have to pay to use the Severn crossing again due to a rise in traffic levels since the toll to use the two bridges was scrapped in December 2018 © Provided by This Is Money Congestion charge: Motorists could have to pay to use the Severn crossing again due to a rise in traffic levels since the toll to use the two bridges was scrapped in December 2018

Motorists have been able to cross the two Severn bridges for free since 17 December 2018.

Charges could return for drivers on both sides of the Severn bridges

  Charges could return for drivers on both sides of the Severn bridges It follows an increase in congestion following the scrapping of tollsRemoval of the fees in 2018 after more than 50 years was hailed as a boon for the area that would unlock investment between Wales and the West of England.

Tolls to cross the Severn bridges into Wales have officially been scrapped after 52 years. The first lorry made its way across the Prince of Wales Bridge for free just after 06:30 GMT on Monday. "It feels fantastic - the first time ever to cross the bridge for free - it's an exciting moment," said haulier Craig

Charges for crossing the Severn are being scrapped (PA). However it is “essential that traffic remains free flowing”, he said, adding: “ Congestion as a result of increased vehicle numbers will quickly cancel out any advantages resulting from a toll -free crossing . “The abolition of tolls on the

It had previous cost car users £5.60 to cross from England into Wales - though there was no charge for travel in the opposite direction.

When abolished, it was the first time in the 52 years since the first bridge was built that motorists were exempt from charges to use them.

At the time the toll was scrapped, experts estimated that regular commuters would save around £1,400 a year, while some businesses could pocket around £55,000 in transport costs.

However, the Road Haulage Association warned that an increase in congestion as a result of there being no crossing fee could increase costs for firms that would then be passed on to consumers.

a car driving down a busy highway: Motorists had been paying £5.60 to cross the westbound bridge since January, as the fee was no longer run by the government and was therefore VAT free, reducing the charge from £6.70. It was scrapped in December 2018, however, there has since been a significant rise in traffic © Provided by This Is Money Motorists had been paying £5.60 to cross the westbound bridge since January, as the fee was no longer run by the government and was therefore VAT free, reducing the charge from £6.70. It was scrapped in December 2018, however, there has since been a significant rise in traffic a bridge over a body of water: The Road Haulage Association had warned that an increase in congestion at the bridges could result in higher transportation costs for businesses, but supported the abolition of the toll © Provided by This Is Money The Road Haulage Association had warned that an increase in congestion at the bridges could result in higher transportation costs for businesses, but supported the abolition of the toll

And it appears the association was correct in their prediction, with traffic levels rising since the toll was removed.

A lorry has blown over on Severn bridge after a 'sudden spike' in the wind

  A lorry has blown over on Severn bridge after a 'sudden spike' in the wind Emergency services are at the sceneTraffic cameras at the scene show the articulated lorry on its side surrounded by emergency service vehicles.

Scrapping the Severn tolls is an example of the Conservatives ensuring that all four nations of the UK thrive after Brexit, in doing so, transforming the Tolls on the original Severn crossing have been in place since 1966, and introduced on the second crossing , the Prince of Wales Bridge , when it was

Scrapping the Severn Bridges toll could increase traffic and costs to businesses, according to a lorry groupCredit: Rex Features. But hold-ups in crossing the river will The tolls were reduced on New Year's Day 2018 after the bridges were returned to public ownership, but the Government resisted

A WECA spokesman told the BBC: 'The removal of the tolls provides many opportunities to boost the economies of the West of England and South Wales.

'We are working with the Department for Transport, Highways England, Wales Office and Welsh Government - as well as our constituent councils - to ensure we make the most of these opportunities, while mitigating any potentially negative impacts.

'This includes considering measures to reduce traffic flow and cut congestion.'

The plans also propose new bus routes, park and ride availability and junction improvements near the bridges to relieve congestion at the crossing.

However, in order to fund these developments, the authorities admitted it could require 'demand-management measures, such as charging measures and controls' on both sides of the Severn.

a long bridge over a body of water: Charges on the original Severn Crossing have been in place since 1966, when the fee stood at two shillings and sixpence – the equivalent of around 13p in decimal currency today © Provided by This Is Money Charges on the original Severn Crossing have been in place since 1966, when the fee stood at two shillings and sixpence – the equivalent of around 13p in decimal currency today

The proposal was revealed in the West of England’s joint local transport plan (JLTP) -  the region's infrastructure blueprint being outlined up to 2036.

No timescales have been given for when a congestion charge might be introduced.

Charges on the original Severn crossing have been in place since 1966, when the fee stood at two shillings and sixpence – the equivalent of around 13p in decimal currency today.

They were then introduced on the second crossing – renamed the Prince of Wales Bridge in April 2018 – when it opened 30 years later in 1996.

Drivers had more recently had to pay £6.70 to cross the bridges linking Wales and England via the M4 and M48 motorways, though this was reduced to £5.60 in January 2018 as the fee was no longer run by the government and was therefore VAT free.

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