'Nationalise Severn bridges', says Monmouth MP David Davies

PUBLIC OWNERSHIP: Monmouth MP David Davies says the Severn bridges should be nationalised

NATIONALISATION CALL: Monmouth MP David Davies

First published in News
Last updated

MONMOUTH MP David Davies has called for the Severn crossings to be nationalised when the current arrangement for levying tolls comes to an end, predicted to be in 2018.

Before the second Severn bridge was built in the 1990s, the four companies that joined together to win the construction bid agreed to maintain and take on the debt of the old M48 bridge, and build a new bridge in return for £1 billion, raised by charging a toll to drivers.

By 2018 they will have been paid and both crossings revert to public ownership.

There will then be no legal contract requiring tolls to be paid, and because the bridge would be in the hands of the public, no VAT to pay either.

But the future of the crossings remains unclear as the UK Government has yet to announce what action will be taken after the current tolling regime ends.

In a letter today, the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Transport, Robert Goodwill, told the Monmouth MP that for two years after 2018, the UK Government will still need to recoup £88 million that it forked out in unexpected maintenance costs.

Mr Davies MP, who is chairman of the Welsh Affairs Select Committee, told the Argus that successive governments had been paid more than £88 million in windfall taxes such as the levying of VAT as dictated by Europe and changes to the industrial building tax, which he estimates to have brought in £130 million.

In his letter Mr Goodwill said VAT will no longer be payable on the tolls once back in public ownership and as such tolls could come down, but did not confirm this.

"For once I am saying 'nationalise it' - it is clearly going to be better for all of us," Mr Davies told the Argus.

"Various politicians have said 'we must scrap the toll' but that is not possible. You can dress all you want in Rebecca Riot costumes but you are not going to get rid of the tolls.

"But you can demand that the £88 million will not be paid back because the government received a greater amount through windfall taxes. We can ensure the bridge is run in the future by the government and pay no VAT. I urge everyone to start thinking about this and I will work with anyone from any party."

Comments (12)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

4:45pm Tue 4 Mar 14

GardenVarietyMushroom says...

Sod that. Scrap the tolls.

Either that or go with the Newport retail philosophy - 'everything's a pound'
Sod that. Scrap the tolls. Either that or go with the Newport retail philosophy - 'everything's a pound' GardenVarietyMushroom
  • Score: -2

4:51pm Tue 4 Mar 14

Bobevans says...

So Wales want to pick up the tab for taking them over and maintain them which does not come cheap
So Wales want to pick up the tab for taking them over and maintain them which does not come cheap Bobevans
  • Score: 0

5:29pm Tue 4 Mar 14

KarloMarko says...

"Nationalisation!"

Well, I think its time Mr Davies (or should that be "Comrade"?) was told to get on his red bike and clear off back to Cuba!

If the bridges are "nationalised", next it will be the railways and gas and electricity. And the coal mines! Why, not even our glorious Queen will be safe from this evil idiology.

Do you want to see Our Royal Family in blue serge boiler suits Mr. Davies? Reading the Morning Star? Quoting Ken Loach? Well do you?

In my day Comrade Davies would be "disappeared" by MI5 off Penarth Pier with a cement boot.

It's not too late.
"Nationalisation!" Well, I think its time Mr Davies (or should that be "Comrade"?) was told to get on his red bike and clear off back to Cuba! If the bridges are "nationalised", next it will be the railways and gas and electricity. And the coal mines! Why, not even our glorious Queen will be safe from this evil idiology. Do you want to see Our Royal Family in blue serge boiler suits Mr. Davies? Reading the Morning Star? Quoting Ken Loach? Well do you? In my day Comrade Davies would be "disappeared" by MI5 off Penarth Pier with a cement boot. It's not too late. KarloMarko
  • Score: -13

5:41pm Tue 4 Mar 14

Magor says...

Politicians need to get together and sort this out. 2018 is not that far away.I was at a meeting in Avonmouth last week and firms there are finding it hard to get staff.The tolls must go.
Politicians need to get together and sort this out. 2018 is not that far away.I was at a meeting in Avonmouth last week and firms there are finding it hard to get staff.The tolls must go. Magor
  • Score: 12

6:57pm Tue 4 Mar 14

Limestonecowboy says...

Well said Mr Davies a Politician not afraid to speak up with an alternative proposal - would rather see the taxpayer responsible for the bridges, being vital infrastructure, than the money draining sieve that is the RBS!
Well said Mr Davies a Politician not afraid to speak up with an alternative proposal - would rather see the taxpayer responsible for the bridges, being vital infrastructure, than the money draining sieve that is the RBS! Limestonecowboy
  • Score: 11

7:25pm Tue 4 Mar 14

scraptheWAG says...

Bobevans wrote:
So Wales want to pick up the tab for taking them over and maintain them which does not come cheap
money could be taken from welsh language and welsh assembly budgets how on earth do you explain the vast difference that now exists along the M4 the prosperous english side to the utter basket case that is the welsh economy.
[quote][p][bold]Bobevans[/bold] wrote: So Wales want to pick up the tab for taking them over and maintain them which does not come cheap[/p][/quote]money could be taken from welsh language and welsh assembly budgets how on earth do you explain the vast difference that now exists along the M4 the prosperous english side to the utter basket case that is the welsh economy. scraptheWAG
  • Score: 2

8:36pm Tue 4 Mar 14

Monmouthshire Merlin says...

Magor wrote:
Politicians need to get together and sort this out. 2018 is not that far away.I was at a meeting in Avonmouth last week and firms there are finding it hard to get staff.The tolls must go.
Perhaps they should have considered that before taking the jobs from Chepstow and moving them across the bridge.
It is quite clear that the tolls are a tax on employment and free movement.
There are many empty industrial units around the M4 corridor and many people would appreciate the opportunity of employment. So the sooner the tolls are removed the sooner the chance of prosperity for South East Wales
[quote][p][bold]Magor[/bold] wrote: Politicians need to get together and sort this out. 2018 is not that far away.I was at a meeting in Avonmouth last week and firms there are finding it hard to get staff.The tolls must go.[/p][/quote]Perhaps they should have considered that before taking the jobs from Chepstow and moving them across the bridge. It is quite clear that the tolls are a tax on employment and free movement. There are many empty industrial units around the M4 corridor and many people would appreciate the opportunity of employment. So the sooner the tolls are removed the sooner the chance of prosperity for South East Wales Monmouthshire Merlin
  • Score: 9

10:09pm Tue 4 Mar 14

scraptheWAG says...

Monmouthshire Merlin wrote:
Magor wrote:
Politicians need to get together and sort this out. 2018 is not that far away.I was at a meeting in Avonmouth last week and firms there are finding it hard to get staff.The tolls must go.
Perhaps they should have considered that before taking the jobs from Chepstow and moving them across the bridge.
It is quite clear that the tolls are a tax on employment and free movement.
There are many empty industrial units around the M4 corridor and many people would appreciate the opportunity of employment. So the sooner the tolls are removed the sooner the chance of prosperity for South East Wales
you do know that tesco magor get their bridge tolls paid for by the WAG as they want to move it like everything else accross the bridge . Also so tesco and asda want to pay 20 quid a trip for a lorry must mount into millions .
[quote][p][bold]Monmouthshire Merlin[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Magor[/bold] wrote: Politicians need to get together and sort this out. 2018 is not that far away.I was at a meeting in Avonmouth last week and firms there are finding it hard to get staff.The tolls must go.[/p][/quote]Perhaps they should have considered that before taking the jobs from Chepstow and moving them across the bridge. It is quite clear that the tolls are a tax on employment and free movement. There are many empty industrial units around the M4 corridor and many people would appreciate the opportunity of employment. So the sooner the tolls are removed the sooner the chance of prosperity for South East Wales[/p][/quote]you do know that tesco magor get their bridge tolls paid for by the WAG as they want to move it like everything else accross the bridge . Also so tesco and asda want to pay 20 quid a trip for a lorry must mount into millions . scraptheWAG
  • Score: -2

10:10pm Tue 4 Mar 14

scraptheWAG says...

KarloMarko wrote:
"Nationalisatio
n!"

Well, I think its time Mr Davies (or should that be "Comrade"?) was told to get on his red bike and clear off back to Cuba!

If the bridges are "nationalised", next it will be the railways and gas and electricity. And the coal mines! Why, not even our glorious Queen will be safe from this evil idiology.

Do you want to see Our Royal Family in blue serge boiler suits Mr. Davies? Reading the Morning Star? Quoting Ken Loach? Well do you?

In my day Comrade Davies would be "disappeared" by MI5 off Penarth Pier with a cement boot.

It's not too late.
you nuts the man is very sensible it a key reason why wales is so poor
[quote][p][bold]KarloMarko[/bold] wrote: "Nationalisatio n!" Well, I think its time Mr Davies (or should that be "Comrade"?) was told to get on his red bike and clear off back to Cuba! If the bridges are "nationalised", next it will be the railways and gas and electricity. And the coal mines! Why, not even our glorious Queen will be safe from this evil idiology. Do you want to see Our Royal Family in blue serge boiler suits Mr. Davies? Reading the Morning Star? Quoting Ken Loach? Well do you? In my day Comrade Davies would be "disappeared" by MI5 off Penarth Pier with a cement boot. It's not too late.[/p][/quote]you nuts the man is very sensible it a key reason why wales is so poor scraptheWAG
  • Score: 1

10:54pm Tue 4 Mar 14

welshmen says...

British Utilities for British people, fed up of the foreign owned ripping us and our Industries off, scrap the tolls it's part of the M4 we pay road tax that's plenty to cover it, unless we get more production industries in Wales the standard of Welsh living will be a bad as a third world country or worse. drastic changes must be made because nothing any of our Governments have done hasn't even scratched the surface for investment in Wales, to quote scraptheWAG. "if the WAG can spend £52 Million to buy Cardiff Airport and fly empty planes to Anglesey" then they can buy the seven Bridge because more people use it....
British Utilities for British people, fed up of the foreign owned ripping us and our Industries off, scrap the tolls it's part of the M4 we pay road tax that's plenty to cover it, unless we get more production industries in Wales the standard of Welsh living will be a bad as a third world country or worse. drastic changes must be made because nothing any of our Governments have done hasn't even scratched the surface for investment in Wales, to quote scraptheWAG. "if the WAG can spend £52 Million to buy Cardiff Airport and fly empty planes to Anglesey" then they can buy the seven Bridge because more people use it.... welshmen
  • Score: 5

10:33am Wed 5 Mar 14

onlylocalhere says...

How can a company that runs and maintains the bridges taking toll money *not* be responsible for the £88 million "extra" maintenance? Sounds like someone is trying to make me pay twice again.

If the tolls cannot be scrapped then at least get them to a level comparable with other important national infrastructure - Dartford tunnels, Forth bridges etc. This is not a "us" vs. "them" - they are vital for national UKPLC.
How can a company that runs and maintains the bridges taking toll money *not* be responsible for the £88 million "extra" maintenance? Sounds like someone is trying to make me pay twice again. If the tolls cannot be scrapped then at least get them to a level comparable with other important national infrastructure - Dartford tunnels, Forth bridges etc. This is not a "us" vs. "them" - they are vital for national UKPLC. onlylocalhere
  • Score: 0

5:43pm Thu 6 Mar 14

Lliswerry Man says...

The Original Bridge should be FREE already, it has been paid for over and over, the second bridge cannot be that far off either, Forget all the party politics, WHY are the people of Wales being robbed to come home?... ITS paid for, as for Upkeep, that should come out of the same POT OF MONEY that the M25 Upkeep comes from.. as that is constantly being repaired !!
The Original Bridge should be FREE already, it has been paid for over and over, the second bridge cannot be that far off either, Forget all the party politics, WHY are the people of Wales being robbed to come home?... ITS paid for, as for Upkeep, that should come out of the same POT OF MONEY that the M25 Upkeep comes from.. as that is constantly being repaired !! Lliswerry Man
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree