Government ‘must be open’ on Severn bridges - Newport MP

Government ‘must be open’ on Severn bridges - Newport MP

Government ‘must be open’ on Severn bridges - Newport MP

First published in News
Last updated

A NEWPORT MP has said the UK Government should be open about its plans for the Severn Crossings once they go back into public ownership.

Jessica Morden, MP for Newport East, made the call during her House of Commons debate on the crossings’ tolls yesterday, airing suspicions the crossings are a “cash cow”.

But a junior transport minister said no decision has yet been made on what will happen to the tolls once the agreement, allowing a private firm to operate the bridges, ends. Earlier this week Monmouth MP David Davies was told VAT would no longer apply to the toll at the end of the agreement, estimated to occur in 2018.

Ms Morden said: “We need an openness from the Department for Transport and the Treasury about what plans are being made and what the Government’s thinking is when the bridges return to public ownership.”

“This is a cost of living issue for my constituents, especially for those who commute daily over the bridge”.

She said there is “very strong suspicion that the Government see the bridges as a cash cow”, citing an estimated £135 million in VAT since the tax was imposed on the bridges.

But Mark Harper, Tory MP for the Forest of Dean, called for the minister not to rule out the future use of toll revenue to fund a third Severn crossing to relieve congestion in Gloucestershire.

Newport West Labour MP Paul Flynn said it would be “deeply resented” if the toll paid for a third crossing in “thinly populated areas”.

Junior transport minister Robert Goodwill said: “No decisions have been made regarding the operation and tolling arrangements of the crossings once the current regime ends.”

Comments (5)

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8:13am Thu 6 Mar 14

keithbob says...

bloody disgrace,these tolls are killing the industry in wales,they increase the price every year and have to be the most expensive toll bridge in europe,if not the world!.if our welsh m.ps had the balls they would fight tooth and nail to get them abolished,!
bloody disgrace,these tolls are killing the industry in wales,they increase the price every year and have to be the most expensive toll bridge in europe,if not the world!.if our welsh m.ps had the balls they would fight tooth and nail to get them abolished,! keithbob
  • Score: 9

11:12am Thu 6 Mar 14

Woodgnome says...

Anyone who has queued for the tolls at peak times will realise the Brynglas tunnels aren't the only barrier to progress into Wales. I have queued at the tolls for just as long as holdups due to heavy traffic on the M4.
Anyone who has queued for the tolls at peak times will realise the Brynglas tunnels aren't the only barrier to progress into Wales. I have queued at the tolls for just as long as holdups due to heavy traffic on the M4. Woodgnome
  • Score: 2

1:39pm Thu 6 Mar 14

Cymru Am Beth says...

Woodgnome wrote:
Anyone who has queued for the tolls at peak times will realise the Brynglas tunnels aren't the only barrier to progress into Wales. I have queued at the tolls for just as long as holdups due to heavy traffic on the M4.
Absolutely.
They are a major disincentive to onward investment in Wales.
The Welsh Assembly would have been better leaving Cardiff Airport alone and abolishing tolls on the crossings, thereby encouraging firms to locate here.
Unfortunately, some companies have actually relocated their business over the English side of the bridge to save costs.
[quote][p][bold]Woodgnome[/bold] wrote: Anyone who has queued for the tolls at peak times will realise the Brynglas tunnels aren't the only barrier to progress into Wales. I have queued at the tolls for just as long as holdups due to heavy traffic on the M4.[/p][/quote]Absolutely. They are a major disincentive to onward investment in Wales. The Welsh Assembly would have been better leaving Cardiff Airport alone and abolishing tolls on the crossings, thereby encouraging firms to locate here. Unfortunately, some companies have actually relocated their business over the English side of the bridge to save costs. Cymru Am Beth
  • Score: 1

1:48pm Thu 6 Mar 14

GardenVarietyMushroom says...

Woodgnome wrote:
Anyone who has queued for the tolls at peak times will realise the Brynglas tunnels aren't the only barrier to progress into Wales. I have queued at the tolls for just as long as holdups due to heavy traffic on the M4.
Can't believe I'm going to agree with you but after having queued for the tolls often myself, I find that I do.

In fact, there's the possibility for arguing that it may contribute to a lot of the accidents along the M4 stretch as people who have been held up at the tolls, will put their foot down, once through to get to work on time.
[quote][p][bold]Woodgnome[/bold] wrote: Anyone who has queued for the tolls at peak times will realise the Brynglas tunnels aren't the only barrier to progress into Wales. I have queued at the tolls for just as long as holdups due to heavy traffic on the M4.[/p][/quote]Can't believe I'm going to agree with you but after having queued for the tolls often myself, I find that I do. In fact, there's the possibility for arguing that it may contribute to a lot of the accidents along the M4 stretch as people who have been held up at the tolls, will put their foot down, once through to get to work on time. GardenVarietyMushroom
  • Score: 0

4:44pm Thu 6 Mar 14

Woodgnome says...

GardenVarietyMushroo
m
wrote:
Woodgnome wrote:
Anyone who has queued for the tolls at peak times will realise the Brynglas tunnels aren't the only barrier to progress into Wales. I have queued at the tolls for just as long as holdups due to heavy traffic on the M4.
Can't believe I'm going to agree with you but after having queued for the tolls often myself, I find that I do.

In fact, there's the possibility for arguing that it may contribute to a lot of the accidents along the M4 stretch as people who have been held up at the tolls, will put their foot down, once through to get to work on time.
I can't believe it either and I also agree with your last point about accidents. The delays just rack up frustration.
[quote][p][bold]GardenVarietyMushroo m[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Woodgnome[/bold] wrote: Anyone who has queued for the tolls at peak times will realise the Brynglas tunnels aren't the only barrier to progress into Wales. I have queued at the tolls for just as long as holdups due to heavy traffic on the M4.[/p][/quote]Can't believe I'm going to agree with you but after having queued for the tolls often myself, I find that I do. In fact, there's the possibility for arguing that it may contribute to a lot of the accidents along the M4 stretch as people who have been held up at the tolls, will put their foot down, once through to get to work on time.[/p][/quote]I can't believe it either and I also agree with your last point about accidents. The delays just rack up frustration. Woodgnome
  • Score: 0

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