Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne has revealed that toll charges on both bridges over the Severn are to be halved by 2018.
The announcement, made as part of his 2016 Budget, addresses the price that drivers must pay to use the M4 and M48 crossings.
Currently, car drivers crossing from England into Wales must pay £6.60, van drivers are charged £13.20 and it costs £19.80 for lorries and buses. Those coming the other way are not charged.
Only a year ago, in the 2015 Budget, Osborne confirmed that VAT on the tolls would be scrapped when the bridges return to public ownership in 2018, after the construction and running costs are repaid. This would have reduced prices to £5.40 for cars and vans.
However, the latest reduction will take the toll for cars even lower, to around £3.30, subject to inflation.
The current tollbooth system could also be removed and replaced by online payments, depending on the results of a UK government review.
Monmouth Conservative MP David Davies said that he was ‘absolutely delighted’ by the planned cuts.
He commented: "Halving the tolls is not as much as some were hoping for but it is certainly a welcome step forward."
Welsh Lib Dem leader Kirsty Williams disagreed and called for the tolls to be completely scrapped, adding: "The Chancellor is cynically acting as if he is doing commuters a favour, but the fact is that he wants to keep this unfair tax on entering Wales.”
Author: Laura Thomson
After completing his university studies in English and Creative Writing in Cardiff, Jack is now a full time motoring writer at Blackball Media. His love of cars stems from his childhood years when he began to live and breathe all-things automotive.
March 16, 2016