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M4 relief road could be funded by Severn tolls, says Welsh Government

  • 12 July 2013
  • By Ashleigh Wight

The Freight Transport Association (FTA) has labelled the possibility that an M4 relief road could be funded by tolls from the Severn Crossing as “fundamentally unfair”.

If the Welsh Government gains control of the crossing in 2018, when the contract with the private company that currently operates the tolls runs out, Welsh finance minister Jane Hutt said it would consider funding the planned £1m M4 relief road at Newport using the tolls. 

However, in a meeting with the Commons Welsh Affairs Committee yesterday (11 July), Hutt said the charge for LGVs may be lowered.  The toll currently stands at £18.60 per crossing for LGVs and £12.40 for vans.

FTA’s head of policy for Wales, Ian Gallagher, said: “FTA welcomes the suggestion by the minister that there could be a reduction in tolls for essential users such as lorries, however as the bridges would have been paid for by users they shouldn’t be asked to finance additional infrastructure which really should be funded by government.

“FTA members pay hundreds of thousands of pounds in tolls and normally this comes directly off the bottom line.”

Hutt also suggested that if the two bridges reverted to Welsh government ownership, tolls would remain in place to provide it with the funds to cover maintenance.

Edwina Hart, Welsh Assembly minister for economy, science and transport, also laid out plans on Wednesday (10 July) to improve the M4 Port Talbot junction 40 to J41, as well as build dedicated slip roads at Junction 32 (Coryton) and Junction 33 (Cardiff) within the next two years.

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Article source: http://www.commercialmotor.com:80/latest-news/m4-relief-road-could-be-funded-by-severn-tolls-says-welsh-government