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FTA says Severn Crossing tolls must be cut if Welsh hauliers are to survive

  • 06 November 2012
  • By Ashleigh Wight

The Freight Transport Association (FTA) has said cutting the Severn Crossing tolls is the only way to boost the Welsh economy and keep the country’s hauliers on the road.

Following a report on the impact the tolls that put the cost to the Welsh economy at £80m a year, the FTA is optimistic there will be a reduction in charges after 2018. This is the point at which the contract for the private company that runs the crossings is set to end.

The Severn Crossing tolls currently stand at £18.50 for LGVs (covering a return journey).

Ian Gallagher, FTA policy chief for Wales, said: “I would urge the Welsh and UK Governments to fully understand what this report clearly shows, and what the logistics sector has argued for some time – a reduction in tolls post 2018 is the only option which will see an increase from indirect revenue from commuters, business and the leisure industry.”

“What matters to businesses across Wales is that the tolls, which are currently crippling the Welsh economy, are scaled back to a level that the logistics industry can afford, and which do not act as a barrier to doing business in Wales,” said Gallagher.

Welsh government First Minister Carwyn Jones has conceeded that there is a need to think about the future of the crossing and indentify a solution that “maximises the economic benefit to Wales and the UK”.

Ian Jarman, environmental and legislation manager at Owens, added: “If the reduction takes place then the Welsh Government must look at ways of easing congestion at the critical pinch point on the M4 at the Bryn Glas tunnels… due to the anticipated increase in traffic volumes.”

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Article source: http://www.commercialmotor.com:80/latest-news/fta-says-severn-crossing-tolls-crippling-the-welsh-economy