The tolls payable for vehicles travelling west along the M48 and M4 from England into Wales will be scrapped by the end of 2018, the Government announced today.
The fees are currently only paid by drivers of vehicles travelling into Wales, and they range from £6.70 for a car to £20 for a heavy goods vehicle.
About 25 million vehicles cross the two bridges each year. Once the tolls on them are dropped, the saving for a car driver making the journey every day could be more than £1600 a year.
A report by the Welsh Government has said the removal of the tolls could bring a £100 million boost to the Welsh economy. However, another report conducted for UK ministers predicted a 17% increase in traffic if the toll fees were halved. The impact of removing them altogether hasn’t been stated.
Welsh secretary Alun Cairns said abolishing the tolls "sends a powerful message to businesses, commuters and tourists alike that the UK government is committed to strengthening the Welsh economy".
The two crossings are currently owned and operated by a private consortium, but their ownership will revert back to Highways England once the cost of building the second crossing – completed in 1996 – is repaid.
Scrapping the tolls was included in the manifesto of every major political party in June’s general election.
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