The news recently that the tolls on the two Severn crossings into Wales are weeks away from being scrapped will be a boost for the haulage industry.
It’s been known for some time that the tolls on the M4 and M48 would be removed, but the government has now announced they will go on December 17 – a week before Christmas – instead of the planned date of December 31.
Tolls, which range from £5.60 for cars to £16.70 for coaches and larger goods vehicles, have been in place since the original Severn bridge was opened in 1966. Indeed, they had been more expensive but were reduced on New Year’s Day this year when the bridges were taken back into public ownership and the government removed VAT.
Welsh Secretary Alun Cairns, told BBC Radio Wales: “The principle of paying to come into Wales is something that has irritated us for 50 years.”
It has been estimated by the Welsh Government that the ultimate abolition of the charges - paid as drivers head westbound into Wales - will benefit the Welsh economy by about £100m a year.
About 25 million journeys a year are made across the two bridges and daily users of the crossings could save about £1,400 a year once the toll has been removed.
Christmas bonus for the haulage industry
We’re delighted that these tolls are finally to be scrapped. They are an extra expense for our clients in the haulage sector and for our drivers, and are an undoubted barrier to trade.
The Freight Transport Association agrees. Sally Gilson, the FTA’s Head of Policy for Wales, said: “Our members spend millions of pounds on the crossing every year, money which can now be invested in future-proofing their businesses with initiatives such as staff upskilling, recruitment and purchasing greener vehicles.”
If you run a business needing drivers, or are a driver looking for work opportunities and are relishing the prospect of a toll-free run into Wales, please get in touch with the team here at 24-7 Staffing. Maybe you live in Wales but until now working in England and having to pay a toll to get back home wasn’t an option. Why not get in touch and have a chat?