Severn Bridge Tolls

Oral Answers to Questions — Wales – in the House of Commons on 4th September 2019.

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Photo of Chris Matheson Chris Matheson Shadow Minister (Cabinet Office)

What recent economic assessment he has made of the effect of the removal of tolls on the Severn bridge.

Photo of Kevin Foster Kevin Foster Assistant Whip, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Wales, The Parliamentary Secretary, Cabinet Office

I am delighted to say that July 2019 saw a 20% increase in traffic westbound and an 8% increase eastbound compared with July 2018. It is too early to make a detailed economic assessment, but our initial estimates were that it would boost the Welsh economy by around £100 million a year.

Photo of Chris Matheson Chris Matheson Shadow Minister (Cabinet Office)

I am really pleased to hear of those benefits. Will the Minister have a word with the Transport Secretary—just along from him on the Government Front Bench—and get him to take notice of them and have him remove the tolls on the Mersey crossing, which the Conservative Government said that they would never levy in the first place?

Photo of Kevin Foster Kevin Foster Assistant Whip, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Wales, The Parliamentary Secretary, Cabinet Office

Each crossing is based on an individual case, and the Mersey Gateway, which, as the hon. Gentleman will know, was built in 2017, was based on a 30-year concession to fund its construction.