In a £100m boost to the local economy, Theresa May has today pledged to abolish tolls on the Severn crossings between Wales and England.
If elected on 8 June, a Conservative government will scrap tolls for ALL vehicles using the bridges.
For the past 50 years, tolls have been levied on vehicles crossing the Severn Estuary. The current charge is £6.70 for cars, £13.40 for small buses or vans and £20 for lorries and coaches.
The decision will bind together two economic areas in Wales and England, supporting the Union, whilst sharing prosperity right across the UK. It goes further than the existing plan to halve the tolls by 2018 and will happen next year when the M48 Severn Bridge and M4 Second Severn Crossing revert to public ownership. Both bridges will be operated by Highways England.
"I want to ensure that our economic progress is shared across the United Kingdom.
"By abolishing tolls for 25 million annual journeys between two nations, we will strengthen the links between communities. This will drive economic growth right across the country helping key economic centres in Cardiff, Bath, Bristol and Newport.
“By significantly reducing the cost of doing business between Wales and England, the Conservatives continue to deliver on improving the economic prospects of ordinary working people.
“There is only one leader at this election who will put the economic prospects of all parts of the United Kingdom first. The choice next month is clear: economic stability and a better deal under my Conservative team, or chaos under Jeremy Corbyn, whose nonsensical policies would risk the economy and destroy jobs.”
- Prime Minister Theresa May
The move was backed by commuters and communities on both sides of the estuary during a public consultation that closed in March.
"Scrapping the Severn crossing tolls is an example of the Conservatives taking the big decisions when they’re the right decisions, in doing so, transforming the joint economic prospects of South Wales and the South West of England.
"Drivers using this key artery between two nations, en route to London, will benefit from a £100m boost to the local area.
“Theresa May will ensure that economic prosperity is spread across the United Kingdom and this clear commitment will guarantee that links are strengthened and enhanced between the natural economic areas of South Wales and the South West of England.”
- Secretary of State for Wales Alun Cairns
"As former chair of the Welsh Affairs Committee, I would like to think this has partly come about because of our work since 2010 on scrutinising the future of the Severn crossings.
"I have long campaigned for the tolls to be scrapped and today's announcement is fantastic news for the local economy.
"I would also like to pay tribute to Alun Cairns who has been very supportive in putting the case to the Prime Minister.
"It shows Theresa May's Conservatives are not a London-based party. We are a party for the whole of the United Kingdom and Wales will benefit enormously if the Conservatives are re-elected."
- Conservative Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Monmouth David Davies