The Government has announced that toll charges on the Severn crossings will be scrapped.
Secretary of State for Wales, Alun Cairns MP, stated that the crossings will be free to all vehicles from the end of 2018.
The Freight Transport Association (FTA) hailed this as a victory, as it has spent 10 years lobbying for charges to be removed to boost business in Wales and the south west.
Ian Gallagher, FTA Head of Policy for Wales and the South West, said: “We have fought long and hard on behalf of FTA members to get these charges removed. They represent a huge financial burden for logistics companies in the area – money that would be better spent on upskilling, recruitment and purchasing greener vehicles.
“The announcement today heralds the death knell of what are the most expensive tolls in the UK, representing a massive disincentive for inward investment and economic growth across the region, and is warmly welcomed by the FTA and its members.
“Goods vehicle operators will be applauding this decision, a decision which will allow them to reinvest more than £43m annually collected at the booths – money which can now be reinvested in job creation and improving fleets.”
The two bridges spanning the Severn estuary on the M4 and M48 motorways in Wales have seen year-on-year price increases, costing operators millions of pounds. The administration of the two bridges will revert to central Government control at the end of this year or in early 2018, when the current charging system will automatically end. It currently costs £20 for an HGV or coach with more than 17 seats to cross into Wales and £13.40 for a van or minibus up to 17 seats.