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Labour to review river crossing toll charges

Tolls were scrapped on the two Severn bridges in December 2018.

The Dartford Crossing costs £2.50 per car crossing (Gareth Fuller/PA)
The Dartford Crossing costs £2.50 per car crossing (Gareth Fuller/PA)

By Neil Lancefield, PA Transport Correspondent

Labour has hinted it could reduce or even scrap toll charges for river crossings in England.

The party’s manifesto pledged it will “review all tolled crossings” if it takes power.

Drivers have to pay to use 10 river crossings in England on motorways or A roads.

The busiest is the Dartford Crossing between Kent and Essex, which is used by around 160,000 vehicles a day and is often heavily congested.

It costs £2.50 per crossing for cars.

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(PA Graphics)

AA president Edmund King said: “We welcome the commitment to review tolls on crossings.

“The AA has consistently called on the Government to scrap the Dartford Crossing tolls as the building costs of the original scheme were paid off 15 years ago and under previous government commitments should have been abolished then.”

Other major toll crossings include: the Mersey Tunnels, Merseyside (£1.80 per crossing); the Tyne Tunnels, Tyne and Wear (£1.80 per crossing); the Tamar Bridge between Cornwall and Plymouth (£2 per crossing); and the Humber Bridge between East Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire (£1.50 per crossing).

Tolls were scrapped on the two Severn bridges in December 2018.

The fee for a car crossing from England into South Wales was £5.60 before the Government’s decision was implemented.

The last toll on a road bridge in Scotland was scrapped in February 2008.

Mr King went on: “Charges have been abolished on the Severn crossings and on all bridges in Scotland.

Nobody uses the Dartford Crossing for the fun of it so this toll should be the first to be abolished Edmund King, AA

“It is a complete travesty that tolls have been lifted for drivers going into Wales and across Scotland and yet millions still have to pay the Dartford toll.

“Nobody uses the Dartford Crossing for the fun of it so this toll should be the first to be abolished.”

Labour’s manifesto reiterated the party’s backing for HS2, pledging to “extend high-speed rail networks nationwide by completing the full HS2 route to Scotland”.

It also outlined a number of policies previously announced, including:

– Returning train operation to public ownership and implementing a rolling programme of rail electrification
– Bringing forward the ban on the sale of new diesel and petrol cars from 2040 to 2030
– Giving councils the resources and powers to take ownership of bus networks
– Increasing funding for cycling and walking
– Reforming taxi and private hire services to set minimum standards of safety and accessibility

The party said it was committed to creating a sustainable and integrated transport system, based on the “principle that transport is an essential public service”.

PA

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