Severn going toll free prompts call for Humber to receive same status

By Hull Daily Mail | Posted: 21 Jul 2017

THE Hull & Humber Chamber of Commerce is today calling on the Government to give the Humber Bridge the same treatment as the Severn Crossings and abolish its tolls by 2018.

Chief executive Dr Ian Kelly said: “The economic case for abolishing the tolls on the Humber Bridge has already been proven by the near 50 per cent increase in traffic volumes since the cost of the crossing was reduced to £1.50 for cars.

"There has been a corresponding increase in trade between the North and South banks of the river and writing off the remaining debts would save commuters who use the bridge daily around £700 a year putting more money into our local economy.

"The Humber is riding the crest of an economic wave at the moment with the rapidly growing renewables industry and Hull’s year as City of Culture and we want to see this economic momentum stay in top gear and scrapping the bridge tolls would support that."

MORE: Humber Bridge joins Grimsby Dock Tower in historic local landmarks given Grade I listed status

The Chamber’s call comes after Welsh Secretary Alun Cairns announced that the tolls on the Severn bridges between Wales and England will be scrapped by the end of next year. However, the crossing will be paid off then, whereas the Humber still owes millions. The control of the bridge will be taken over by Highways England.

Mr Cairns said the decision would be a major boost to the local economy and the decision to abolish the tolls "sends a powerful message to businesses, commuters and tourists alike that the UK Government is committed to strengthening the Welsh economy".

He said: "I want to ensure that visitors and investors know what Wales has to offer socially, culturally and economically. Most importantly, I want the world to know how accessible we are to business."

He added: “The move was "right for Wales' future prosperity".

Dr Kelly said the arguments Mr Cairns makes for Wales are just as valid for the Humber region and we want to see this area given the same support and economic advantages as other parts of the country.

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