Severn tolls have been psychological and fiscal barrier

13 February 2018

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The two Severn crossings passed into public ownership on Monday 9th January 2018 and the tolls have been reduced by removing VAT. The Secretary of State for Wales, Alun Cairns, also confirmed that the tolls will be scrapped altogether by the end 2018. Highways England has now taken over responsibility for both bridges on the M4 and M48 from Severn River Crossing Plc, and will use the reduced tolls to cover maintenance costs. Private cars now pay £5.60 instead of £6.70 while vans pay £11.20 instead of £13.40 and HGVs £16.70 instead of £20, until the fees are scrapped.

Michael Lawley, Chairman of Cooke & Arkwright examines what impact the current reduction and forthcoming abolition of the tolls might have on the commercial and residential sectors:

“We welcome the reduction and eventual removal of the tolls, the positive impact of which is likely to grow steadily over a long period. The existence of the tolls has been a psychological and fiscal barrier across the Severn Estuary and their removal will allow the regional economies in the South-West and South Wales to trade more effectively. People and businesses will be free to locate where they wish rather than being influenced by the financial burden of entering Wales. This particularly affected distribution and logistics companies and commuters.  The lifting of the toll burden combined with marginally lower industrial values should greatly improve the ability of distribution-based companies to move to South Wales. 

“In residential terms, Monmouthshire and Newport are also likely to experience increased demand from people seeking more affordable housing than that which prevails in the Bristol area. Overall, the reduction of tolls should prove beneficial in many ways to the South Wales economy.”

I have worked with Jeremy Symons over the past three years successfully leasing and buying property in support of my business. I continue to be very pleased with his knowledge of the market and expertise. Our relationship over this time has resulted in acquiring 20,000 sq ft at Capital Business Park in Cardiff, leasing 11,000 sq ft at Southpoint, and subsequently leasing an initial 42,000 sq ft at Parc Bedwas, followed by a succession of expansions of a further 11,000 and then 47,000 sq ft, enabling us to centralise all of our operations at Parc Bedwas in a single 100,000 sq ft facility. The acquisitions were completed at the perfect time for tenant purposes and the rent fixed throughout the term at very economical rates. A job well done.

Bob James, Aerfin