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.”