COMMENTING on Chancellor George Osborne’s announcement in today’s Budget that toll charges on the Severn crossings will be halved in 2018, Monmouth MP and chair of the Welsh Affairs Committee David Davies said:

“This is fantastic news for the south Wales economy and I am absolutely delighted.

“Halving the tolls is not as much as some were hoping for but it is certainly a welcome step forward.

“There has been a lot of lobbying from all members of the Welsh Affairs Committee to bring this about and I have worked closely with cross-party colleagues, especially Jessica Morden in Newport East, for many years.

“I think it goes to show that when MPs get together to raise their voices loudly and for long enough, change can actually be achieved.

“I am very glad the government has gone much further than was originally being suggested and my main priority now is to ensure a proper handover plan is in place when the bridges revert to public ownership.

“I will also be concentrating on getting an electronic pre-pay system installed, similar to the one used for the London congestion charge, as reducing the tolls is likely to increase traffic levels and could lead to big queues on the toll plaza.

“This would take time and require government involvement. I’m not entirely satisfied that enough has been done yet.”

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