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Author Topic: Severn Bridge tolls  (Read 24550 times)
Chris from Nailsea
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« on: November 19, 2008, 11:09:58 pm »

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The cost of using the two Severn bridges next year will not rise as much as some drivers feared.

Tolls on the Severn Bridge and Second Severn Crossing go up each January, based on the retail price index (RPI).  With September's RPI showing inflation at five per cent, motoring organisations predicted that the risefrom January 1, 2009 would be 30p.

But Severn River Crossing, which oversees the operation of both bridges, has just announced the increase will be 20p, taking the toll for a car to ^5.50.  The rate for small goods vehicles and small buses, currently ^10.60, will go up to ^11.10, while drivers of heavy goods vehicles and buses will see the toll break through the ^16 barrier, rising from ^15.90 to ^16.60.

See http://www.thisisbristol.co.uk/news/Severn-bridge-toll-rise-feared/article-484232-detail/article.html
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William Huskisson MP was the first person to be killed by a train while crossing the tracks, in 1830.  Many more have died in the same way since then.  Don't take a chance: stop, look, listen.

"Level crossings are safe, unless they are used in an unsafe manner."  Discuss.
Chris from Nailsea
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« Reply #1 on: September 18, 2010, 01:21:23 am »

From the BBC:

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Severn bridges to accept card payments before Ryder Cup

Drivers entering Wales using the Severn bridges will be able to pay by debit and credit card before Newport hosts golf's Ryder Cup in a fortnight.

David Davies, chair of the Welsh affairs committee, made the announcement during a visit to the bridges.

He said this was a temporary measure while the company running the crossings works on a long-term solution.

Thousands of fans will cross the bridges for the event, on 1-3 October.

However, drivers wil be encouraged to use cash to pay the toll charge as card payments will be taken using "slow" hand held card readers and not a "fast swipe and use system," Mr Davies, the Monmouth MP, said.

Earlier, Vale of Glamorgan MP Alun Cairns had said it was "such an important occasion" and a short-term answer may have to be found.

In June Transport Minister Norman Baker promised that the new payment methods would be in place for the tournament between Europe and the United States, which runs from October 1-3.

Some 45,000 people are due to attend the tournament on each of the three days and it has been calculated that the event will boost the Welsh economy by at least ^73m.

In a statement before Mr Davies's announcement the Highways Agency said: "Discussions between the Highways Agency and the concessionaire, Severn River Crossings plc, to resolve the financial issues regarding the introduction of card payments are ongoing. Work to amend the tolling software to allow for the processing of credit and debit cards had started. We hope the matter will be resolved before the Ryder Cup begins."

Responding to the Highways Agency's statement, committee member Mr Cairns said: "I would urge the government and the tolling company to do everything possible in order to deliver this.

The Tory MP for the Vale of Glamorgan added: "This is such an important occasion for Wales. Arguing or debating over commission payments, if that is the reason, is simply unacceptable."

Speaking before the visit, Jessica Morden, the Labour MP for Newport East who is also on the committee, said she was "very disappointed" that the issue had not yet been resolved. "They should allow the public to pay to use the bridges with the most convenient modern bridges," she said. "It should be a relatively simple thing to sort out."

Meanwhile, evidence sessions for the committee's inquiry into the bridges will begin in October.

Among issues to be discussed will be toll prices, the impact of the tolls on the Welsh economy, the condition of the bridges and maintenance costs.

The Welsh affairs committee is to examine the future of the bridges after the crossings have reverted to public ownership.

Currently operated by a private company, the Severn Bridge will return to government ownership when the firm has collected a fixed sum of money from tolls.

In June Mr Baker said the bridge could return to government hands by 2017 based on current estimates of toll earnings.
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William Huskisson MP was the first person to be killed by a train while crossing the tracks, in 1830.  Many more have died in the same way since then.  Don't take a chance: stop, look, listen.

"Level crossings are safe, unless they are used in an unsafe manner."  Discuss.
Mookiemoo
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« Reply #2 on: September 18, 2010, 04:32:11 pm »

Well until they realise that vehicles like a navara or L-200 eetc are not proper large vehicles I will not be getting highway robbed by them again
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bignosemac
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« Reply #3 on: September 18, 2010, 04:45:25 pm »

I'd say your Navara was 'proper' large!  Tongue Wink Grin
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« Reply #4 on: September 18, 2010, 04:49:04 pm »

i always found it interesting how in some cases like this this type of vehicle was classed the same as a medium goods vehicle yet where speed limits are concerned they can do the same speeds as cars 
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« Reply #5 on: September 18, 2010, 05:51:21 pm »

Well until they realise that vehicles like a navara or L-200 eetc are not proper large vehicles I will not be getting highway robbed by them again


Get a Car with a Company LOGO on it and I understand you pay Double the Car toll.
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Brucey
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« Reply #6 on: September 18, 2010, 05:57:39 pm »

Well until they realise that vehicles like a navara or L-200 eetc are not proper large vehicles I will not be getting highway robbed by them again

Same with vans.  You can take a small minibus with 8 seats over for ^5.50 but a Transit van with only 3 seats costs ^10.90 Huh
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devon_metro
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« Reply #7 on: September 18, 2010, 06:09:39 pm »

Going to be some pretty big queues if they are using the slow dial up card machines!
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Chris from Nailsea
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« Reply #8 on: September 18, 2010, 06:33:11 pm »

From the BBC:

Quote
Severn tolls 'still quicker with cash'

Ryder Cup visitors using the Severn tolls to get to Newport are being told it will be quicker to cross if they pay by cash.

Credit and debit card options are being installed in time for the event, with the cup's practice days just over a week away.

The machines being used will be hand-held chip-and-pin devices, so motorists are being advised to pay in cash.

Officials are also urging visitors to give themselves plenty of travel time.

The Highways Agency is warning that major routes into Wales will see "significant" increases in traffic.

The busiest routes will be the M5 southbound and the M4 westbound, especially at the Severn Crossings.

The agency said it expected to see routes "very busy" from 0500 to 1000 BST right from the start of the opening week of practice starting from Monday 27 September, through to the end of the cup competition on 3 October.

"We would advise all people travelling into Wales while the event is ongoing to plan their journeys," said Graham Bowskill, Highways Agency Regional. "We know that it will increase people's enjoyment of this popular event if they are able to make their way to and from it with minimal delays."

One of the biggest concerns had been whether credit and debit card payments would be available for those paying tolls on the two Severn bridges on the M4 motorway.

It has been confirmed that the option will be available, however, it will be a temporary measure using hand-held chip-and-pin devices.

"The card payment system is being introduced in recognition of the large number of people from around the world who will be using the crossing for this event," said Norman Baker, the UK government transport minister. "However, as this will require road users to enter their pin number into a hand-held device, we strongly encourage crossing users to pay with cash for the quickest transit. I am grateful to the staff of the Highways Agency who have worked hard to ensure this card system is in place for the Ryder Cup."

The minister said a permanent swipe card system is expected to be in place early next year.

Other concerns about transport arrangements around Newport involving barrier work on the M4 are also being addressed.

Motorists have been forced to divert off the M4 around the city at certain times while central safety fence work and widening improvements have been taking place on a stretch from Tredegar Park to Coldra. Work is also being carried out on variable speed warning systems.

But the assembly government said all the road work restrictions will be lifted for the duration of the the Ryder Cup event, and the speed system work will have been completed.

However, a 50mph speed restriction in the area will remain in force until later in the year when all the safety work is completed.
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William Huskisson MP was the first person to be killed by a train while crossing the tracks, in 1830.  Many more have died in the same way since then.  Don't take a chance: stop, look, listen.

"Level crossings are safe, unless they are used in an unsafe manner."  Discuss.
bignosemac
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« Reply #9 on: September 28, 2010, 03:59:26 pm »

From the Western Mail:

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The recent fall in Severn Crossings traffic was partly caused by people switching to public transport, Western Mail research suggests.

Conservative MPs said last week they were worried by a 20% decline in vehicles using the M4 toll bridges.

The bridges^ operator blamed unemployment and fuel costs, but now we can reveal that growing numbers of people are crossing the Severn by train or coach.

Experts say people are heeding environmental messages from government and others. Worries about money during the economic downturn could also play a part, with coach companies offering some return tickets between South Wales and London for less than the Severn Crossing car toll.

New facilities and extra parking spaces at Severn Tunnel Junction station are enticing more people in Monmouthshire and east Newport to park and ride, rather than drive to Bristol or London.

The number of eastbound rail passenger journeys from Severn Tunnel Junction to the Avon or London areas has increased by 16.5% over two years ^ and 10% in the last year.

First Great Western has also seen an 8% growth in the last three months on its trains between Cardiff and Bristol, and 1.5% on its trains between South Wales and London.

A FGW spokesman said: ^Over the past 18 months we^ve seen a dramatic improvement in performance and punctuality on our trains. We^ve also invested in station and on-train improvements to increase security and customer comfort. More people are choosing to leave the car at home and travel by train.^

In June, National Express added two extra return services per day between Cardiff and London, reflecting growing demand. It provides 28 return departures most days of the week, rising to 36 on Fridays and Saturdays. Heathrow and Gatwick airports and Cardiff University are popular destinations.

Head of network planning Steve Way said National Express fares started at ^1 each way. ^People can sit back without worrying about driving, with no tolls to pay,^ he said. ^We have a huge mix of people using the coach, from students to businessmen.^

Stagecoach in South Wales also operates coaches between South Wales and London. Managing director John Gould said demand for the Megabus services had grown steadily. ^We put more services on about 12 months ago. We now have 11 per day,^ he said. ^The lower fares probably make it a little bit more attractive than the train or the toll.^

Friends of the Earth Cymru welcomed the cross-Severn trends. ^Switching from cars, which often only carry one person each, to public transport is better for the environment,^ said director Gordon James. ^More people are becoming aware of that, and realising it^s more stressful going by car. You can work on trains and buses and relax,^ he added.

He said Severn Tunnel Junction^s growth showed the value of upgrading public transport facilities.

^Road building is expensive,^ he said. ^You can get more by better traffic management and public transport investment.^

Stuart Cole, professor of transport at Glamorgan Business School, said people were switching from car to train because of road congestion, as well as increased public transport capacity and environmental concerns.

He said the recession had probably been the biggest factor in the Severn Crossings^ traffic decline.

^The evidence suggests that people who switch to train switch pretty well permanently. In the main, they don^t return to their cars just because the recession has ended.^

The recession affected rail freight as well as lorries crossing the Severn last year. But rail freight firm DB Schenker said: ^We are seeing an increase in demand to supply industry in South Wales. We are seeing some flows of goods switching to rail that otherwise were sent by road."

Freightliner Heavy Haul runs six trains per day through the Severn Tunnel, up from none five years ago. Each train carries as much as about 70 lorries.
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« Reply #10 on: September 28, 2010, 05:38:02 pm »

From WalesOnline website:
http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/2010/09/28/switch-to-public-transport-behind-severn-toll-decline-91466-27353939/
Quote
THE recent fall in Severn Crossings traffic was partly caused by people switching to public transport, Western Mail research suggests.

Conservative MPs said last week they were worried by a 20% decline in vehicles using the M4 toll bridges.

The bridges^ operator blamed unemployment and fuel costs, but now we can reveal that growing numbers of people are crossing the Severn by train or coach.

Experts say people are heeding environmental messages from government and others. Worries about money during the economic downturn could also play a part, with coach companies offering some return tickets between South Wales and London for less than the Severn Crossing car toll.

Quote
First Great Western has also seen an 8% growth in the last three months on its trains between Cardiff and Bristol, and 1.5% on its trains between South Wales and London.

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Chris from Nailsea
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« Reply #11 on: September 28, 2010, 06:51:29 pm »

In the interests of continuity and clarity, I've just merged a couple of recent posts here - purely to avoid duplication, in any subsequent discussion!

CfN.  Smiley
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William Huskisson MP was the first person to be killed by a train while crossing the tracks, in 1830.  Many more have died in the same way since then.  Don't take a chance: stop, look, listen.

"Level crossings are safe, unless they are used in an unsafe manner."  Discuss.
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« Reply #12 on: September 28, 2010, 11:57:03 pm »

Why would the Government be worried about 20% less vehicles on the road  Huh Roll Eyes
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bignosemac
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« Reply #13 on: September 29, 2010, 12:30:48 am »

Er..... less income from the various taxes motorists pay perhaps?

Or did you miss the 'tongue in cheek' smiley DG?
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« Reply #14 on: September 29, 2010, 12:37:49 pm »

Er..... less income from the various taxes motorists pay perhaps?

Or did you miss the 'tongue in cheek' smiley DG?

 Wink
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