Local tax-payers will have a greater say over the running of the Humber Bridge, the Government has said as legislation moved a step closer to give a new board the power to set toll fees.
The Humber Bridge Bill will allow a new board, consisting of a councillor from each of the four surrounding local authorities, to set the levy for crossing the bridge.
A change to the structure in the way the bridge is paid for has already seen the fee for cars fall from £3 to £1.50, which has resulted in a rise of more than 9% in the amount of traffic using the bridge.
Meanwhile, MPs heard those crossing the bridge regularly for medical treatment could soon be exempt from the toll.
Speaking as the Bill received its second reading in the Commons, Transport Minister Norman Baker said the Government will no longer be involved in setting the level of the tolls for the bridge.
– Transport Minister Norman Baker
The other provisions of the Bill have been worked out by the bridge board and the local authorities in order to modernise the powers of the bridge board to manage its affairs efficiently and transparently, and to allow it to act commercially to develop sources of revenues other than tolls, whilst remaining democratically accountable to the local community.
"On this basis we have agreed as a Government to support them."
– Nic Dakin MP , Labour. Scunthorpe
Now is the time for the changes in this Bill to release the dynamism (in the region) if the bridge is to be fit for not only the present but also the future."
– Andrew Percy MP. Conservative, Brigg and Goole.
This is a much-needed change for our local area and I think we are all delighted to have been involved in it."