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  1. ITV Report

Ministers accused over timing of Severn Crossing tolls announcement

First Minister Carwyn Jones has said the announcement to scrap the Severn Crossing tolls is a "desperate attempt" by the Government to draw attention away from the decision to abandon plans to electrify the rail line to Swansea.

Welsh Secretary Alun Cairns said removing the tolls and could save regular users of the bridges by car as much as £1,400 a year.

Watch our Correspondent Hannah Thomas' report:

£100m
Boost to the economy of south Wales
£1,400
Savings regular uses of the bridges could make

Charges on the two Severn bridges apply only to westbound traffic - leading some to describe them as a "tax on entering Wales" - and stand at £6.70 for cars, £13.40 for large vans and minibuses, and £20 for buses and lorries.

Mr Cairns said the decision to abolish the Severn tolls next year sends a 'powerful message to businesses, commuters and tourists alike'.

Groups representing road users welcomed confirmation the tolls would be scrapped.

Ian Gallagher, head of policy for South West and Wales Freight Transport Association, said it was "excellent news for the growth of the Welsh and South West economies, a real shot in the arm for those businesses and commuters who use the bridges on a daily basis".

AA president Edmund King said: "At last the 'tax on Wales' is being abolished," but called on ministers to go further and scrap all tolls on public bridges.

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