Sources close to First Minister Carwyn Jones have flatly denied that the Welsh Government would agree to a toll on traffic using the M4 at Newport, either for using an improved existing motorway or a completely new relief road.
A toll road idea has not formed any part of the inter-governmental talks that have taken place between the Welsh and UK Governments.
The tolling of Welsh roads is entirely a matter for the Welsh Government and we have no plans to introduce tolls on any Welsh road. It’s an unworkable idea and given the Scots are not being forced to put tolls on their new Forth Bridge, it would be unfair for Wales to be expected to re-coup the money in this way, to fund road improvements here. Wales is not a second-class Scotland.
– Welsh Government source
As part of the ongoing inter-governmental talks, the future of toll income from the Severn Crossings after the current concession ends, is also being discussed.
It appears that the Welsh Government remains determined -and hopeful- about gaining the income from the Severn Bridge tolls once the construction costs of the Second Severn Crossing have been paid off in 2017 or 2018. That revenue could then be used to repay a loan that financed an M4 improvement.
For most motorists it would make little difference if the toll they paid at Magor was still for having just crossed the bridge rather than for using a new or improved motorway ahead of them. But tolls levied at the bridges are much less likely to encourage motorists to find an alternative route.