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  1. ITV Report

'No plans' to reintroduce tolls on Severn crossings, UK Government says

It has been claimed the toll removal has increased traffic on the motorway and neighbouring areas Credit: PA Images

The UK Government said it has "no plans" to reintroduce tolls or charges on the Severn Crossings, after a suggestion a congestion charge was being considered for the two bridges.

Tolls on the crossings, which connects England to Wales, were removed in December 2018 after 52 years after being in place since 1966.

They were then introduced on the second crossing - renamed the Prince of Wales Bridge in April last year - when it opened 30 years later in 1996.

The tolls were scrapped on the bridges in December 2018 Credit: PA Images

The UK Government said scrapping the tolls would provide an immediate benefit of over £100 million per year for Wales.

Just over a year on, the West of England Combined Authority (WECA) said the removal of the tolls is likely to have made congestion worse and increased delays, with the real implications "still being assessed".

As a result, WECA said it is considering "charging measures and controls, on both sides of the bridges" to deal with the issue.

The UK Government said it would not be reintroducing the tolls Credit: PA Images

In 2017, the prime minister at the time, Theresa May, pledged to remove the tolls when they returned to public ownership to boost economic growth.

Following, WECA's statement, the UK Government insisted the tolls would not be returning.

A spokesperson said, "We removed the tolls to boost business, enhance inward investment, increase tourism and create jobs on both sides of the Severn. Since their abolition, motorists are collectively saving hundreds of thousands of pounds per day and travel between Wales and south west England has been made easier.”