Transport Secretary Philip Hammond defends rise in Humber Bridge tolls

 
Humber Bridge The Humber Bridge has the highest toll for a bridge crossing in the UK

The Transport Secretary Philip Hammond has defended a decision to allow an increase in tolls on the Humber Bridge.

From October 1, a single car crossing will cost £3 each way - a 30p increase on the current charge of £2.70.

The Humber Bridge is marking its 30th anniversary. It was officially opened by the Queen on 17 July 1981.

From the moment it became operational the bridge was burdened with debt, due to spiralling construction costs in the 1970s.

Highest toll

The latest toll increase was given the go-ahead following a recent public inquiry.

Car drivers will pay £6 for a return trip - making the Humber Bridge the highest toll crossing in the UK.

Philip Hammond Transport Secretary Philip Hammond says that motorists must also contribute to bridge costs

The Transport Secretary told BBC Look North the priority remains paying down the outstanding debt of £332m.

Philip Hammond said: "We do recognise the difficulties around the financial structure with this bridge and we will continue to support that with the interest rate subsidy. But motorists also have to make a contribution.

"The increase in the tolls has been tested through the proper process with a public inquiry, that we ordered, and the inquiry decision has been that the tolls should be increased to make a contribution, alongside the contribution the department is making to finance the bridge."

Economic impact

The Humber Bridge has been used as a political football since 1966, when the Labour Transport Minister Barbara Castle gave the go-ahead for the crossing.

It proved to be the deal breaker that won the Hull North constituency for Labour in a by-election that some have suggested was secured by the "bribe of the bridge".

The economic impact of the tolls on the local economy is currently being reviewed by officials at the Treasury.

Their findings are due be released in November.

While the bridge is admired as a magnificent feat of engineering, some motorists would say the cost of using it has led to 30 years of hurt.

 
Tim Iredale, Political editor, Yorkshire & Lincolnshire Article written by Tim Iredale Tim Iredale Political editor, Yorkshire & Lincolnshire

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  • rate this
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    Comment number 9.

    So would I Joey, that's why just like Alfred I'm a nationalist. Every opinion poll shows strong support for Scotland being able to raise and spend its own taxes, which would be real accountability. Not giving us more rope to hang ourselves with, which is what the Calman commision has ended up being all about. unfortunately there appears to be no sensible party in London that wants this. SNP it is.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 8.

    If "the priority remains paying down the outstanding debt of £332m" why on earth don't they do something about reducing operational costs in the form of the current inefficient toll booths?

    Other toll crossings use coin bins, card machines and frequent user tag cards - plus on many you pay only one way. The short term cost of changing it would save money long term and prevent toll increases

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 7.

    It's still free to cycle or walk across the Humber Bridge, of course.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 6.

    Their separate parliament is irrelevant, the Scots can afford these tabs because they're paid ridiculous amounts of ENGLISH tax on top of their OWN tax by the government.

    Sick of people making out like it's done by Scotland's sole hard work, god help the lot of you if you manage to become independent, I'd like to see where you're going to get 6 billions+ of funding from without the UK.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 5.

    Colin29 - 'If this is such a problem, then you should campaign more vigorously for your own parliament'.....

    Believe me Colin29, I have & do - I even stood as an English Nationalist candidate in the 2005 election.

    The problem is, the ruling class would rather eat their own grannies than do the right thing & restore our parliament. Turkeys don't vote for Xmas.

 

Comments 5 of 9

 

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