Humber Bridge toll 'to be halved'

Humber Bridge
Image caption The Humber Bridge cost £150m to build and was opened in 1981

The debt held by the Humber Bridge could be cut by the government, meaning tolls could be cut in half.

The BBC understands the decision will be unveiled on Tuesday as part of the National Infrastructure Plan.

Following meetings between MPs and ministers, the government is thought to have decided to cut some of the bridge board's £330m debt.

It is thought the move will mean a single crossing for a car will go down to £1.50 from £3.

The bridge opened in 1981 and has an outstanding debt of £330m after it was financed with a £150m government loan, which rose due to interest.

The toll was raised from £2.70 to £3 in October, making it the most expensive crossing fee for a return journey in the UK.

When the rise in tolls was announced in September many motorists rushed to stock up on books of bridge tickets to beat the cost increase.

One commuter bought £500 worth of tickets.

Dr Ian Kelly, chief executive of the Hull and Humber chamber of commerce, said his organisation had commissioned research that showed that a reduction of the toll to £1 would benefit the local economy by £500m over the next 25 years.

Dr Kelly said: "It will be significant. It will add to the renewables revolution in terms of allowing people to move both banks of the river for jobs as they emerge."

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