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Crossing the Tamar Bridge may get more expensive

Crossing the Tamar Bridge may get more expensive

Published by Sarah Yeoman at 4:02pm 3rd December 2018. (Updated at 8:24am 4th December 2018)

By Richard Whitehouse, Local Demorcracy Reporter

Crossing the Tamar Bridge from Cornwall into Devon is set to get more expensive with plans to increase tag payments by 25%.

Proposals have been drawn up to increase the cost of using a tag from 80p per crossing to £1.

The plans are set to go before a meeting of the Tamar Bridge and Torpoint Ferry Joint Committee on Friday.

A rise for the cost of using the TamarTag has come forward as part of a full review of all toll charges for the bridge.

In October the committee agreed to recommend to Cornwall Council and Plymouth City Council that the cost of general tolls should increase from the current rate of £1.50 to £2.

Increases are also planned for large vehicles with tolls for class three vehicles with two axles set to rise from £3.75 to £5 and class three vehicles with three axles going from £6 to £8. The cost for class five vehicles will go from £8.25 to £11.

The toll rises are set at 33% so the planned increase for TamarTags is still lower.

Tamar Bridge

A report going to the committee states that the TamarTag increase will generate an extra £116,500 a year which would ensure that reserves for the bridge remain above £2million.

Income for the current year from the tags is expected to be around £466,000.

The report states: “Cost inflation and forthcoming investment in the system justifies an increase in the fee to £1.00 when tolls increase.

"The increase would also ensure that the fee retains a relationship with the cost of discounted crossing which is necessary to support operational benefits relating to low use and account dormancy.”

In a report to the committee in October which set out reasons for the 33% increase there were details of planned works.

These include bridge resurfacing, bridge parapet railings upgrades, phase two of bridge recoating and a ferry traffic control system.

The report also suggested that there was a need to review the level of reserves as it had been set in 2009 and that annual costs had since risen by 30%.

A survey carried out before the increases were put forward found that 17% of people wanted to see lower toll charges for local motorists and higher charges for tourists. And 15% of people felt the tolls should be scrapped entirely.

The toll increases are set to be introduced in July 2019 and, if approved, the TamarTag rise would be introduced in the first month after that change.

The Tamar Bridge and Torpoint Ferry Joint Committee will meet on Friday (December 7) to discuss the proposals.

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