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Officials to lobby for more funding for Tamar Bridge

Officials to lobby for more funding for Tamar Bridge

Published by Emma Carton at 9:21am 14th February 2020. (Updated at 9:43am 14th February 2020)

Written by Local Democracy Reporter, Richard Whitehouse

Cornwall Council is set to continue lobbying to get more financial support to operate the Tamar Bridge.

The bridge and Torpoint Ferry are currently operated in a joint arrangement between Cornwall Council and Plymouth City Council.

Last year the councils agreed to increase the cost of bridge tolls from £1.50 to £2 to help with the running and maintenance costs of the bridge.

However there are still concerns about the burden of running the bridge falling on the two local councils.

Tamar Bridge
Cornwall Council is going to lobby for more financial support to run the Tamar Bridge after that hike in tolls.

On Wednesday, Cornwall Council's Cabinet approved the revenue and capital programme for 2020/21 for the bridge and Torpoint Ferry.

The report to Cabinet stated that income for 2019/20 had been £1.3 million lower than estimated as the new higher tolls came in four and a half months later than expected.

During a discussion at Cabinet Lostwithiel councillor Colin Martin asked what the council was doing about getting more support to run the bridge.

"We said that we would work with the city council to work with the Government on the idea that they would take over the cost of the bridge or to work with Highways England to charge them for the cost of surfacing the bridge.

"Plymouth City Council didn’t want to take that forward until the toll increases were agreed. 

"Now the increase has happened has Plymouth City Council agreed to move forward?"

Councillor Colin Martin

tamar bridge
Officials believe that Highways England should help to pay for the road surface on the Tamar Bridge after tolls rose to £2.00.

Callington councillor Andrew Long also asked Cabinet member Geoff Brown about the impact that accidents on the A38 were having on the number of people using the bridge.

He said that due to a large number of accidents on the A38 people were avoiding using the bridge which could have an impact on the level of income generated.

Cllr Brown said there had been a long campaign to improve the safety of the A38 and it was a "top priority" for Cornwall Council and he was working with MPs to lobby the Government for more support.

In response to Cllr Martin he said that discussions were taking place with Plymouth City Council to continue lobbying for more support.

He added: "At the moment Highways England don't pay anything for the road surface on the bridge and we believe that they should be paying for that".

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