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No funding help for Tamar Bridge or Torpoint Ferry

No funding help for Tamar Bridge or Torpoint Ferry

Published by Sarah Yeoman at 7:53am 15th June 2020.

Written by Richard Whitehouse, Local Democracy Reporter

Councillors responsible for overseeing the Tamar Bridge and Torpoint Ferry have criticised the government for lack of funding to help cover the cost of the suspension of tolls during lockdown.

Tolls were scrapped during lockdown to protect staff and customers so that there would be no contact in taking the fee.

The bridge and ferry are operated jointly by Cornwall Council and Plymouth City Council.

Today the joint committee which oversees the operation of the services met online.

They considered several reports which looked at how the services have been operating during lockdown and the response to coronavirus.

One financial report indicated that the forecast income for 2020/21 was now expected to be £4.627million lower than expected.

tamar bridge

The committee heard that Cabinet members for transport at both councils had been in communication with ministers about getting financial help to cover the losses from suspending tolls. But, as yet, no help has been provided.

As a result the committee resolved: “The joint committee regrets the lack of support from central government to assist with the loss of income directly attributable to the lockdown and tolling suspension and the effect this will have on both the Tamar Bridge and Torpoint Ferry.”

Councillors heard that tolls have since been reintroduced with new measures in place to prevent direct contact between staff and customers.

These have included contactless payments being introduced and the installation of drop chutes in the toll booths at the bridge for users to drop cash payments into. Staff have also been provided with PPE and training.

torpoint ferries

On the ferry payments have been made on the shore and cyclists and motorcyclists have been placed into separate lanes.

The committee also heard that from Monday (June 15) cyclists and motorcyclists using the ferry will have to have face masks or coverings in line with government rules on wearing masks on public transport.

It was also said that anyone wanting to get out of their cars on the ferry will also have to have facemasks.

The committee agreed unanimously to place on record their thanks to the ferry and bridge staff for their efforts in putting the new arrangements in place and helping protect the public.

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