12 February 2009

Humber Bridge proposed toll increase

The Humber Bridge Board has proposed an increase in tolls. Those crossing the bridge in cars who currently pay £2.70, would pay £2.90 and other vehicles would also face an increase. Buses are exempt from the charge.

This, it is claimed, is required to pay back the £350 million debt incurred from the construction of the bridge. The proposed increases are subject to a Public Enquiry to be held on 3 March.

The Stagecoach in Lincolnshire Service 350 (Scunthorpe-Hull) has seen a rise in patronage with more people opting to use the bus rather than the car due to the toll charges and cost of parking. As a result, the service will be doubled to operate half-hourly in the near future.

A feature filmed aboard Service 350 and the proposed increases by the local BBC Look North Hull news can be seen by clicking here.

The Humber Bridge Board has also requested a meeting with the Transport Secretary after the Public Inquiry to ask the Government to suspend or cancel interest payments on its debt for the next 12 months. Currently, more than 80 per cent of the money made from the Humber Bridge toll goes towards the massive interest on the debt. It is hoped this would convince the Government to drop the debt entirely, by showing a lower toll would encourag more people to use the bridge.

Under the proposal, the toll for cars using the bridge could be reduced to as little as £1. (PW)