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Severn Bridge: Tolls

Volume 485: debated on Thursday 18 December 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what effect the reduction in the rate of value added tax will have on the level of the Severn Bridges toll in 2009. (245210)

I have approved the Highways Agency's recommendation that the revised toll charges scheduled for 2009 should reflect the reduction in VAT and await the concessionaires’ formal agreement to this.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when he expects to (a) make, (b) lay before Parliament and (c) bring into force the Severn Bridges Toll Order. (245211)

The Severn Bridges Toll Order 2008 is not required to be laid before Parliament. The Order will be made in December after the Concessionaire has given its formal consent to the reduced annual inflation increase which will reflect the recent reduction in the rate of VAT.

The Order will come into force on the 1 January 2009 as required by section 9 (2) (b) of the Severn Bridges Act 1992.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what payment methods for the Severn Bridges toll are (a) permitted and (b) prohibited by the Severn Bridges Act 1992 and associated delegated legislation. (245212)

There are no permissions or prohibitions in the Severn Bridges Act 1992, but the Severn Bridge Regulations 1993 determine the use of cash for payment of the tolls at the Crossing. The only permitted exception is where driver has participated in the concessionaire's pre-payment scheme.