Skip to main content

Severn Bridges (Tolls)

Volume 517: debated on Thursday 28 October 2010

1. What recent representations he has received on the method of payment of tolls on the Severn bridges; and if he will make a statement. (19912)

The Department for Transport has recently received representations from the Wales Office about the method of payment on the Severn bridges. The Secretary of State has met the Deputy First Minister, and payment methods at the Severn crossings were discussed.

The facility enabling people to pay with credit and debit cards—for which I was grateful—was introduced in time for the Ryder cup, only to be whisked away again the minute the event was over. That has caused confusion. My constituents would like to pay by modern methods, which is fair enough. Can the Minister assure me that an end to the situation is in sight?

I can. I know that a long-running campaign has been conducted by a number of Members.

As the hon. Lady says, the system was introduced for the Ryder cup. We considered it important to meet the deadline, given the significance of the event. The temporary scheme has been withdrawn for the moment, but is due to be back in operation on Friday next week. That gives us a chance to do some more work in order to make it more efficient, but there will be further work to make it more efficient still. We hope to introduce a system in the new year that will not require PINs. The temporary system does require them, and that causes delays and adds to congestion.