Today I am publishing a consultation document detailing proposals to simplify the process set out in Transport Charges &c. (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1954—the “1954 Act”—for amending tolls at local statutory tolled undertakings.
Local statutory tolled undertakings can be bridges, tunnels, lifts and ferry crossings where tolls are charged for their use in accordance with relevant Acts of Parliament. The majority of these are owned by private companies or individuals but some are owned by local authorities. There are around 11 local statutory tolled undertakings in England that are currently required to follow the procedures contained in the 1954 Act to increase their tolls.
Under this Act, operators are required to apply to the Secretary of State for any increase in tolls regardless of how big or small. This process can be costly and time consuming for the operator, and will often involve a public inquiry. These costs are likely to be passed on to the user through higher tolls. The Government have therefore decided the process needs to be simplified to reduce the administrative burden on operators and Government, while ensuring the interests of users continue to be protected.
Our preferred option is a simplified procedure for increases in tolls which are no greater than inflation minus 1%, so providing an incentive for the crossing operators to keep any increases in tolls below this level. The consultation document, including the impact assessment, will be available in the Libraries of both Houses and on the Department’s website.
1. Aldwark bridge, near Linton-On-Ouse, north Yorkshire
2. Bournemouth-Swanage motor-road ferry, entrance of Poole harbour, Dorset
3. Clifton suspension bridge, Leigh Woods, Bristol
4. Dartmouth-Kingswear floating bridge, Dartmouth, Devon
5. Dunham bridge, Dunham-on-Trent, Lincolnshire
6. Rixton and Warburton bridge, Warburton, Cheshire
7. Shrewsbury (Kingsland) bridge, Shrewsbury, Shropshire
8. Swinford bridge, Swinford, Oxfordshire
9. Tamar bridge and Torpoint ferry, Saltash, Cornwall
10. Whitchurch bridge, Whitchurch-on-Thames, Oxfordshire
11. Whitney-on-Wye bridge, Whitney-on-Wye, Herefordshire