George Osborne pledged to reduce the toll rates from 2018 and abolish the higher band for small vans and buses, acknowledging the Severn crossings were a vital link for Wales.
Mike Rees and Paul Matthews, who head up Bruton Knowles’ Cardiff and Bristol offices, have been lobbying to reduce or scrap the tolls.
Mike Rees said: “This is great news but the flow-through of traffic will still be hindered by the chronic holdups either side of the Brynglas Tunnel. We really need to be getting on with that work or it will negate the effects of these reductions.
There is no way Cardiff and Bristol are going to have a sensible relationship unless there is movement between the two cities. We cannot continue to charge commuters almost £7 a day for the privilege of simply crossing the bridge. The chancellor’s announcement holds out the prospect of cheaper tolls which will clearly encourage business connectivity.”
Paul Matthews agreed: “The Chancellor was quite specific addressing his comments at ‘white van man’, but I believe this translates to SMEs in general. Removing charges for small businesses makes it much more viable to work either side of the Severn.
“As we said earlier this year, the charges on the Severn Bridge are one of the biggest obstacles to greater cooperation between the two cities and must be addressed if this shared vision is ever going to amount to anything more than wishful thinking.”