Department of Transport Reject Tamar Toll protest

The UK Department of Transport has rejected calls by the Celtic League to review a decision to increase road tolls on the Tamar Bridge into Cornwall (See below):

“Julian Smith
Policy Advisor
Road Demand Management Strategy
Department of Transport

13 April 2010

Dear Rhisiart

Thank you for your letter of 3 April to the Department about the increase in toll charges on the Tamar Bridge and Torpoint Fery. Your letter has been passed on to the Road Demand Startegy Division at the Department, as we have
responsibility for tolled crossings/user policy issues.

You will wish to be aware that under the Transport Charges (Miscillaneous Provisions) Act 1954, the Tamar Bridge and Torpoint Ferry Joint Committee (Cornwall Council and Plymouth City Council), must apply to the Secretary of
State to revise toll charges on the Tamar bridge and Transport Ferry. The Joint Committee did so in May 2009.

The Joint Committee, at the same time undertook a consultation exercise to give members of the public the opportunity to raise objections to their proposals. On 21st August 2009, the Joint Committee issued a public notice in the local press informing members of the public of their proposals. The 42 day statutory deadline for objectors to respond was the 2nd October 2009.

The relevant legislation (see above) also provides that a public enquiry should be held where there are sustained objections to a proposed toll increase. The Secretary of State had decided that this condition had been met for the Tamar Bridge and Torpoint Ferry Joint Committee’s proposals to raise toll charges – and a public inquiry was held on 13th January 2010.

As you will see from the inspector’s report following the Inquiry (in January), the issue that the Highways Agency should take control of the Tamar Bridge was raised by objectors at the Inquiry, as part of their overall concerns against an increase in tolls charges. In his conclusions however, the Inspector agreed with the Joint Committee that an increase in tolls of 50% was now essential to meet increasing maintenance and inspection costs and to retain a prudent level of reserve funds.

Following this, the Secretary of State considered the Inspector’s report and agreed fully with his recommendations – that an increase in toll charges should be implemented. A Decision letter confirming this was sent to the Joint Commitee on 15th March 2010. See copy attached.

A copy of both the Inspector’s report and Decision letter can be found on the Department’s website at:

https://www.dft;gov.uk/pgr/roads/statutorytolled/tollreviews/tamarbridge/

I hope this is helpful

Yours sincerely”

Related article on Celtic News at:

https://groups.yahoo.com/group/celtic_league/message/3324

J B Moffatt (Mr)
Director of Information
Celtic League

11/05/10

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