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starting at 12p for a car in 1966, the tolls rose as high as £6.70 in 2017

But what will the scrapping of the tolls mean for everyday bridge users?

February 15th 2019 info

December 17th, 2018 marked the Severn Bridge's first ever toll-free day, making plenty of commuters pretty happy with the fact that they'd be saving up to £1,400 a year.

But why did the tolls exist in the first place? Let's rewind for a quick history lesson.

In September 1966, three-and-a-half years and £8m in the making, the Severn Bridge was officially opened (by Queen Elizabeth II herself!) Construction of the bridge had begun following a post-war plan to improve UK road traffic, by creating a network of nationally funded trunk roads. Included in the plan was the Severn Bridge; a tolled motorway suspension bridge that would replace the Aust Ferry (the service previously used to transport people across the River Severn).

Construction for the Second Severn Crossing (later renamed the Prince of Wales Bridge) was announced in 1992, as a way of supporting and increasing the traffic flow capabilities of the initial bridge.

Officially opened in June 1996 by HRH The Prince of Wales, a 30-year concession put in place for the second bridge specified that the people behind its funding would be able to recoup the money spent by introducing tolls to users of the bridge.

In short, this meant that vehicles (excluding motorcycles and UK disabled badge holders) travelling from the west had to pay to get into Wales.

When the concession period came to an end in January 2018, the bridge became publicly owned and, 11 months later, we finally said 'see you later' to the toll, too.

The effect on everyday people should prove a positive one: from saving money to improved traffic flow, scrapping the toll will no doubt add a little more 'feel-good' into the drive for lots of us!

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