Tamar Bridge tolls set to rise - first increase in 8 years
The Tamar Bridge and Torpoint Ferry (TBTF) are operated, maintained and improved jointly by Cornwall Council and Plymouth City Council on a ‘user pays’ principle, being funded by toll income using powers derived from the Tamar Bridge Acts. The finances of the joint undertaking are effectively ring-fenced by the Act, and it is operated as a self-financing business. The Tamar Bridge and Torpoint Ferry Joint Committee (TBTFJC) Terms of Reference require the Cabinets of the Joint Authorities to recommend the annual TBTF budget to their respective Full Councils.
Toll charges at both crossings were last revised in March 2010. The current standard charge for a normal motor car is £1.50. The toll is charged one way across the bridge and ferry and so the charge is, in effect, for a return trip. Regular users can acquire a tag that entitles them to a 50% reduction in this charge, i.e. 75 pence per return journey (plus a monthly account charge of 80 pence per month). Higher charges apply to larger vehicles.
In accordance with the Tamar Bridge Acts and the Transport Charges (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1954, any increases in toll charges must be authorised by the Secretary of State. Income is an element of the revenue budget and as such it is necessary for Cabinets to recommend any increase in toll charges to their respective Full Councils.
At its meeting on 18 December, Cabinet agreed to recommend to Full Council to apply to the DfT to increase the tolls by 33%, i.e. the standard charge will rise from £1.50 to £2.00.