Toll roads tend to have a bad name in Britain, thanks to the unregulated charges the operators of the M6 relief road are allowed to levy and the ever upward prices seen on the Dartford Crossing (leaving aside the presumption that the tolls would be abolished once the QEII Bridge had been paid for). Then there is the ‘Wales entry tax’ levied on those traveling from England over the Severn Crossing.
But there are other, less well known places, where tolls are charged,. These so-called local statutory tolled undertakings are, according to a new DfT consultation on how charges are decided, mostly run by private companies or individuals but on occasion are in the hands of local authorities:
1. Aldwark Bridge, Nr 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 & Warburton Bridge, Warburton, Cheshire
7. Shrewsbury (Kingsland) Bridge, Shrewsbury, Shropshire
8. Swinford Bridge, Swinford, Oxfordshire
9. Tamar Bridge & Torpoint Ferry, Saltash, Cornwall
10. Whitchurch Bridge, Whitchurch-on-Thames, Oxfordshire
11. Whitney-on-Wye Bridge, Whitney-on-Wye, Herefordshire
Currently, operators have to apply to the Secretary of State every time they want to raise their charges. But the DfT argues that proposed increases in tolls which are no greater than inflation minus one per cent will be effectively rubber-stamped in a simplified process that reduces the significant costs for operators associated with applying for changes; costs which would be passed on to travellers.