The initial reaction of the Road Haulage Association to the news that the tolls on the Severn Crossings will end in 2018 is one of guarded optimism.
Commenting, RHA chief executive Richard Burnett said: â€œAny measures that reduce a haulierâ€™s operating costs are welcome and those who regularly use the Severn Crossings will be saving at least Â£20 per day. However, when the tolls end, it is inevitable that the traffic on the crossings will increase considerably as those motorists and operators who have seen the tolls as a deterrent begin to cross the river at these points.
â€œAlthough the new measures will leave money in the pockets of those using the Crossings, it will be a false saving if the infrastructure is unable to cope with the increase in traffic volume.
â€œWe sincerely hope that the traffic planners will have given this serious consideration. If not, any savings made will be short lived as journey times increase as a result of congestion.â€
In conclusion, Richard Burnett said: â€œFor the road freight operator time is money and there is a real danger that a saving of Â£20 could well end up being wiped out as a result of delayed delivery times.â€