The bridge is now owned by Highways England and will be exempt from VAT as of next month
As the Severn Bridge changes ownership into the hands of Highways England, they’ve announced that all crossings over the bridge will be exempt from VAT from January 2018.
Highways England is a Government-owned company who look after our motorways and trunk roads up and down the country.
According to the company, abolishing VAT is the first step towards scrapping tolls on the bridge altogether.
“We want to remind drivers that when Highways England takes over management of the bridges, prices will be reduced as they will no longer be subject to VAT,” said divisional director of strategy and planning for Highways England, Clive Perkin.
At the moment, those driving cars have to pay £6.70 to cross the bridge from England into Wales but with the scrappage of VAT this will be reduced to £5.60.
Drivers crossing the bridge from Wales to England don’t have to pay any kind of toll charge which has led many people to calling it a ‘tax on Wales’.
Every year around 25 million journeys are made via both Severn crossings and during a recent study carried out by the Welsh Government, it was suggested that getting rid of the tolls altogether would bolster the Welsh economy by roughly £100 million.
Alun Cairns, the secretary of state for Wales believes that by abolishing the tolls it sends out a message to businesses, tourists and commuters that they’re open for business and the world will know exactly what the country has to offer.
The staff who worked for the previous private owners, Severn Crossing PLC have been offered employment with Highways England.
Once the new toll charges begin on 8 January, operations at the crossing will run as normal, only some of the signs will be adjusted to include the changes.
Any drivers who use the crossing regularly and pay by Direct Debit won’t have to do anything as changes to the payment amount will be adjusted automatically.
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