§ Mr. Barry Jones (Alyn and Deeside)
I beg to ask leave to move the Adjournment of the House, under Standing Order No. 10, for the purpose of discussing a specific and important matter that should have urgent consideration, namely,the judgment of the High Court regarding Severn bridge tolls.It appears that a judgment has been made which declares that the recently increased tolls for lorries and cars are unlawful. Tens of thousands of Welsh people have paid between 20p and 50p extra on their cars and an extra 40p to –1 on lorries. That is an increase of up to 150 per cent. We, and especially my hon. Friend the Member for Newport, East (Mr. Hughes) have protested at these increases. What do the Government propose to do? Will the cash that has already been paid out be refunded? When will those who paid the increased tolls be recompensed, and how? Will Ministers apologise for the procedural impropriety of the public inquiry? There is good reason to abolish all Severn bridge tolls, for which many industrial concerns and commuter organisations have called.
Gwent county council has played a leading part in fighting the proposed increases. It has been vindicated. There have been damaging and expensive delays at the bridge for the industrial companies of Wales. The tolls have made matters financially worse. It is extraordinary that the Secretary of State for Transport's legal department has perpetually been proved wrong in the British courts. Will the Secretary of State for Wales ensure the building of a second Severn crossing?
§ Mr. Speaker
The hon. Member for Alyn and Deeside (Mr. Jones) asks leave to move the Adjournment of the House for the purpose of discussing a specific and important matter that he thinks should have urgent consideration, namely,the judgment of the High Court regarding Severn bridge tolls.The hon. Gentleman has raised an important point and I have listened carefully to what he has said, but I do not consider that the matter that he has raised is appropriate for discussion under Standing Order No. 10 and therefore I cannot submit his application to the House.
§ Mr. Alan Williams (Swansea, West)
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. I appreciate the ruling that you have just given. Do you appreciate the difficulties with which people are confronted when they know that the tariffs being charged on the bridge are now illegal? To clarify matters, is it not possible for the Secretary of State for Transport to come to the House tomorrow morning and make a statement regularising the situation?