§ Mr. Bowen Wells
asked the Minister of Transport if he will make a statement on the Government's policy towards tolls on major estuarial crossings.641W
§ Mr. Fowler
Ministers have reviewed their policy towards tolls on estuarial crossings in the light of the representations they have received. They see no case for departing from the general principle that tolls should be charged on crossings where exceptional benefits are provided to the users and that the revenue from tolls should be sufficient over time to cover the servicing and ultimate repayment of the capital debt as well as the maintenance costs of the crossing. The responsible authorities will be expected to keep their toll charges under regular review and to raise them when necessary.
My colleagues and I accept, however, that there are unique circumstances applying to the Cleddau bridge which justify in that case alone, limited assistance from the central Government. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Wales will be making a separate statement about this.