“The government announced last July that tolls would end on the Severn bridges by end 2018.
What happens to our Local Enterprise Partnership and Greater Exeter Growth Plans if everyone turns right at Bristol?
As a current Guardian article says:
… “The abolition of the tolls on the Severn bridges will create a “once in a lifetime” chance to build an economic region to rival the northern powerhouse and challenge the south-east of England, politicians, business leaders and academics have said.
Making the crossings between the west of England and south Wales free could lead to a “western powerhouse” stretching from Bath and Bristol to Swansea, boosting prosperity and jobs, advocates believe.
A summit at the Celtic Manor resort, on the Welsh side of the border, yesterday discussed how regions on either side of the bridges could benefit from government plans to abolish the tolls by the end of the year……..”
The concept of a “Severnside” region has been around for decades. Welsh devolution is seen as one reason why the concept lost traction but Brexit has led to a reassessment.
Dylan Jones-Evans, the assistant pro-vice chancellor at the University of South Wales, said abolishing the tolls was a once in a lifetime opportunity. “Many businesses on both sides of the bridges felt [the tolls] formed a major psychological and financial barrier. Wales was seen as being separate from the rest of the UK economy.”
But he warned: “The current transport provision for road and rail between south Wales and the south west of England is not fit for purpose. … “