There will be no charges for vehicles to cross the Cleddau Bridge thanks to the Welsh Government funding the removal of the tolls.
As of April 01, motorists will be able to drive over the expanse for the first time since it was opened to traffic – 44 years ago almost to the day – without being subjected to a cost.
The structure spans the deep estuary of Milford Haven, which divides Pembrokeshire into 2 parts. Built to provide a 24-hour solution to the vehicular ferry traditionally used to connect the southern and the northern towns of Pembrokeshire, the first car used the new bridge on March 20th 1974.
In 2017 the Welsh Government announced it would be scrapping the tolls on the Cleddau Bridge as part of the two-year budget deal the Welsh Government negotiated with Plaid Cymru to increase economic competiveness and better connect people, communities and businesses with jobs, markets and facilities.
Now in a letter to Pembrokeshire Council, the Economy Secretary has offered £3 million per annum to cover the loss of revenue – to be reviewed in 20 years, plus a one-off payment to cover the removal of the toll infrastructure and to cover costs.
Economy and Transport Secretary, Ken Skates said:
“I am confident abolishing the tolls on the Cleddau Bridge will serve to accelerate local economic growth, better connect businesses and communities, and make it easier and cheaper for people to travel to access quality employment opportunities.
“Indeed a study commissioned by Pembrokeshire County Council shows the removal of the tolls will support the areas economic development strategy, providing a boost to its local economy, to the Enterprise Zone and to the small and medium-sized enterprises in the area.
“We recognise the decision to abolish the tolls will have implications both on the Council’s budget and on the employment status of the majority of those workers who have been manning the booths.
“With this in mind we have offered the Council a generous deal of £3 million per annum to cover loss of revenue as well as additional funding to cover costs and toll infrastructure removal.”
Paying tribute to the staff who will be affected by the toll removal, Ken Skates added:
“The Council is making every effort to deploy the toll staff who will be affected by this change. I would like to thank them for their public service and wish them every success in the future.”