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Last Updated: Friday, 23 March 2007, 15:06 GMT
New push for cut in bridge tolls
Humber Bridge
Tolls on the Humber Bridge are set to rise again next month
Council chiefs are stepping up their campaign for a cut in Humber Bridge tolls to boost the region's economy.

North Lincs Council chief executive Simon Driver said the authority must do more to convince the government that tolls are hitting economic performance.

Mr Driver is the author of a report on the issue being considered by the council's cabinet on Friday.

He said: "Tolls are holding back the economic performance and prosperity of both banks of the Humber."

He said his view was shared by colleagues at the three other Humber councils - North East Lincolnshire, East Riding and Hull City.

The best thing this government could do to provide an economic boost to the area would be to scrap, or massively reduce, these tolls
Liz Redfearn, North Lincolnshire Council leader

"It is clear that at present ministers and other bodies charged with helping to bring greater prosperity to the sub-region are not convinced the tolls are a major barrier," said Mr Driver.

"Despite such caution, there can be little doubt that if a thriving region, north and south of the Humber, is to be realised, the constraints high tolls engender must be addressed and acted upon.

"While the present levels of tolls are defensible on the basis of repaying historic levels of debt, they remain a barrier to the sub-region's undoubted potential."

Council leader Liz Redfearn: "Not only does the high toll punish people who must cross the bridge to visit hospital or commute, it also places a brake on the economies on both sides of the river.

"The best thing this government could do to provide an economic boost to the area would be to scrap, or massively reduce, these tolls.

"As the majority of the price we all pay to cross the bridge goes to repay debt to the government, wiping this debt out would mean people crossing at the very most would have to pay for the maintenance of the bridge."


SEE ALSO
Bridge petition signed by 2,000
01 Mar 07 |  Humber

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