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Tolls are a 'barrier' to region

7 October 08 12:51 GMT

Abolishing tolls on the Humber Bridge would boost the region's economy by £1bn over the next 25 years, a study being presented to MPs said.

The report into the social and economic impact of the Humber Bridge tolls was commissioned by four local authorities in the area.

The full findings will be unveiled at the House of Commons. The bridge has the highest toll prices in the UK.

It is expected to add weight to a campaign to axe the bridge tolls.

There has been a lack of investment and job opportunities on the south bank of the Humber estuary because business locations have been influenced by the toll expense, according to the findings.

Hull City Council, North Lincolnshire County Council, North East Lincolnshire Council and East Riding of Yorkshire Council had the study carried out which stated: "While the bridge is still tolled the city region is not able to fulfil its full potential."

The four councils believe scrapping tolls would boost the region's economy.

The study found that by reducing the toll to £1 per car would generate a £22m benefit over a 12-month period.

The current toll for a return car journey costs £5.40 but the Humber Bridge Board, which runs the bridge, plan to increase fares later this year.

The report says a change in the toll system would increase business at the Humber ports and alleviate congestion in UK ports.

In social terms, the report cited that a reduction or abolition of the toll would make travelling cheaper and easier for people using hospital facilities or visiting friends and family.

Colin Buchanan, who wrote the study, said: "There is a widespread local view that the scale of the toll is a barrier to economic development in the Humber region."

The results are based on information from more than 300 people and businesses, the NHS, schools, transport companies and focus groups.

The Humber Bridge has been tolled since its opening in 1981.

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