Halton bridge tolls press release

Halton Trade Union & Socialist Coalition members call on Steve Rotheram, mayor of the ‘city region’, Derek Twigg MP & Mike Amesbury MP to meet with the Government & demand the immediate removal of all proposed charges and tolls on the Silver Jubilee & Mersey Gateway Bridges and for the Bridges to be under State, not private control.

Workers and families across the region are already struggling with the effects of Tory austerity, the continued stagnation of wages & the unabated rise in energy prices, household bills and transport costs. The last thing they need is another drain on resources which are already stretched to the limit.  Many activities are already beyond the financial reach of a lot of families in the region, without this new stealth tax.

Small businesses will suffer the consequences of customers being put off travelling across the Mersey due to the increased cost.  The area’s entertainment, restaurant and pub industry will face similar problems.  Larger businesses will pass on increased costs to customers, creating a new source of inflation in the region. Businesses will face the loss of skilled or experienced workers who will be forced to bear the brunt of additional outlay on their journeys. The plans for taxi customers reclaiming the additional cost on journeys are ill-conceived and unworkable, according to local cabbies canvassed by our members.

 Reducing Tolls on the Humber Bridge has led to an increase in prosperity, trade & jobs in the region, with local business leaders now calling for them to be removed when the Severn Bridge tolls end in 2018.

The Bridges should be taken under British Government control, rather than be run for profit by the French arm of Spanish conglomerate Abertis.  Foreign ownership means more money flowing out of a region already subsidising Nationalised transport systems in Germany, Holland and Denmark, whose efficient, low cost rail & bus networks put our shoddy privateers to shame.

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