Removal of Severn Bridge tolls may need M4 relief road to support traffic

Severn Bridge: There are concerns that the tolls were scrapped to prompt the Welsh Government to build the proposed M4 relief road. Source: Geograph

By Gee Harland

Alun Cairns, Secretary of State for Wales, announced the Severn Bridge Tolls will be removed by Monday, December 17, as an “early Christmas Present”.

It is estimated to save frequent commuters around £1500 per year, as well as bring Wales a £100m economic boost.

A stronger and better-connected Wales was promised by Cairn; however the removal of the tolls has come under much speculation in terms of the M4 relief road.

Though the Welsh Government have always supported the idea of a building an M4 relief road, no action has been taken thus far.

However, it has come to light that the road may be built by 2020, as a study, released under the Freedom of Information Act, suggested that traffic will increase to more than 24 million vehicles with the removal of the tolls, from the current 18 million.

The M4 relief road has always needed to be built, with traffic between the Severn Bridge and Newport being chaotic and sometimes, dangerous. Many Newport residents complain about the difficultly and unpredictability of using the M4.

Due to this fact, Lee Waters, an opponent of the M4 relief road, complains that the removal of the Severn Bridge tolls has been a method to force the Welsh government into building the road.

Cairns has responded to say that this is not the case and he hopes the government will “get on” and build the road.

He concludes by saying that this road should truly demonstrate that Wales is open for business.

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