Roads Minister to help form Tamar Bridge Task Force following RHA Consultation

7th September 2023 5:01 PM

  • Roads Minister Richard Holden has committed to help facilitate a task force to improve the Tamar Bridge
  • This follows a meeting with RHA colleagues
  • The Tamar Bridge, which connects Saltash, Cornwall and Plymouth has several efficiency issues that need addressing to benefit commercial vehicles

Roads Minister Richard Holden has committed to help form a Tamar Bridge efficiency task force following a meeting with RHA Managing Director Richard Smith.

The RHA told the minister of several improvements needed to be made on the bridge such as an increase in efficiency and a reduction of tolls.

RHA says that the Tamar Bridge has long troubled local commercial vehicle firms. Comprised of five lanes, one dedicated to pedestrians, the bridge uses two lanes each way but can change their direction depending on demand.

The RHA say that changing of lane use causes significant and regular delays to all bridge users, often multiple times a day. These delays present additional costs to commercial vehicles working on tight margins both financially and operationally.

Additionally, the toll collection system itself also causes major delays to traffic moving east bound. This is primarily due to two factors:

  • The lanes split to seven toll collection points which are then merged into two lanes causing traffic delays on the east bound crossing.
  • Of the seven toll points only one of them exclusively uses the Tamar Tag, an automated toll paying system. The other toll points use card payments which increases traffic wait times.

RHA council member Peter Newman of Newman Haulage Ltd says that the Tamar Bridge tolls are a significant burden on hauliers in the Southwest and increases operating cost annually. This particularly impacts smaller, family-run businesses who may cross the bridge several times a day.

Holden committed to helping facilitate MPs and local authorities in the right direction regarding forming a task force adding that it needed a practical solution.

Richard Smith confirmed that the RHA would get back in contact with Holden to provide a list of suggested task force members.