Severn crossings cost protest held on M48 bridge

The bridges revert to public ownership in 2018

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A musical protest has taken place over the cost of crossing the River Severn.

Both the old bridge and the Second Severn Crossing will become publicly owned in 2018 once their original construction costs have been covered.

Campaigners are calling for the tolls to be lowered in the future.

The Department for Transport said no decision had been taken on the future management or tolling costs of the crossings after the end of the current concession.

National costume

"However, the government has been clear that any future arrangements will need to make proper provision for repayment of government costs, future maintenance and reflect the needs of road users in both England and Wales," a DfT spokesman said.

On Saturday, St David's Day - the national day of the country's patron saint, protesters, waving banners and dressed in Welsh national costumes occupied a bridge over the M48, close to the toll booths.

Protester Karl Daymond said the tolls affected not only individuals but businesses as well.

"People would spend more money in Wales and in England.

"It would do the local economy a huge amount of good if they were reduced or banned altogether when the tolls come back into public ownership in 2018," he added.

Costs to cross either bridge range from £6.40 for a car to £19.20 for a coach or lorry.

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