Traffic on the Severn crossings has increased by more than 10% year on year, after the toll charges for using the bridge were reduced.
WalesOnLine reports that statistics from Highways England reveal that westbound traffic, on the two bridges was 10.7% higher in May 2018 than in May 2017. There was a 10.1% increase in June.
The tolls were cut when VAT was removed in January and will be removed completely at the end of the year.
The website spoke to transport expert Prof Stuart Cole, of the University of South Wales who said the traffic increase was more than you would expect, “This is quite a big shift in demand, because the price went down by 16% and we’ve got an increase of 10% to 11%, you would expect demand to increase by 4% to 5% but it’s double that.”
It says some of the additional increase could be the result of temporary factors, such as disruption on the railway between south Wales, Bristol and London and fine weather encouraging more leisure travel this year than last year as well as four Ed Sheeran concerts bringing people to Cardiff in June.
It’s projected traffic could increase by 30% when the tolls are removed completely as people move to cheaper areas and commute using the bridges at no cost.