Isle MP pushes for scrapping of bridge tolls

ISLE MP Andrew Percy has met with Governmnet ministers as he continues to campaign for the abolition of Humber Bridge tolls.

The Conservative recently met with Treasury Minister Chloe Smith and Local Transport Minister Norman Baker to discuss progress on a Government review of the bridge’s debt.

The Treasury-led review was promised by the Conservatives when in opposition and a report is expected this week.

It is thought the Government is going to write off a portion of the £330m debt and propose new management arrangements which could see tolls substantially reduced.

Mr Percy said the tolls have had a major impact on both residents and the local economy.

“It damages businesses across the Humber and so I have made battling the tolls one of my key priorties since my election,” he added.

“It looks as though after decades of inaction on the bridge debt the Government has accepted our arguments about the negative impact they are having locally.

“Ministers have now confirmed that they are looking at a new management structure and have accepted that the current debt arrangements are unacceptable.”

A joint statement from the two ministers was released.

It read: “We have had a useful and productive meeting with Humber MPs as we work towards the conclusion of our Humber Bridge Review.

“We are clear that the current finances of the Humber Bridge are unsustainable, for historic reasons, and we are looking at positive options to ensure that the future financing of the bridge is sustainable for both local communities and national government.

“We also attach importance to close engagement in the management of the bridge from local elected representatives and business people, working together.

“We expect to make a further statement on our conclusions in the near future.”