More visitors to Barton since Humber Bridge tolls cut
THE impact on the local economy of the reduction in Humber Bridge tolls proves the case for the cut in charges, campaigners have claimed.
Tolls were halved from £3 to £1.50 for cars in April and since then a total of more than 4.6 million vehicles have crossed the bridge.
That number is an increase of more than 365,000 on the same period last year, equating to an 8.61 per cent rise.
Statistics show more people from the north bank have visited attractions in North Lincolnshire since the toll cut.
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Among the places to benefit is the council-run Waters' Edge Visitor Centre in Barton-Upon-Humber. It recorded a two per cent jump in visitors from the East Riding of Yorkshire from April to September.
Taken alone, the number of cars crossing the bridge has gone up by 9.81 per cent since the reduction in charges. Figures also show commercial traffic across the bridge is on the increase, with an 8.11 per cent rise in truck crossings.
Councillor Liz Redfern, leader of North Lincolnshire Council, said: "The Government's decision to enable us to reduce the Humber Bridge tolls has made a massive difference to our local economy.
"We know that visitor numbers from the north bank to North Lincolnshire attractions are on the increase and this is enabling us to create more jobs locally.
"Most importantly, there is a commitment to ensure that for the next four years, there is a plan to keep the tolls at £1.50.
"This should enable investment and employment opportunities to be secured for business and residents alike."
Barton MP Martin Vickers, whose constituency includes the bridge, said he was delighted with the response to the toll cut.
He said: "It has clearly had a considerable boost to the local economy.
"The increase is higher than we expected in the short time that has elapsed and I think it is confirmation that the campaign paid off.
"I am very encouraged."
The Scunthorpe Telegraph, together with its sister papers in Hull and Grimsby, had campaigned since September 2008 for the tolls to be scrapped or reduced.
The A Toll Too Far campaign led to a Government review, focusing on the economic impact of the tolls on businesses and residents. The reduction in charges came after the Government agreed to write off £150 million of the bridge's outstanding debt.
The four local authorities on either side of the bridge agreed to share responsibility for the remaining £182 million.