As the Severn Bridge toll is abolished, over the weekend just gone, 15th and 16th December, Crown Highways were called in to install traffic counting loops onto the new look road.
Tolls to cross the Severn bridges into Wales have now officially been scrapped after 52 years.
The two bridges see 25 million journeys across the Severn every year. The removal of the fee, which was £5.60 for a car, on the M4 and M48 bridges between south-west England and Wales may save commuters up to £1,400 a year.
The UK Government has estimated that toll removal could see traffic rise by six million more vehicles a year which could increase congestion further along the M4 at Newport’s infamous traffic bottleneck, the Brynglas Tunnels.
The Welsh Government predicts toll removal will increase traffic by 20% over the M4 bridge – adding an extra 7% of traffic at the tunnels, a stretch already dealing with double its vehicle capacity.
But scrapping the Severn toll has been welcomed by businesses who claimed the “tax” was a barrier to trade.
Specialists in loop installations, Crown have delivered on the scheme.
New traffic counting loops have been installed on the M4 Westbound prior to the toll booths, and on the M48 Westbound after the toll booths in order to monitor the effects of the toll removal, and be able to confirm or deny the predictions for traffic flow.
MD Mike Dale told us:
“The Severn Bridge is a national landmark and the removal of the tolls is a major change to what is a staple of the Anglo-Welsh jersey. We’re delighted to be able to add our expertise and play a part in the re-development of the highway.
“The traffic count will be vital, so we’re really happy to have done our bit.”