In order to jump start growth across Wales, the tolls for the Severn Bridges have been officially removed. Reports suggest the removal could boost the Welsh economy by up to £1 billion and deliver over £1,400 a year in savings for drivers travelling between England and Wales.
Turley’s director and head of planning in Wales, Huw Jones welcomed the news but called for further investment in regional infrastructure. “A serious plan to drive regeneration across the region requires a much more holistic approach than simply waiving the tolls. It’s a first step that needs to be supported by a range of other measures if there is to be any significant impact. What we need is joined-up planning policy on both sides of the Severn Bridge. One that is responsive to changing market conditions. Sustained investment in infrastructure is critical,” he said.
“We would like to see progress on a number of fronts, including the delivery of the M4 Relief Road, electrification of the Swansea to London railway line, improved capacity at Cardiff and Bristol airports, the provision of new metro stations, and road improvements in the west of England on the M4 and M5 networks.
“There is a great deal of work to do if we’re going to see the much-anticipated Western Growth Engine come to fruition. Without a clear vision, and an appetite to invest in infrastructure, our region won’t capture the opportunity to drive growth,” Huw Jones concluded.