National Highways “should fund Tamar Bridge”, says Cornwall Council

After Cornwall Council narrowly voted to support an increase in the tolls on the Tamar Bridge, county councillor for Callington and St Dominic Andrew Long has called for National Highways to foot the bill for using the bridge.

His comments come after heated debate at Cornwall Council’s February full council meeting on the motion to support applying for a toll revision order which would see costs increase on the crossings by 15 per cent, reports Tavistock Today.

The motion was carried by 38 to 36 after multiple amendments were put forward in an attempt to stall any increase in the tolls.

The report says Cllr Philip Desmonde, a former transport portfolio holder was unsuccessful in his bid to defer the motion, while Liberal Democrat leader on Cornwall Council Cllr Colin Martin’s amendment to defer any vote until after a General Election was taken forward but failed.

An amendment to defer by the transport portfolio holder Cllr Richard Willams-Pears does give the council an extra 55 days to secure additional funding from government, funding that Cllr Long says should come from National Highways.

The newspaper quotes him as saying: “I am sure that myself and colleagues who did vote against this damaging proposal will double our efforts to find a solution. One of the major issues is that National Highways, who use our bridge, do not pay anything towards its upkeep. This is untenable and indeed the portfolio holder said as much when he said that people who use it pay for it. That is all we are asking. National Highways need to be invoiced for using the Bridge that they don’t own.”

(Pic: Ian Bushwacker/Dreamstime)


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