We are currently undertaking consultation in relation to toll charges.
On Friday 2nd October and Saturday 3rd October those using the facility are participating in a structured survey exercise. Those paying cash will be handed a questionnaire with tag users receiving an email or letter in the week following asking them to complete the same form. The structure ensures feedback is received from a balanced cross-section of users.
We are still keen to receive written feedback from interested parties who were not part of the structured survey exercise.
The current pandemic has resulted in traffic levels being substantially below those which were anticipated late last year when we set our budgets. The relatively short period when tolls were suspended was responsible for less than one-third of income lost this year. Our aim when setting the original budgets was to match the toll income obtained from forecast levels of traffic with the actual costs of operating, maintaining and improving the services.
Unfortunately the impact of the pandemic, with the subsequent fall in traffic levels and income, means that our reserves have been depleted. We are now facing a significant financial deficit which, without intervention, will continue to grow.
The crossings operate on a self-financing basis with no subsidy from either the Government or the owners of the two crossings – Plymouth City Council and Cornwall Council. Both councils have many other very pressing demands on their finances, and to date the Government has not offered any financial support. This means that the only current viable option to secure the future of the crossings is to increase tolls.
Whilst some immediate action is necessary to address the financial shortfall, we are also asking for views on whether charging structures should change in the future, as well as seeking more information on how travel patterns may alter as a result of the pandemic.
Further information is provided in the document shown below.
We recognise that price increases at this difficult time are unwelcome, but without alternative support there is no other option available to us if we want to preserve the current service levels and maintain these essential crossings.
If you wish to make your views known as part of the consultation exercise, have any queries or would like further information please do not hesitate to contact us by email: firstname.lastname@example.org