Conservative plans for Severn Bridges good news for Swansea

Welsh Conservative plans for the Severn Bridges will be good news for both sides of the border. That is the view of an MP following a recent visit to Swansea.


Ben Howlett, Member of Parliament for Bath, visited Swansea last week to discuss the positive affect that cutting the Severn Bridge tolls in half will have on Swansea as well as the South West of England.


Mr Howlett said: "Plans to cut the tolls by 50% by 2018 will have a positive impact in so many ways.


"Having been shown around Swansea Bay I can see that by making it easier and cheaper for people to get across the Severn Bridges will be great news for the local economy."


Mr Howlett, who was invited to Swansea by Craig Lawton, the Welsh Conservatives' Assembly candidate for Swansea West, was shown local attractions like Plantasia and the National Waterfront Museum, as well as Joe's Ice Cream and Mumbles.


He added "Bath is a real hub of culture in the South West and Swansea has the potential to be the same here in Wales.


"Cutting the tolls will make day trips, whether by coach or car, even more accessible.


"Coach trips are something that Bath has capitalised on in recent years especially around the festive period with our Christmas market, and Swansea has potential to do the same, particularly during the summer."


Mr Lawton said "Swansea has so many brilliant and hard-working local businesses.


"The more support we can provide both locally and nationally to help them the better Swansea will be as well.


"Welsh Conservatives fully support getting rid of the current barrier systems on the Severn Bridges.


"They slow people down and can put many people off making the journey to Swansea as much as the actual cost of the tolls can.  


“We should look to improve speed of travel between Wales and England to help tourism and businesses on both sides of the border to flourish.


"Swansea has a huge potential and the fact that Ben Howlett, whose constituency does so well out of coach trips, can see the potential as well is really positive.


Recently Andrew RT Davies, Leader of the Welsh Conservatives, met with the Secretary of State for Transport to discuss ways to easing congestion on the M4 and M48 bridges into Wales.


As well as easing traffic flow at the tolls and cutting the cost of making the journey, the Welsh Conservatives have also announced plans to carry out a full consultation into the potential for increasing the speed limit on the M4 in Wales to 80mph from the current limit of 70mph.


With powers to change speed limits set to be handed to the Welsh Government in the future it is thought that increasing the speed limit could also help to reduce congestion on the M4, especially with more traffic set to be making the trip to Wales once the toll prices are slashed.