Cleddau Bridge toll increase bid sparks council confusion
7:00pm Thursday 17th October 2013 in News
A CALL for changes to the way the Cleddau Bridge is run – including raising the toll price – prompted great debate and confusion at full council today (Thursday).
Council was due to vote on a notice of motion put forward by Cllr Jonathan Nutting relating to the bridge linking north and south Pembrokeshire.
Cllr Nutting called for a review of bridge tolls at least every five years and for “meaningful dialogue” with the Welsh Government to review the Dyfed Act, under which the bridge was created, and plans for “trunking” the A477.
He also wanted to increase the cost of a single bridge ticket to £1 while reducing the cost of a book of tickets, helping those who use the crossing regularly.
“This model would allow the council to keep the large surplus (approximately £1.5m) whilst significantly helping the people/businesses of south west Pembrokeshire,” stated Cllr Nutting’s notice.
“It would also fit better with the concept of the Haven Enterprise Zone which was surprisingly divided by this toll.”
At Thursday’s meeting Cllr Nutting argued his case, calling for the bridge’s future to be “clearly mapped out”.
His lengthy statement was met with confusion by some members, who said he was making amendments to his original notice of motion.
Cllr Nutting accepted this, but said he had changed the wording to make his notice more “palatable” to cabinet members, who recommended the notice of motion not be adopted “in view of the costs and risks involved”.
That amendment was replaced with another by Cllr Tessa Hodgson, who suggested excluding the controversial issue of raising bridge tolls to £1 from the original notice.
Following a lengthy debate, it was decided that both amendments would be withdrawn and an amendment proposed by Cllr Bob Kilmister for the matter to be looked at by the economic overview and scrutiny committee as part of its work programme was approved by 29 votes to 26.
Cllr Kilmister said “some serious questions had been raised”, there was work to be done and maintaining the status quo was “complacent”.