Graham Stuart MP, who gave evidence at a Public Inquiry into a planned rise in Humber Bridge tolls, today welcomed news there would be no price increase.
His comments came as the Department of Transport (DoT) announced it was rejecting a proposal by the Humber Bridge Board to increase the cost of a single car journey across the iconic bridge from £2.70 to £2.90.
Graham said: “This is fantastic news for bridge users on both sides of the Humber.
“We had wanted the toll to be scrapped, or dramatically reduced, to stimulate trade and tourism across this region. Indeed I was one of many people, including members of the public and local authority members who gave evidence at the public inquiry in March which examined the planned toll rise.
“People were passionate about the damage they felt continued rises in the tolls were having on community cohesion across the River Humber, the impact on business and indeed on employment in general.
“People are desperate for jobs at the moment and the bridge should be a boost to local employment and not a barrier.”
And he added: “While this is just a partial victory I would like to pay tribute to all those who have campaigned for so long, and so hard, to rein in the seemingly endless upward spiral of the bridge tolls.”
While the DoT has refused the Humber Bridge Board, the body charged with paying off the massive debt still owed for the initial construction of the bridge, the right to increase the tolls, it has not offered any alternative source of funding nor reduced the amount owed.
The landmark bridge was opened by the Queen in 1981 at a final cost of £151 million. The bridge board - despite making an operating profit every year since the bridge opened - has been unable to keep up with interest payments and the debt still stands at a staggering £334million.