April 11 2018
| Region: Cymru Wales
Prince Charles is expected to be present for the renaming of the Second Severn Crossing later this year, when a special ceremony will see the structure become the Prince of Wales Bridge.
His Royal Highness opened the 5.1km bridge linking England and Wales over the River Severn in 1996. Its renaming marks the 60th anniversary of the ‘Prince of Wales’ title being created by the Queen.
The ceremony is due to come ahead of the planned abolition of tolls levied on those entering Wales via the Severn Bridge and the Second Severn Crossing by the end of the year.
Welsh Secretary Alun Cairns said the renaming of the Second Severn Crossing – “one of the most iconic landmarks in Wales” – is a fitting way to formally recognise Prince Charles’s “commitment and dedication” to Wales and the UK.
“We look forward to marking the occasion at a special event later this year when the new Prince of Wales Bridge and its sister bridge will be seen as positive symbols of a newly invigorated economic and social partnership between South Wales and South West England, and the strength of the United Kingdom,” he said.
Charges for the use of the Severn crossings were already reduced in January following the structures’ return to public ownership. Estimates suggest that the upcoming removal of the tolls could boost the Welsh economy by £100M a year and save regular commuters a potential £1400 annually.
Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said: “Lower charges on the Severn bridges have already saved drivers more than £3M – helping boost the economy in Wales and the South West.
He added: “When the tolls are removed by the end of this year, more people will be able to take advantage of even more new job and business opportunities on both sides of the Prince of Wales bridge.”
Responsibility for the operation and maintenance of the bridges is now managed by Highways England.
Keeping reduced charges in place for 12 months will allow it to collect around £100M in revenue, with which to operate and maintain the crossings and remove tolling equipment.
(Photo courtesy of Matt Buck and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence)
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April 25 2018