THE Welsh Government believes scrapping the Cleddau Bridge tolls will boost the local economy in Pembrokeshire.

Economy and Transport Secretary Ken Skates was speaking after Pembrokeshire County Council approved a deal which will see the end of tolls, which have been in place for close to 44 years.

The first car used the new bridge on March 20th 1974.

In 2017 the Welsh Government announced it would be scrapping the tolls on the Cleddau Bridge as part of the two-year budget deal the Welsh Government negotiated with Plaid Cymru.

The Welsh Government has offered £3m per annum to cover the loss of revenue – to be reviewed in 20 years, plus a one-off payment to cover the removal of the toll infrastructure and to cover costs.

Mr Skates said:“I am confident abolishing the tolls on the Cleddau Bridge will serve to accelerate local economic growth, better connect businesses and communities, and make it easier and cheaper for people to travel to access quality employment opportunities.

“Indeed a study commissioned by Pembrokeshire County Council shows the removal of the tolls will support the areas economic development strategy, providing a boost to its local economy, to the Enterprise Zone and to the small and medium-sized enterprises in the area.

“We recognise the decision to abolish the tolls will have implications both on the Council’s budget and on the employment status of the majority of those workers who have been manning the booths.

“With this in mind we have offered the Council a generous deal of £3m per annum to cover loss of revenue as well as additional funding to cover costs and toll infrastructure removal.”

Paying tribute to the staff who will be affected by the toll removal, Mr Skates added: “The Council is making every effort to deploy the toll staff who will be affected by this change. I would like to thank them for their public service and wish them every success in the future.”

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