Confessions of a happy man

By | Category: Travel news

The River Wye – more tourists may visit the beauty sport now that the tolls on the Severn Bridge have gone

Yesterday the toll was removed from the two bridges that cross the river Severn and link Wales with England.

Those living well away from the bridges may find it hard to appreciate the significance or what it might mean in the future to both the English and Welsh sides of the river.

For commuters working on either side it will mean an immediate saving of £5.60 a day. For Bristol Airport it might mean that some will use Cardiff in the future and vice versa. For those living in places like Chepstow and other towns just inside Wales it has already meant a rise in house prices as it is believed that Bristolians will move away from the high priced area to one more reasonably priced.

For attractions such as Chepstow, Raglan and Skenfrith castles, the River Usk, Tintern Abbey, the Mon & Brec Canal not to mention Caldicot Castle and Country Centre it is hoped that they will attract more visitors from England now that people won’t consider it expensive to visit now that the tools are gone.

In England places like Berkeley Castle, Westonbirt – The National Arboretum and the SS Great Britain not to mention Bristol Zoo and all the other attractions in the city will see more visitors from Wales who now won’t have to pay a toll on the return journey home.

The Wye Valley and Forest of Dean Tourism is predicting that day visitors to the region could increase by as much as 15% next year, translating to almost an additional one million day trips. This is the only cross-border tourism body in the Great Britain with members spanning England and Wales.

I wouldn’t even like to think how much I have spent on tolls in the last forty years and every time I have paid I have begrudged it firm as I have been in the belief that a main arterial link should be free.

At last it is.

When I drove past the tolls on Friday I hoped that I would never see them again. On Tuesday as I returned, there they were – gone! And I was £5.60 better off and a lot happier than whenever I had crosses the bridges before!

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