It could soon be more expensive to head up the A38 to cross the bridge or take the ferry to Cornwall.

Tamar Bridge and Torpoint Ferry Joint Committee have launched a consultation exercise on proposals to put up toll charges.

The reason for the increase is a fall in traffic levels caused by Covid 19.

Both crossings are funded on a “user pays” principle by toll income. This means that the money needed to operate, maintain and improve the two crossings comes from toll charges. No funding is received from Central Government or from the owners of the crossings – Plymouth City Council and Cornwall Council.

The latest figures from Tamar Crossings forecast an annual funding gap of £3.2m by March 2024, with an accumulated reserve deficit of £6.9m by March 2025.

During the past 12 months the Joint Committee has looked in detail at all areas of spending, including staffing, reduced service levels and a range of other options to address the financial shortfall. In July the Committee’s Joint Chairs wrote to the Government requesting that National Highways (formerly Highways England) contribute towards the costs of maintaining the Bridge. Unfortunately the Government did not support this request.

The proposal is to increase toll charge for TamarTag customers from £1.00 to £1.30 – an extra £1.50 per week for a TamarTag car user making five return crossings a week. For those paying by cash the car toll would rise from £2.00 to £2.60.

The aim of the consultation is to provide information to users and key stakeholders on the Joint Committee’s finances, and to seek views on both the immediate proposals and the future structure of charges.

A structured survey exercise was held yesterday and on Thursday including cash and tag account holders

If you didn’t travel on either of those two das you can provide written feedback by email to [email protected] or by writing to Tamar Crossings at Tamar Bridge Office, Pemros Road, St Budeaux, Plymouth PL5 1LP.

You can access the background information on the Tamar Crossings website at Financing Consultation 2022 where you can also find a copy of the survey

Anyone who does not have access to the internet can write to Tamar Crossings at the above address to request a copy of the survey, phone 01752 361577 or collect a copy from the offices at the Bridge or Ferry.

The consultation will run until February 14 following which the information gathered will be analysed and presented to members of the Joint Committee at their meeting in March 2022.