The Tories are proposing an unworkable one year freeze as a pre-election gimmick. We have a long-term plan. https://t.co/a1BMRg9GUM
— Luke Pollard MP (@LukePollard) October 19, 2023
Luke Pollard MP, who represents Plymouth Sutton and Devonport including the Torpoint Ferry crossing said:“Without any Government support, it’s local people who carry the cost of maintaining and investing in the Tamar Crossings so let’s have cheaper tolls for local people who use the crossings regularly. “It’s about time local people were put first and that’s what our proposal delivers without extra cost to the taxpayer.” Fred Thomas, Labour’s Parliamentary Candidate for Plymouth Moor View including the Plymouth side of the Tamar Bridge, said: “Making it easier to cross the Tamar Bridge and Torpoint Ferry for local people is a bigger boost for our economy than any one-year pre-election toll freeze. “The Conservatives’ proposal to freeze fares for one year is an uncosted pre-election gimmick designed to save the Tory MP’s seat and doesn’t provide a long-term plan that benefits local people as Labour’s plan does.” Cllr Kate Ewert, Councillor for the Rame Peninsula said: “The Tory cost-of-living crisis is causing enough hardship and pain across our communities. “For our people using the ferry and the bridge, going to work, attending vital medical and hospital treatments should not become more difficult and potentially unaffordable.” The proposal by the three Labour politicians is being submitted to the Tamar Crossings consultation.
Fred Thomas has also started a petition for local people in Devon and Cornwall to sign calling for cheaper tolls for local people at www.fredthomas.win/cheapertollsforlocalpeople The proposal doesn’t seek to change the overall financial envelope for the Bridge and Ferry. Instead, the proposal is that over time the difference in tolls for Tamar tag users and cash fare users is increased giving a real benefit to local people using a Tamar Tag compared to cash fare users. This is not an option being considered in the current consultation by Tamar Crossings. Proposals by the Conservatives to freeze fares for one year risks the financial sustainability of the crossings and efforts to replace the Torpoint Ferries with cleaner, newer models when the current ferries expire in the next few years. The one-year freeze would apply to the period ahead of a General Election and is “a pre-election gimmick to win votes” adds Fred Thomas. According to Plymouth City Council approximately 60% of the traffic on the ferry and bridge can be classed as local. The proposal from the three Labour politicians would mean that those who have a Tamar Tag would benefit from cheaper tolls with tourists, visitors and irregular travellers paying more so local people can pay less proportionally.