Home – Campaigning for a #TollFreeTamar

The Tamar Toll Action Group comprises local people who are campaigning for the Abolition of the Tamar Crossing Tolls

The Tamar Toll Action Group (TTAG) was founded in April 2022 when local residents were advised that crossing charges would increase by 30% in May 22 for local tag users, yet not until Jan 2023 for cash users.

This increase made the Tamar Toll bridge the most expensive Toll Bridge of its type in the country.

The Tamar Bridge is part of the A38 arterial Trunk Road which is a nationally important route and a vital strategic link in the South West. There is no practical alternative to entering Cornwall from the Plymouth area (or vice versa). It is wrong that its upkeep and maintenance is funded by local councils via a toll which results in an unfair financial burden on local people and businesses.

Apart from creating an inequitable tax on local constituents, the toll booths create a bottleneck which can be hazardous and also cause unnecessary delays and pollution to the detriment of users; particularly to local residents and businesses.

  • The toll we consider an unfair tax which particularly targets local people who have no alternative to using the crossings
  • It is an impediment to business development in the area and
  • It deters visitors and tourists from coming to the area, and their custom.
  • Collection of the tax also creates delays, inconvenience and
  • An increase in pollution

The Tamar Bridge is ‘linked’ to the Torpoint Ferries via the Tamar Bridge Act. Both crossings are jointly owned by Cornwall Council and Plymouth City Council and operated by the Tamar Bridge and Torpoint Ferry Joint Committee (TBTFJC). Whilst this coalition was instrumental in the construction of the bridge more than 60 years ago,  the aim understood by the people then was for the bridge to be centrally funded once its costs had been covered by toll payments (as has happened with the more recently built Severn Bridge). Unfortunately, this aim appears to have been lost with the passing of time and record of existence of that aim is challenging to locate.

Many road users will be unaware that they are also subsidising the cost of ferry crossings every time they cross the bridge into Devon. This appears to be due to the TBTFJC failing to establish an alternative and more appropriate funding model. A viable funding model for the ferries is seen as part of the outcome of our campaign. The TTAG believes both crossings should be toll free.

The stated aims of the Tamar Toll Action Group are:

  • The abolition of the Tolls to cross the Tamar
  • To progress agreed actions to the overall greatest benefit of both Bridge and Ferry users
  • To suggest increases in efficiency and effectiveness of services
  • The committee will seek to work with the Crossings’ management and Joint Committee in the interests of all users.

Our campaign will involve lobbying MPs and all interested parties. We will also be seeking publicity to shine a light on this unfair tax on local people. Building the numbers of this group will be key to our success.

We therefore welcome support from all users of the crossings. If you wish to join the group please contact us. Details of  how we operate are shown in our constitution.

We are also very keen to hear the views of local businesses which are negatively impacted by the cost of the crossings