The Tamar Toll Action Group Committee consists of:
Chair: Dr Mel Priston
Bio: I have lived in the Southwest for over 30 years, initially enrolling at Exeter University for my research studies leading to a PhD in pharmacology, followed by research positions at the FORCE Cancer Centre, the RD&E Hospital and then Derriford Hospital, Plymouth; I now divide my time between Derriford Hospital and SageTech Medical Equipment Ltd, a pharmaceutical and medical device start-up company based in Paignton.
I moved to Saltash almost 3 years ago, and have seen the Tamar Crossing tolls for TamarTag holders increase from 75p to £1 and then £1.30 during this time – the latter unfair increase being the reason we started this campaign, when we realised the depth of local feeling both against the 2-week-notice May ’22 increase and against the outdated ‘user pays’ principle that places such a financial burden on the regular commuters and businesses of Plymouth and SE Cornwall, particularly during this current cost of living crisis.
Vice Chair: Mr Scott Slavin
Bio: I first came to the South West in 1987 when I joined the Royal Navy and have been a South East Cornwall resident since 1991 when I purchased my first house near Callington. Resident in Saltash since 2003. I left the RN in 2002 after a 15 year career as a Marine Engineer and have stayed in the Marine Industry, initially with the Merchant Navy but since 2013 as a shore based Marine Technical Superintendent.
I believe that the crossing tolls place an unfair burden on local residents and businesses and are, in effect, an additional tax on the residents of South East Cornwall for use of a service that is essential to all; they being main arterial routes in and out of South East Cornwall. The toll crossing charge has increased from the discount rate of £0.20 in 1991 to £1.30 today, this is a staggering 550% increase that is almost exclusively borne by local residents with zero central government funding towards it.
Secretary: Mrs Stephanie Carter
Bio: I have lived in Saltash all my life. I cross the Tamar Bridge multiple times a week and often multiple times a day. I care for elderly parents and need to access Derriford Hospital on a regular basis. I also have a daughter who is studying A Level sport, part of her coursework requires video evidence of her playing a sport to a certain level. This means we travel to Plymouth 2, sometimes 3 times a week for matches. She also needs to access an Orthodontist on a regular basis which again is in Plymouth. I don’t cross the bridge for pleasure, I cross the bridge out of necessity and it costs me in excess of £40 per month just to do so. There is no other viable option – the ‘User pays’ principle is flawed – it is an unfair tax burden on S E Cornwall residents and businesses, it should be paid for by Central Government.
Treasurer: Mrs Lee Lidstone
Bio: I started my career as a childrenswear designer working for Oilily in Holland, then as a M&S sleepwear designer in Scotland eventually ending up in London for ten years as the senior childrenswear designer for Laura Ashley. The lure of the Southwest was too great and I returned to Devon where I have worked for The Range for twenty-one years as a buyer in the Textiles Department.
For the past fifteen years I have been making the journey from Saltash to Plymouth and there has always been a charge. But the recent increases are just not fair to the residents in both Plymouth and Cornwall. I want to make this crossing the same as the majority of others in the UK where it is paid for by the central government and not just us!
Ordinary Committee Members
Mrs Victoria Slavin
Mr Steve Miller
Mrs Hilary Frank
Mrs Sarah Martin
Mr John Steers