Fuel Duty is to be frozen and the Severn Crossing toll is to be reduced, according to the latest Budget. Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, announced the Budget earlier today (18 March). It is the final one before the general election in May.
Fuel duty has been frozen for another year. The Fuel Duty increase by RPI planned for 1 September 2015, due to be 0.54 pence per litre, will be cancelled. By the end of 2015-16, fuel duty will have been frozen for five years, the longest freeze for over two decades.
The Severn Crossings were described as a ‘vital link’ for Wales. The government is to reduce the toll rates from 2018, abolishing the higher band for small vans and buses. These vehicles would fall under the current Category 2, which includes small buses up to 17 seats. These vehicles have to pay £13.10 to cross at the moment, but the change would see them having to pay £6.50.
Further transport related announcements in the budget includes plans to work with Transport for the North. The government plans to look at rolling out better roads, quicker journeys and improved rail connections between the major cities of the north, as part of the government’s plan to build a Northern powerhouse. The government is also giving even more powers to local areas, with a new devolution deal for things like transport, as well as more planning powers for London. Bristol’s proposed bus rapid transit scheme received support in the Budget and Guide Dogs’ Talking Buses campaign will continue to be supported by the Transport Systems Catapult.