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Gloucestershire Business News

Scrapping of bridge tolls will be a major benefit for region's businesses

Businesses and council leaders have welcomed the news that toll charges on the Severn Crossings will now be scrapped before Christmas.

It was originally planned to abolish the toll on 31st December but this has now been brought forward to the morning of Monday 17th December.

For Gloucestershire companies like Renishaw, the Wotton-under-Edge based advanced engineering technology company, it will be a major benefit for its operations.

The company employs around 350 people near Cardiff and the removal of bridge tolls will save the company a five-figure sum as it moves people and products between the Wotton and South Wales sites. It will also make it easier to attract new staff from outside the area.

Forest of Dean District Council has described the scrapping of tolls as an early Christmas present.

Council leader, Cllr Tim Gwilliam, said, "The Forest of Dean is always open for business, but of course the removal of the toll charges on 17th December presents a great opportunity for our towns and visitor attractions to benefit from increased seasonal trade in the run up to Christmas."

Cllr Richard Leppington, cabinet member responsible for infrastructure said, "This is like an early Christmas present for motorists and its fantastic news for our local businesses too. We're aware of the concerns about extra traffic, particularly through Chepstow, so we're pleased that Monmouthshire County Council and Gloucestershire County Council have commissioned a new transport study to look at the best way to tackle it."

Andrew Callard, chair of Forest Economic Partnership said, "I welcome the removal of the tolls on the Severn Bridges for the significant benefits it will bring for the areas neighbouring the Forest. It's essential now that we work together to make sure the Forest shares in those benefits for all those that live, work, play and study here".

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