Stanglehold on growth, says MP

Isle MP Andrew Percy has put his weight behind a campaign against high tolls to cross the Humber Bridge, which he says are putting the brakes on economic growth.

Mr Percy said: “The tolls effectively make it impossible for people to search for work on the opposite bank of the river, whilst the high cost of tolls for lorries affects business greatly, impacting as it does on the whole supply chain.”

He said that as the Humber region expanded, boosted by last week’s news that Siemens were going to set up a wind farm base in Hull, the need for people and goods to cross the river was going to increase. “We can’t let the tolls stifle that growth,” he said.

The visiting ministers were Transport Minister Norman Baker and Justine Greening from the Treasury.

Tolls on the bridge paid by users service loans to cover the oustanding bridge debt of more than £300m.

A North Lincolnshire Council spokesman said the level of bridge tolls - the highest on a river crossing in the UK - made the north and south banks of the Humber operate as separate communities, in spite of being a few minutes apart by road.