CAMPAIGNERS will gather to protest against tolls on the River Tamar as councillors meet to decide on charges for the Bridge and Ferry. 

The Tamar Toll Action Group (TTAG) and supporters will be at Plymouth City Council chambers on Friday morning (December 8). 

Inside the building councillors will be asked to vote on a recommendation from officers that the charges on the crossings rise to £3.20 for cash and £1.60 for Tag payments. This recommendation is being made in order to address the financial difficulties facing the crossings. 

But this week also sees the results of a public consultation over proposed increases published, a document which will also be considered by the meeting. 

Just under 7,200 responses were received to the consultation, with 57 per cent stating they wished to see no increase in the toll, and six per cent opting for the rise to £3.20. 

While no option to ‘get rid of tolls’ was part of the formal choices available in the survey, members of the public had the chance to write in the free comments box, and their comments were organised into several categories by the publisher of the report. 

Just over half of the respondents to the survey left written feedback. Comments to the effect of “abolish the tolls” were made by 20 per cent of these, with 18 per cent saying that central government should be pursued to support the bridge and ferry. 

A further recommendation from officers comes in response to a motion put forward last month by Lostwithiel councillor Colin Martin. This aimed to unite Cornwall councillors behind a formal push to ask government to revoke the Tamar Bridge Act and pass responsibility for the crossings to National Highways. The motion was not heard at full council and was instead referred to Friday’s committee. 

The officers’ recommendation which councillors will be asked to vote on this week does put forward that the joint committee continue to lobby government to provide funding for the bridge and the ferry – and for a review of the current laws surrounding the crossings, but also states that such lobbying should “include the ability to align the tolls to the Retail Price Index”.