SOUTH East Cornwall’s MP has launched a petition calling for no increase in the Tamar tolls this year.

The petition, which can be found on MP Sheryll Murray’s website (, asks for members of the public to leave their name in support of the petition which will go before the House of Commons and the Secretary of State for Transport.

It has been reported that Ms Murray is working with other politicians to urge the Secretary of State for Transport to not allow the tolls to go up this year.

It was announced at the beginning of February that the tolls were set to increase despite it being said by Cllr Hilary Frank, who represents Saltash Essa division, that the tolls are ‘costing south east Cornwall residents £3.5-million every year’.

Cornwall’s Conservative Cabinet approved a recommendation that the toll would increase to £3 for cars and £1.50 for the discounted TAG scheme for regular users. It is currently £2.60 for cars and £1.30 for TAG subscribers.

Ms Murray has also been urging the government to provide a grant towards the maintenance of the crossings, upon the condition that there is no increase in the tolls.  

She is also asking the government to help introduce an automatic number plate recognition system (ANPR) to help resolve congestion at the bridge. 

Ms Murray has written to the Secretary of State outlining her reasons for no toll increases and ANPR but now wants to show the level of local support by presenting a petition to Parliament.

In a statement, Ms Murray explained: “I have been knocking on doors throughout South East Cornwall and one of the major issues that has come up frequently is the Tamar tolls and congestion on the bridge.  

“Residents have told me that the tolls are a large cost on their household budgets and that they do not want to see any increase on what they see as an additional road tax.  

“In the longer term I would like the government to look at an alternative to tolls for funding these crossings.  

“The tolls mean that businesses in South East Cornwall have an additional cost which does not let them compete on an equal basis. The tolls mean that residents have to pay an additional cost to get to many services in our main city such as the local hospital.  

“The tolls create an additional cost to employees who must cross daily to get to work. The tolls create a barrier for visitors for our massively important tourism sector. Removing the tolls would be, in my opinion, the greatest thing the government could do for levelling up and boosting the economy in this part of Cornwall.”

Johnny Mercer MP, who represents the other side of the Tamar Bridge, added: “Hearing from Tamar Bridge commuters every week, I am well aware of the financial burden which the crossing imposes on my constituents at a time when everyone is feeling the squeeze. I have met and been in close contact with the Tamar Bridge and Torpoint Ferry Joint Committee alongside Sheryll and, this week, supported her letter to the transport minister. Our asks are that the department approves an annual contribution towards bridge maintenance, that this be conditional on the tolls being frozen, and for it to cover the cost of removing the toll booths to introduce electronic charging. These, we strongly feel, are fair conditions which will help ease the cost of crossings for motorists from both sides of the bridge.”

A number of local councillors have expressed their support for no increase in the tolls, saying that it is ‘vital to work together’ to ‘find an alternative way for funding the bridge’ for the benefit of Cornish residents.

Liskeard councillor, Nick Craker, added: “I cannot believe we are seeing another Tamar Crossing toll hike recommendation coming from the Joint Committee. 

 “I welcome the MPs call for funding from the Government. I hope that call is heard, and this toll hike can be scrapped. I very much welcome the opportunity to give the Government more time to respond to our MP’s plan, and avoid any further toll rises.”

Cornwall Councillor for Liskeard South and Dobwalls, Jane Pascoe, said she will “not support a further increase to the Tamar tolls”.

Cllr Pascoe explained: “The impact on the hard-working people of South East Cornwall should never be underestimated. Local people should no longer be expected to shoulder the burden of the cost of maintaining the bridge and ferry. It is vital that we all work together to lobby the government for an alternative way to fund the crossings and for National Highways to take responsibility, the petition is an important part and I urge everyone in Cornwall to sign it.”

Armand Toms, councillor for Looe East and Deviock, said: “As residents will know and I have asked for many times that government support the Tamar Bridge and Ferries with a yearly grant.  

 “Whilst I support the position, we must on Tuesday, February 20, at full council, delay a decision on any toll increases so we get the answer to Sheryll and Johnny’s request for funding.”

Liberal Democrat Colin Martin has said that the petition “is too little, too late.”

Cllr Martin commented: “It’s great to see that thanks to the efforts of the Tamar Toll Action Group, our MP has finally woken up to this problem, which she has largely ignored for the past 14 years. “Sadly, she isn’t planning to present her petition to parliament until April, which will be too late to affect the budget on March 6.

“Only the Liberal Democrats are supporting the Tamar Toll Action Group’s calls for both crossings to be fully funded by central Government so that tolls can be abolished altogether. 

“Anyone who shares this ambition can sign my petition at”

In response, Ms Murray said: “The petition on the Tamar tolls, which is just one move that I am taking along with my neighbour across the Tamar Rt Hon Johnny Mercer MP, is supported by a number of other MPs.

“The opportunity has arisen for us to ask for Government funding towards the maintenance costs of the bridge which links the A38 Trunk Road due to the fact that the Peninsula Transport Group has included this in their Strategic Transport Plan and specifically Road Investment Strategy 3 which runs from 2025 to 2030. 

“I have written to the Secretary of State asking that this be included in RIS3 and Johnny Mercer and Scott Mann have told me that they have sent my letter with a covering letter of their own. “As the MP who represents everyone in SE Cornwall, I would urge everyone if they agree with this to sign this petition regardless of their political allegiance.”