The public are being asked to give their thoughts on the Tamar Bridge and Torpoint Ferry river crossings as part of new consultation.
Between Saturday October 7 and Tuesday October 10, those using Tamar crossings will be invited to participate in a structured survey. The survey hopes to gain insight into the public opinion surrounding the cost of using each crossing service.
Those paying by cash or card, or using a mobility pass or other free pass will be handed an information leaflet and questionnaire, with tag users receiving an email or letter in the week following their crossings asking them to complete the same form. A spokesperson from Tamar Crossings explained : "The structure ensures feedback is received from a balanced cross-section of users.
"A set of specific stakeholders will be contacted directly including MPs, haulage industry representatives, interest groups, parish and town councils and local politicians.
"We are also keen to receive written feedback from interested parties who are not part of the structured survey and this web page and its links provides a channel for consultation for the wider public to provide their views."
The consultation asks what individuals use each service for most, if different times of day should cost different prices, and if tolls should be increased, and how.
A spokesperson continued: "Our income to operate, maintain and improve the two crossings comes from tolls. Since the invasion of Ukraine in Spring 2022 we have seen extremely high and unpredicted levels of inflation which have significantly affected the cost of everything we do, and this is compounded by the fact that our traffic levels are still only 90% of pre-Covid levels with a corresponding effect on income.
"As a result we are now operating in deficit and have minimal reserves. The crossings operate on a self-financing basis with no subsidy from either the Government or the owners of the two crossings – Plymouth City Council and Cornwall Council – both of which have very pressing demands on their finances and are not in a position to offer financial support.
"We recognise that any price increases at this difficult time would be unwelcome, but with no signs of traffic increasing we must consider toll revision to ensure the sustainability of the crossings. Urgent action is necessary to address the financial shortfall, so we are seeking your views on some options under consideration. We are also asking for views on whether the tolling arrangements should change in the future."