Tolls and Toll Regulation
Under the Whitchurch Bridge Act 1792 and the Whitchurch Bridge Act 1988, the Whitchurch Bridge Company is empowered to collect Tolls to finance its operations. The Companyís Tolls are regulated under the Transport Charges etc (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1954. Tolls may only be increased when permission has been applied for by the Company by means of a Toll Application, and approval given by the Secretary of State for Transport in the form of a Department for Transport Toll Order. The current Tolls were implemented on Monday 26th October 2009 in accordance with Toll Order No. 2729 dated 12th October 2009.
Comcessioary Tolls are offered at the discretion of the Company and are not regulated.
Toll Application - Public Inquiry
The Public Inquiry into the Company's Toll Application took place on Tuesday 19th May 2015 at The George Hotel, The Square, Pangbourne RG8 7AJ. The Inspector was Mr M Moore BA(Hons) MRTPI CMILT MCIHT. The Company's Statement of Reasons was as follows - we will keep these documents on our website at least until we get a decision on our Toll Application.
Toll Application - Public Inquiry(updated 21st May 2015)
16 Opening Statement by Mr M Beckley
17a Witness Statement by Mr G Weir
17b Rebuttal Statement by Mr G Weir
18 Witness Statement by Mr M Brain
19 Witness Statement by Mr M Beckley
20 Analysis of Bridge Card Usage
21 Closing submission by Mr M Beckley
During informal discusions with the No campaign after the Inquiry the
Company proposed that a Bridge User Group, perhaps similar to those
established for rail commuters, be set up. The Company would undertake
to meet this group on a regular basis and respond to issues raised.
The Company will be contacting the No campaign organiser to discuss if and
how to this proposal could be developed.
Toll Application - Next Steps (updated 20th May 2015)
The DfT normally receives the Inspectorís Report within 2 months of the Public Inquiry. This Report, with an accompanying submission from civil servants, is then put to DfT Ministers for a decision. If the Toll Application is approved a Toll Order is prepared by DfT civil servants, approved by Government lawyers, registered with the National Archives at Kew and then sent to the Company.
The Company must receive this Toll Order before it
can increase the Tolls. Based on
our experience when we last applied for a Toll increase in 2008 we are not
expecting any increase in Tolls to be approved before September 2015.
Bridge users can be assured that the
Secretary of State will only approve the increase if he believes it to be justified on the facts.
Tolls may be collected at any time, but are normally collected only from 7am until 9pm on weekdays, 8am to 8pm on Saturdays, and 9am to 8pm on Sundays (all timings may vary by a few minutes). Tolls are collected at the Toll Booth at the Whitchurch-on-Thames (north) end of the Bridge.
Tolls may be paid in cash, or through one of the Company's concessionary prepayment systems which offer substantial discounts to Bridge users based on Bridge Cards (for vehicles not exceeding 3.5 tonnes mgw) and books of prepaid tickets (for vehicles exceeding 3.5 tonnes mgw).
Details of the Toll payment systems are shown below. Click here for FAQ's.
|Class 1||Vehicles not exceeding 3.5 tonnes mgw||40p|
|Class 2||Vehicles exceeding 3.5 tonnes mgw||£3|
There is no charge for pedestrians, cycles or motorcycles. There is an environmental weight limit of 7.5 tonnes mgw on the Bridge.
(updated 23rd April 2015 - Bridge Card Pack cost)
Concessionary rates and discounts are unregulated and the Company is under no obligation to offer concessionary rates, discounts or free crossings to any users. However, the Company has given an Undertaking that the concessionary Toll for users of Bridge Cards will not exceed 30p unless and until another Toll Application is approved.
1 users (ie vehicles not exceeding 3.5 tonnes mgw)
Concessionary Tolls are offered through Bridge Cards, which pay a discounted Toll rate of 29.4p (ie 34 crossings for £10). The Company also offers a Frequent User Scheme which allows unlimted crossings for £26 per month.
Details of the Concessionary Tolls for Class 1 users are as follows:
Initial Purchase of a Bridge Card Pack (at the Toll Booth)
Includes £10 (returnable) deposit for your Bridge Card, plus £20 credit for crossings at the discounted rate applicable at the time of purchase. At the current discounted rate of 29.4p, £20 gives you 68 crossings.
Bridge Card Top-up (at the Toll Booth)
Adds £10 credit to your Bridge Card Account for crossings at the discounted rate applicable at the time of purchase. At the current discounted rate of 29.4p, £10 gives you 34 crossings. You may top-up only when your "uses remaining" is 50 or less, and only do one top-up at a time. You will always be given a receipt, which we ask that you check.
Frequent User Scheme
Allows unlimited use of your Bridge Card. Monthly payments must be made by bankers standing order. Click here for details and an Application Form.
B. Class 2 users (ie vehicles
exceeding 3.5 tonnes mgw)
A concessionary Toll of £2 is available to Class 2 users through the purchase of books of 20 prepaid tickets for £40 from the Toll Collector.
Free crossings for Disabled Drivers
(updated 8th April 2015)
The Company allows free crossings for disabled persons who are in receipt of the High Rate of the Mobility Component of the DLA, Enhanced Rate of PIP, or War Pensionerís Mobility Supplement, whose vehicles are registered in the Disabled Class. Disabled persons need to pre-register with the Company using the Disabled Driver Registration Form which may be downloaded here or obtained on request from the Toll Collectors.
The Company reserves the right to restrict this concession to disabled persons with a local address who need to use the Bridge on a regular basis.
Free crossings for Emergency Vehicles
The Company allows free crossings for liveried fire appliances, police vehicles and ambulances. Any liveried ambulance with "ambulance" signage will be allowed a free crossing, including non-emergency ambulances.
Free crossings are also allowed for Community Responders wearing their yellow ambulance jackets in a vehicle displaying a "Community Responder attending 999 Call" sign.
Click here for FAQ's.