A key poll taken at first UK Government Severn Growth Summit has revealed that 97% of delegates felt that the removal of the Severn tolls would be of benefit to Wales.
During the live poll carried out by Cardiff based award-winning company, Doopoll, it was also revealed that 90% (139 out of 155 respondents) of the guests feel that their business will be boosted by the abolition of the Severn Tolls.
Over 300 guests from either side of the Severn estuary attended the inaugural event at the Celtic Manor Resort, held to explore how links between the South Wales and South West England economies can be strengthened following the abolition of the Severn Tolls.
Companies on both sides of the border are already benefitting from the removal of VAT from the crossing tolls earlier in January. Later this year, the tolls will be consigned to history when they are abolished altogether by the UK Government.
The poll also revealed:
80% of delegates felt that removal of the tolls will give them access to a wider market (out of 203 respondents)
Almost 60% of respondents felt that road links were a challenge of cross border working (119 out of 200 respondents)
86% of respondents cited faster rail links between Bristol and South Wales as important to them (out of 151 responses)
Secretary of State for Wales Alun Cairns said:
“The Severn Growth Summit has sparked the biggest commercial conversation for the west of the UK in a generation. It is clear from these findings that we have a golden opportunity to capitalise on the ambitions of industries from both sides of the Severn Crossings.
“From Bath, all the way across to Swansea, we can create a critical mass that can raise prosperity, create closer collaboration and competition and improve social and cultural opportunities for people who live in the region.
“I am delighted to see almost universal recognition from this live poll that scrapping the tolls will benefit Wales – this will be the biggest economic stimulus in decades and it fits my approach of making politics fit the economy rather than the economy fit politics. Exporting goods to the rest of the UK from Wales is of vital importance, with 8 out of 10 lorries destined for the UK market – scrapping the tolls will help our economy go from strength to strength.”