Property experts are expecting the possible cut in both Severn Bridge tolls to result in an increase in property development to the East of Newport.
With property and land values being more affordable than in Greater Bristol and the West of England, many businesses will be eyeing up potential places to re-locate particularly if the bridge tolls, which are viewed as being a huge barrier to movement, are scrapped or reduced.
With some predicting that reducing or scrapping the toll will boost the economy of the area by £100 million, Stephen James from Bruton Knowles is calling on land and property owners to make the area to the West of the bridges and East of Brynglas tunnels as attractive as possible. This will ensure businesses and developers are in the box seat should the tolls be reduced or scrapped.
“Although the Department for Transport has confirmed there is no current date for any abolition of the charges, if Theresa May sticks to her election promises, the scrapping or significant reduction of the tolls should result in an upturn of interest in areas such as Magor, Caerleon and Chepstow, along with the A449 corridor.
“For a single van it currently costs £13.40 and a HGV £20.00. Even if you’ve got a small fleet of vehicles, the overall cost mounts up and has always restricted businesses locating here in South East Wales.
“To scrap or reduce the tolls will strengthen the link between the regions and allow for much easier movement of traffic. It will also make Welsh businesses pitching for work in England much more competitive as they will be able to factor in the lower charges on their bottom line.
“With both Severn crossings being vital arteries into Wales, reduced or scrapped tolls will demonstrate that Wales is very much open for business.”
But it’s not just businesses Stephen believes will make the most of reduced or scrapped tolls but house hunters priced out of the Greater Bristol and West of England property market.
“With underlying residential property values in Bristol some of the strongest in the country, house hunters from across the bridge will be crunching the numbers to work out whether to look for somewhere to live on the Welsh side of the River Severn.
“In Bristol average property prices are £289,048 while in Magor it is £227,793 so the difference is clear to see. Those looking for somewhere more affordable to live will be eyeing up potential bargains before owners start hiking up prices.
“Landowners could also be in line for a windfall as developers consider their options on where to build.
“News on the lowering or scrapping of the tolls will only be good news for the region and it’ll be interesting to see how both the commercial and residential property sectors progress, especially in South East Wales.”