Should There be More UK Toll Roads?
Ever encountered a toll road on your travels around the UK? While UK toll roads aren’t every motorists favourite pastime, a new survey suggests that a quarter of UK motorists would welcome motorway tolls …
A recent survey shows that 26% of motorists out of the 1,200 questioned would be in favour of UK tolls, while 36% said they were undecided on whether they would support tolls.
While the majority are still against the introduction of tolls, research shows that over a third of motorists are still sitting on the fence.
“the introduction of a wider range of road tolls could improve the driving experience of millions...
...at least some British drivers would be willing to consider changes to some stretches of motorways. Of course the key to making this work would be to ensure any money levied would be limited, affordable and spent efficiently and transparently on improving roads – specifically on measures to reduce congestion and improve journey times.”
Our guide to UK toll roads explains what they are, where you can find them, how to pay for them and pricing tariffs for each individual toll bridge.
What are UK toll roads?
A toll road, also known as a turnpike or tollway, is a stretch of road, bridge, or motorway that charges motorists a fee to use.
UK motorists can pay the required fee to progress past the toll booth with either cash, card or with a special pass (only for motorists with a disability). In order to qualify, an application has to be made in advance prior to your visit of the bridge, motorway or tunnel. In other cases it is just a matter of showing a Blue Badge to the toll operator. You can apply for a Blue Badge here.
The main purpose for why toll roads exist, is to offer motorists an alternative route, so that they can get to their desired destination quicker. These roads are built using taxpayers money. Drivers pay part of their taxes every year toward the maintenance of roads, and as recent research shows, drivers would welcome more toll roads if it means they’ll be able to drive on better quality roads.
What is a partial toll road?
Partial toll roads are roads which have more than one route a motorist can take. You can travel on the toll road and depending on where you enter and exit, you may pay no toll charge.
Why do i have to pay to use UK toll roads?
Toll roads require a lot maintenance, therefore more investment goes towards keeping them in good condition. Without these roads in place, our road trips would be very time consuming and expensive.
How can I avoid them?
There isn’t much you can do as a driver to avoid toll roads, especially if your route consists of going past a toll road. You can either decide to go on an alternative route or use the RAC route planner to check whether you’ll need to pay for any UK tolls. Be mindful that while the RAC route planner does help you to avoid UK tolls, you’ll realise that the time you spent attempting to avoid them isn’t worth the cost of paying.
Where are UK toll roads?
In total, there are currently around 20 toll roads in the UK with most of them being river crossings. The M6 toll road just outside of Birmingham is perhaps the most commonly known, as well as the Dartford Crossing, the Humber Bridge and the Tyne Tunnels.
Listed below are the 13 major tolls and bridges around the UK.
- M6 Toll - West Midlands
- M25 - Dartford River Crossing
- A4 - Batheaston Bridge
- A15 - Humber Bridge
- A19 - Tyne Tunnels
- A38 - Tamar Bridge
- A41 - Mersey Tunnels - Queensway
- A57 - Dunham Bridge
- A59 - Mersey Tunnels - Kingsway
- A477 - Cleddau Bridge
- A533 - Mersey Gateway
- A3025 - Itchen Bridge
The Severn bridges into Wales - the M4 and M48 - was recently closed after 52 years in operation - see video below from ITV.
How much are UK toll roads?
The fee that you are charged is largely dependant on which UK toll road and bridge you come across, as well as the type of vehicle you're driving. For instance, the fee for motorcycles is usually significantly lower if you’re driving a van or HGV.
The price also varies for what time of the day you’re travelling - if you’re driving during peak hours, which is usually during the day, then you’re likely to be charge a higher fee, while if you’re travelling during night-time, it’s reasonably cheaper. Find out how much you’ll be charged to use toll roads, bridges and tunnels within the UK road network here.
Listed below are the current rates for cars crossing these toll roads around the UK;
Rates for UK Toll Roads
|Name of toll||Car crossing charge|
|M6 Toll - West Midlands||£5.50|
|M25 - Dartford River Crossing||£2.50|
|A4 - Batheaston Bridge||£0.70|
|A15 - Humber Bridge||£1.35|
|A19 - Tyne Tunnels||£1.70|
|A38 - Tamar Bridge||£1.50|
|A41 - Mersey Tunnels - Queensway||£1.70|
|A59 - Mersey Tunnels - Kingsway||£1.70|
|A57 - Dunham Bridge||£0.40|
|A477 - Cleddau Bridge||£0.75|
|A3025 - Itchen Bridge||£0.60|
|A533 - Mersey Gateway Bridge||£2.00|
|A533 - Silver Jubilee Bridge||£2.00|
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