Southampton residents using a SmartCities card will be exempt from the rise and continue at the current discounted rate.
The new toll for non-residents in cars, small vans and small 4x4s will be 80p (peak) and 70p (off peak).
Residents are already entitled to a discounted rate which will remain frozen at 40p (peak) and 30p (off peak). The only way to take advantage of this discount is by using a SmartCities card.
The budget context
Southampton City Council has made £136.4 million savings over the last seven years in response to reductions in funding from central government. This has happened at the same time as we are experiencing an increase in demand for services, especially in caring for vulnerable children and adults.
This decision to increase the toll for non-residents was agreed at full council in February this year following a 10 week consultation with the public. It is part of a wider budget plan to find another £15.05 million savings by 2020/21.
The Hampshire Act (1983) sets out in law the two main reasons the Council maintains a toll for crossing the Itchen Bridge. Firstly to manage congestion by encouraging vehicles to take other routes better designed for high levels of traffic. Secondly to cover the ongoing maintenance and running costs of the bridge. The charges for cars crossing the Itchen Bridge have not been raised since 1997 when they increased from 40p/50p to 50p/60p.
The increase will be clearly sign-posted from the end of this week.
The council is launching a drive to get more residents to sign up to the SmartCities card system. The benefits of getting a card include:
The card is free to sign up for online at: www.southampton.gov.uk/smartcities
You can also apply for a card at your local library.
Cllr Jacqui Rayment, Cabinet Member for Transport & Place, said: “This is not a decision we took lightly but it’s an important part of our plans to manage congestion, emissions and ensure the ongoing maintenance costs of the bridge are met in light of reductions in government funding to the council. We are freezing the toll at the previous lower rate for residents. You just need to sign up for a SmartCities card via our website to take advantage of the discount.”