UK Toll Roads - Cost of Toll Roads in the UK
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UK Toll Roads - Cost of Toll Roads in the UK

The UK has only one toll road, the M6 toll north of Birmingham which is also known as the Birmingham North Relief Road. Whereas toll roads have generally been a success elsewhere in the world, the attitude towards paying for travel along a road has been unpopular in the UK given the high cost of other car charges including road fund licence and fuel duty. As a result, the numbers of vehicles using the toll road is around half the projected figure meaning that the M6 Toll Road is currently loss making, discouraging the development of other toll roads in the UK. The small impact it has had on numbers of cars using the M6 free motorway has also encouraged others to shun the toll road.

M6 Toll

Road
Distance (miles)
Time (peak average)
Cost (toll + fuel)
M6 Toll
27
23 mins
£5.50 + £4.62
M6
27
36 mins
Free + £6.48

Best Option: Cost: M6 saving £3.64  Time: M6 Toll saving 13 minutes

m6 toll

Despite having only one toll road, there are many toll bridges and tunnels in the UK and we've compiled a list of them all in alphabetical order;

Aldwark Toll Bridge

Aldwark Toll Bridge is centuries old and has charged tolls since its completion. The bridge joins Little Ouseburn and Aldwark. It’s claimed that damage to the bridge was caused by an iceberg in the severe winters of the 19th century.
 
Road
Distance (miles)
Time (peak average)
Cost (toll + fuel)
Aldwark Bridge
0
0
40p
Alne Rd through Tollerton,
Warehill Lane to the A19, then A1237, A59 and finally B6265
25
33 mins
Free + £6.00

Best Option: Cost: Bridge saving £5.60 Time: Bridge saving 33 minutes

Bathampton Toll Bridge

Bathampton Toll Bridge links Batheaston and Bathampton in Avon. First built in 1850, it was replaced by the current structure in 1872 and still has the original toll house at one end.

Bathamption toll bridge
 
Road
Distance (miles)
Time (peak average)
Cost (toll + fuel)
Bathampton Toll Bridge
0
0
80p
A36 Warminster Road onto Bathwick Street then onto the A4 London Rd
5
11 mins
Free + £1.03

Best Option: Cost: Bridge saving 33p Time: Bridge saving 11 minutes

Cartford Bridge

Cartford Bridge links Poulton-le-Fylde with Lancaster via a cross country route.
 
Road
Distance (miles)
Time (peak average)
Cost (toll + fuel)
Cartford Bridge
21
39 mins
40p + £3.71
A585, join the M55 then the M6
32
40 mins
Free + £5.63

Best Option: Cost: Bridge saving £1.52 Time: Bridge saving 1 minute

Cleddau Bridge

The Cleddau Bridge links Pembroke Dock with Haverfordwest. When built in 1970, it had a construction fault which caused it to collapse and didn’t reopen until 1975.
 
Road
Distance (miles)
Time (peak average)
Cost (toll + fuel)
Cleddau Bridge
1
5 mins
75p + 25p
A471 east, A4075 north, A40 west, A 4075 south, A477 south east
28
40 mins
Free + £4.08

Best Option: Cost: Bridge saving £3.80 Time: Bridge saving 35 minutes

The Clifton Suspension Bridge

The Clifton Suspension Bridge was built in 1864 and is mistakenly accredited to Isambard Kingdom Brunel although it was based on his design. It’s one of the most recognisable bridges in the UK but is renowned for suicides given the drop into the gorge below. It saw the first ever bungee jump. It links the Bristol borough of Clifton with Leigh Woods in Somerset.
 
Road
Distance (miles)
Time (peak average)
Cost (toll + fuel)
The Clifton Suspension Bridge
1
3 mins
£1 + 25p
B3129 west, A369 south, A3029 east, A4 north
2.5
12 mins
Free + 62p

Best Option: Cost: Road saving 63p Time: Bridge saving 9 minutes

The Dartford River Crossing

The Dartford River Crossing links Dartford in Kent with Thurrock in Essex and is the busiest estuary crossing in the UK with over 130,000 vehicles using it daily. It’s a combined crossing of tunnel and bridge, the bridge being completed in 1991 to alleviate pressure on the tunnel which was constructed in the 1950s. Despite the intention to speed crossing of the Thames at Dartford, the system suffers major delays at toll booths at peak times, negating part of the benefit.
 
Road
Distance (miles)
Time (peak average)
Cost (toll + fuel)
The Dartford River Crossing
1
15 mins
£2 (free overnight) + 25p
A282 south, join the A2 west then the A102 north, finally join the A13 east
36
58 mins
Free + £6.78

Best Option: Cost: Crossing saving £4.53 Time: Crossing saving 43 minutes

Dunham Bridge

Dunham Bridge links Newton on Trent with East Drayton. The bridge was built in 1830 and rebuilt and widened in 1975 to cope with extra traffic. In 2012 the bridge had to close due to what was called unprecedented flooding of the Trent.
 
Road
Distance (miles)
Time (peak average)
Cost (toll + fuel)
Dunham Bridge
2
5 mins
40p + 50p
Take the A1133 south joining the
A46 south west. Take the A1 north before turning east on the A57
25
37 mins
Free + £3.33

Best Option: Cost: Bridge saving £2.53 Time: Bridge saving 32 minutes

The Humber Bridge

The Humber Bridge is an iconic structure which, for 16 years, was the longest single span suspension bridge in the world. It was completed in 1981 and today is the 7th longest bridge in the world at 2.2km. Over 120,000 vehicles a week use the crossing from Barton-upon-Humber to Hessle.
 
Road
Distance (miles)
Time (peak average)
Cost (toll + fuel)
The Humber Bridge
1.5
4 mins
£1.50 + 37p
Take the A63 west joining the M62 then take the M18 south and join the M180 east before heading north on the A15
60
83 mins
Free + £11.38

Best Option: Cost: Bridge saving £9.51 Time: Bridge saving 79 minutes

The Itchen Bridge

The Itchen Bridge leads drivers into Southampton along the A3025 and is one of the iconic sights of the city, especially at sunset. It was built in 1977 and has recently changed to automatic toll collection.
 
Road
Distance (miles)
Time (peak average)
Cost (toll + fuel)
The Itchen Bridge
4
8 mins
60p + £1
The alternative route is the
A3024 which approaches the city from a more northerly route
4
8 mins
Free + £1

Best Option: Cost: Bridge saving 60p Time: Same Time

The Kingsland Bridge

The Kingsland Bridge is a privately owned toll bridge that crosses the River Severn at Shrewsbury. It is an attractive bridge built from two metal ribs. Opened in 1883, its toll is one of the lowest in the country at 20p.
 
Road
Distance (miles)
Time (peak average)
Cost (toll + fuel)
The Kingsland Bridge
0.1
3 mins
20p + 7p
Follow Town Walls then join the A5191.
This crosses the river to the east then drive along Longden Coleham and turn onto Kingsland Road.
1.3
7 mins
Free + 32p

Best Option: Cost: Bridge saving 5p Time: Bridge saving 4 minutes

The Mersey Tunnel

The Mersey Tunnel is split into two, Kingsway and Queensway. Kingsway connects Liverpool with Wallasey whilst Queensway connects the city with Birkenhead. Queensway was the original tunnel, opened in 1934 whilst Kingsway was completed in 1971. The tunnels were used as a scene for the Harry Potter film The Deathly Hallows and have their own police force as well as the most comprehensive CCTV system outside of New York.
 
Road
Distance (miles)
Time (peak average)
Cost (toll + fuel)
The Mersey Queensway Tunnel
1
3 mins
£1.70 + 25p
Take the M53 south until it joins the eastbound M56. At Runcorn head north and cross the Mersey to Widnes. From there take the A557 north and join the M52, heading west.
49
68 mins
Free + £8.58

Best Option: Cost: Tunnel saving £6.63 Time: Tunnel saving 65 minutes
 
Road
Distance (miles)
Time (peak average)
Cost (toll + fuel)
The Mersey Kingsway Tunnel
2
5 mins
£1.70 + 50p
Take the M53 south until it joins the eastbound M56. At Runcorn head north and cross the Mersey to Widnes. From there take the A557 north and join the M52, heading west.
51
79 mins
Free + £9.08

Best Option: Cost: Tunnel saving £6.88 Time: Tunnel saving 74 minutes

The Middlesbrough Transporter Bridge

The Middlesbrough Transporter Bridge is a very strange construction that transports people plus cars across the Tees in a gondola. It was completed in 1911 and takes 90 seconds to transport cars and people across the river. During strong gales and high tides, the Tees rises to within inches of the gondola base. It has featured in many films and TV series including Billy Elliot and The Fast Show.
 
Road
Distance (miles)
Time (peak average)
Cost (toll + fuel)
The Middlesbrough Transporter Bridge
0.5
2 mins
£1.30 + 13p
Go south on Durham Street, join the A66 west and cross the Tees Bridge. Turn north then east on the A1046.
5
17 mins
Free + £1.02

Best Option: Cost: Road saving 41p Time: Bridge saving 15 minutes

The Severn Crossing

The Severn is crossed by two bridges, the original Severn Bridge and a new bridge called the Second Severn Crossing which crosses the river further south west. The original bridge was opened in 1966 and is a grade 1 listed building. The new bridge opened in 1996 and has three lanes as opposed to two for the original.

m4 severn bridge toll
 
Road
Distance (miles)
Time (peak average)
Cost (toll + fuel)
Severn Crossing
1
2 mins
£5.60 + 50p
Take the M48 east and join the M5 north to Gloucester. From Gloucester take the A48 south
63
73 mins
Free + £11.96

Best Option: Cost: Bridge saving £5.04 Time: Bridge saving 71 minutes
 
Road
Distance (miles)
Time (peak average)
Cost (toll + fuel)
Second Severn Crossing
2
3 mins
£5.60 + 65p
Take the M48 east and join the M5 north to Gloucester. From Gloucester take the A48 south
68
81 mins
Free + £12.23

Best Option: Cost: Bridge saving £5.18 Time: Bridge saving 78 minutes

The Tamar Bridge

The Tamar Bridge links Devon with Cornwall and runs parallel to Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s Tamar Rail Bridge, also known as the Royal Albert Bridge. Tolls only operate from Cornwall into Devon and are currently £1.50. The bridge carries up to 40,000 vehicles a day.
 
Road
Distance (miles)
Time (peak average)
Cost (toll + fuel)
The Tamar Bridge
1
4 mins
£1.50 + 25p
Take the A38 east and turn north onto the A386. At Tavistock turn west on the A390 to Callington. From there take the A388 south.
35
52 mins
Free + £5.96

Best Option: Cost: Bridge saving £4.21 Time: Bridge saving 48 minutes

The Tyne Tunnel

The Tyne Tunnel project was begun in 1967 and completed in various stages up to 2011. Based around a pedestrian and cycling tunnel that opened ten years previously, the tunnel links Jarrow with North Shields.
 
Road
Distance (miles)
Time (peak average)
Cost (toll + fuel)
The Tyne Tunnel
2.5
12 mins
£1.60 + 62p
Take the A19 north then go west on the A1058. Join the A167(M) heading south then the A184 east, the A1300 north east before following the A19 north to Jarrow.
14
26 mins
Free + £1.96

Best Option: Cost: Road saving 26p Time: Tunnel saving 14 minutes

Other lesser used toll bridges include;
  • Warburton Toll Bridge is a privately owned high level cantilever bridge that links Warburton with Rixton in Greater Manchester. The bridge has one of the lowest tolls in the country at 12p per crossing of the Manchester Ship Canal which runs beneath it.
  • Whitchurch Toll Bridge is one of only two toll bridges over the Thames and carries traffic from Pangbourne to Whitchurch-on-Thames. It was built in 1792 and was replaced first in 1852 then 1902. Recently it was closed for a year for strengthening work and reopened this September.
  • Whitney-on-Wye Toll Bridge was built in 1780 of wood and stone and, under private ownership has changed hands many times over the centuries. It’s a single lane bridge which generates £2000 a week in tolls, crossing the River Wye in Herefordshire.  
  • The Swinford Toll Bridge is privately owned and charges the lowest toll in the UK, currently 5p. Over 10,000 cars use it each day. Built in 1769 it replaced a ferry across the river and was sold in 2009 for just over a million pounds.
But our favourite of them is the Kelston Toll Road, which is a product of a local businessman’s entrepreneurial spirit and was opened following the long term closure of the A431 due to subsidence. It will only be operational until the end of 2014 when the repairs to the A431 are expected to be completed. A £2 toll will save you at least 20 minutes and the 15 mile diversion into Bath whilst the road is closed and has brought some welcome employement for the toll booth staff. A legthy retrospective planning application for the project has scuppered any chance of a profit, but the spirit has to be admired, even if the politics involved haven't.
Posted: November 05, 2014 by Global Administrator | with 0 comments
Global Administrator
About the Author

This article is written by: Global Administrator - Founder, ideas guy, IT specialist. Scott founded Rhinocarhire.com way back in 2007 and has steered the ship to where it is today, an award-winning car rental broker that has stood the test of time.

Chloe Demaret
Posted: November 05, 2014 by Chloe Demaret | with 0 comments
About the Author -

Travel writer, social media guru, Chloe keeps our readers and customers up to speed with all the car rental and travel trends on our blog. Favourite destination: Dubai.

Last updated: Wednesday, July 11, 2018
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