using the toll bridge
The UK has a tradition of privately financed toll roads and bridges of at least 200 years. Many bridges were built by local people, to benefit their community, and long-distance roads or turnpikes were run by trusts. They were non-profit making, and tolls were charged to finance construction and maintenance. In the early 20th Century most roads ceased to be tolled; except for a handful of historic bridges – Whitney-on-Wye Toll Bridge being one of the eight remaining in private ownership. All the toll fees have been granted as being tax free in order to maintain and sustain Whitney Bridge in perpetuity for the benefit of the wider community. This means the entire toll fee of £1 for motor vehicles is used to maintain and manage Whitney Bridge with none going to national or local Government. Whitney Bridge does not receive any help financially from Hereford Council or His Majesty's National Government.
ACT OF PARLIAMENT
In 1774 an enabling Act of Parliament was passed in order for Whitney Bridge at Whitney-on-Wye to be built. The main feature of the Act is the right to charge a toll to cross the bridge. The Act also provides guidance as to how and why Whitney Bridge and Toll House were to be built. In 1780 and 1797 further Acts were passed with amendments to the 1774 which included guidance over design of build, toll charge frequency and Toll House variance. The final 1797 Act did not supersede the 1774 Act; it merely provided additional features.
The Act of 1797 makes provision as to how the tolls are to be operated:
The Act states that each vehicle crossing is to pay just once a day and can cross as many times between midnight to midnight.
The current automated system provides the driver with a non-transferable ticket for that vehicle only. That vehicle may pass through the barrier without further charge until 23:59 on that same day.
TERMS AND CONDITIONS
Use of the The Toll Bridge at Whitney-on-Wye can only be done so in accordance with The Whitney Toll Bridge Terms and Conditions. The Terms and Conditions cover any and all Toll Bridge users, be they; pedestrian, equine and riders, farm animals and drovers, cycle, motorcycle, motor vehicle of any description.
TOLL CHARGES (DAILY CROSSING)
All toll charge fee levels are set by Parliament and the Department of Transport .
These are the current agreed rates:
Payment is made immediately after crossing from the Clifford side of the Toll Bridge at the Automated Booth on the drivers side of the vehicle. Payment is required before crossing the Bridge from the Hereford / Brecon side. Payment is made at the Automated Booth on the drivers side just before the barrier.
Payment may also be made electronically, either with Chip & Pin, or by Contactless (card or electronic device).
The toll crossing is automated, with the machine accepting 10p, 20p, 50p, £1 & £2 coins. There is no facility to give change and once the value of at least £1 is entered, the barrier is raised.
A a non-transferrable Ticket Receipt is Issued
Once a payment has been received a printed receipt ticket is issued which drops in the tray underneath the touchscreen. Customers should retain this receipt ticket if they wish to cross again during the same day. Failure to retain a ticket will require a new purchase of a receipt ticket.
Passing the Barrier
Once a vehicle has passed through, the barrier automatically lowers.
Once a vehicle with a ticket receipt has passed through the barrier, all subsequent trips are not charged for that vehicle. To open the barrier a receipt ticket will need to be inserted face up in the slot 6 inches below the Chip and Pin device. Make sure the Barcode is facing upwards and closest to the machine. When inserted correctly the reader will beep. Remove the ticket and the barrier will open. Retain your ticket.
For those Toll Bridge Users who are frequent users we have two options to reduce your daily travel cost. We offer this service to members, residents and businesses from the local community.
BULK CROSSING TICKET (formerly known as tokens) with Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR)
For regular bridge users, Bulk Crossing Tickets are available to buy in advance. These Bulk Crossing Tickets can be bought on the Toll Booth Automated Machine that is on the Hereford side and from the screen that faces the Toll Bridge Cottage, not the one for drivers. Top up of a Bulk Crossing Ticket can done from any of the Toll Booth Machines.
When purchasing a Bulk Crossing Ticket you will need to enter the correct Vehicle Registration Plate details for the ANPR to work. Not entering or entering the wrong details will mean you will need to use your ticket manually. If you make a mistake you can correct it at the Toll Bridge Office during their opening hours.
Currently (as of 01 October 2023) For the last 5 years the price per crossing when purchasing in bulk is £0.60, the automated Toll Booth offers two types of Bulk Crossing Tickets
10 Crossings costs £6.00
25 Crossings costs £15.00
A Bulk Crossing Ticket will be issued from the Automate Toll Booth. You will need to keep this should you arrive and the ANPR fails to lift the barrier. Insert the tickets as per the instructions above.
Any additional vehicles using a Bulk Crossing Ticket that are not the registered vehicle will have one crossing deducted from the bulk and on presentation of the ticket can cross as many times they wish up until 23:59 on the same day.
SEASON PASSES with ANPR
As a benefit to local people and businesses that need to use Whitney Bridge daily, we issue money saving season tickets. Season tickets offer unlimited use for one vehicle for a specified period of time. Our season passes are issued within our fiscal year 06 APRIL to 05 APRIL. If your pass is issued after 06 APRIL the season pass will be charged at pro-rata rate for an annual pass. Or if a 6 monthly pass is issued after 08 Oct it will be charged at a pro-rata rate.
The current rates are as follows (as of 03 Oct 2023):
1st Vehicle 12 months £120
2nd and all subsequent vehicles 12 months £60
1st Vehicle 6 months £70
2nd and all subsequent vehicles 6 months £35
We appreciate in these times it can be difficult for some people to pay upfront. Please make contact with the firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss options.
ANPR and Vehicle pass
Each Vehicle is allocated a physical pass that is only for the use of that vehicle should the ANPR fail to read the number plate. Sharing this pass with other persons or vehicles is a breach of the Terms and Conditions and will see all passes revoked for the season pass holder. There will payment due for each and every crossing made on each pass.
There is no deposit payable for the pass card, but a £10 charge is payable for lost card replacement.
AUTHORISED SERVICE VEHICLES
Whitney Bridge allows free crossings for all Police vehicles, Fire engines, NHS Ambulances, Other official Emergency Service Vehicles. We also provide access for uniformed NHS district Staff with official NHS ID and for on duty and British Military vehicles.
Whilst the Toll Bridge and onramps are privately owned, they are covered by the Highways code as the B4350 connects to the A438. Therefore, Traffic lights and other Highway signage is enforced under the code. This includes obey Traffic light Signals, weight limits and speed signage.
Under the Act of Parliament 1797 as shown above, a fine of 20 shillings is payable for avoidance of payment of toll charges. In today’s money this is equates to in excess of £100.00.
The present level of fine has been set at £50 for any offence related to toll fee avoidance. This includes tail gating, passing daily tickets, interfering with Automated Booths, interference or forcing the barrier, using incorrect or foreign coins, and or pass card sharing. The fine will be issued to both the people passing on and those receiving.
All toll fees are used to maintain, insure and operate Whitney Toll Bridge – if fees are avoided and not paid, the sustainability of Whitney Toll Bridge is in jeopardy and could possibly lead to the closure of the Toll Bridge. This would then cause the local people and business community a serious problem in their day to day functions.
If the automatic barrier is broken to avoid payment of toll charge, the fine will be in addition to barrier repair costs which at present are approximately £349.
We have CCTV in operation images are stored and recorded in accordance with GDPR requirements for the safety and security of the Toll Bridge and adjoining premises. Since 2012 we have only had a few incidences of an intentional broken barrier and other equipment. This has then been pursued by the police with the CCTV evidence and successfully prosecuted.
Unfortunately, there are occasions when drivers cross Whitney Bridge from Hay-on-Wye without the means of payment. There are warning signs 4 miles, 1.5 miles and directly at the entrance to Whitney Bridge informing all drivers of the cost of the Toll crossing. We can now accept credit and debit card. If the driver has no means of payment we will agree for payment to be made within 24 hours to avoid delays for other Bridge users.
Whitney Bridge has a 7.5 tonnes weight limit.
There are fines for crossing Whitney Bridge in a vehicle over the weight limit.
Fines for vehicles breaching the overweight limits:
Fines are payable immediately on presentation of invoice
There is interest charged at £10 per day for late payment and will be added per day from day 5 after invoice date.
The fine fees from coaches and HGVs fund regular surveys/inspections of Whitney Bridge in order to manage the maintenance schedule and to pre-empt any long-term damage caused by overweight limit vehicles crossing. The fine is set at a level to be a deterrent in addition to cover survey costs and potential damage costs.
Ignoring the Speed Limit and Traffic signals
Whitney Bridge has a 5mph speed limit. It also operates sensor traffic lights.
As the main Whitney Bridge structure is made of greenheart and oak, the top boards, when wet, can be slippery, so speeding is extremely dangerous and could cause a driver to lose control of their vehicle.
This is of particular consideration as the bridge is also a carriage way for cyclists and pedestrians.
The fine for driving over the 5mph speed limit is £50. The fine for crossing a red light is £50
All the toll income goes to the maintenance and running costs of the Bridge. Please enjoy it!