7Q News Updates
Labour and Tories both promise to scrap tolls on Severn Bridge
Theresa May’s Conservatives have pledged to scrap the tolls on the Severn Crossings linking Bristol to Wales if they win the General Election.
The Prime Minister said the move – which the Tories predict will bring a £100 million boost to the local economy – will happen as soon as next year when Highways England takes over responsibility for the bridges from Severn Crossings PLC.
The policy announcement came on the day Labour unveiled their manifesto, which also pledged to "work with the Welsh government" to scrap tolls on the two crossings.
Labour's long-held Bristol East is thought to be viewed as a Tory target in this election, given the popularity of Mrs May and the collapse of UKIP's vote since the referendum.
The Severn Crossings are key routes, especially for those living in South Wales and commuting regularly to Bristol for work and leisure.
The price charged on a car or van using the crossings is £6.70 a time, but rises to £13.40 for minibuses with up to 17, double-cab pick-ups or lorries under 3,500kg.
Buses with 18 seats or more, and heavy goods vehicles weighing over 3,500kg pay £20 for every crossing.
There are heavily discounted seasonal electronic tags available for purchase, however. For example, a month-long pass for a car driver is the equivalent of taking 18 individual trips across the bridges.
Mrs May, who is due to formally make the announcement later today, is expected to say: “I want to ensure that our economic progress is shared across the United Kingdom.
“By abolishing tolls for 25 million annual journeys between two nations we will strengthen the links between communities.
“This will drive economic growth right across the country helping key economic centres in Cardiff, Bath, Bristol and Newport,” the Tory leader will say.
“By significantly reducing the cost of doing business between Wales and England, the Conservatives continue to deliver on improving the economic prospects of ordinary working people.”
A spokesman for the Tories said the move was backed by commuters and communities on both sides of the crossings during a public consultation that closed in March.
“For the past 50 years, tolls of up to £20 have been levied on vehicles crossing the Severn but a future Conservative government will scrap them for millions of drivers who use the bridges every year,” said the spokeswoman.
She said the decision would “bind together two economic areas in Wales and England, supporting the Union, whilst sharing prosperity right across the United Kingdom”.
Secretary of State for Wales, Alun Cairns, is expected to add: “Scrapping the Severn Crossing tolls is an example of the Conservatives of taking the big decisions when they’re the right decisions, in doing so, transforming the joint economic prospects of South Wales and the South West of England.
“Drivers using this key artery between two nations, en route to London, will benefit from a £100m boost to the local area.”
Stunning Views Await
Pictures taken from the 7Q development site show some of the stunning views that await owners of these luxurious contemporary apartments.
With with floor to ceiling windows allowing the extensive natural light in and some quite exceptional balcony and terrace space they are perfect for summer entertaining or creating a garden in the sky.
Whether enjoying a coffee while the sun rises or a glass of wine as the sun sets, 7Q offers luxury living with an incredible backdrop.
And with Chepstow's great transport connections allowing easy commuting to many major cities, 7Q couldn't be better placed.
Severn Bridge Toll Reduction Pledge Boosts House Prices
Estate agents in South Monmouthshire claim about 80% of home buyers are now coming from the Bristol area ready for the halving of the Severn bridge tolls.
As a result, property prices have been rising quicker than the Wales average as Bristol commuters seek new homes, figures have suggested.
The UK government said it would halve bridge tolls in 2018. The cost for cars went up to £6.70 on New Year’s Day.
“House prices in Bristol are off the scale,” said agent Charles Heaven.
“People know the tolls are coming down next year and hoping to get a bargain.”
The bridge tolls will drop when they return to public ownership next year and all assembly parties and local Welsh councils want tolls scrapped altogether.
Bristol is the UK’s fastest growing economy outside of London and its house prices are the fastest growing in the UK as South Monmouthshire establishes itself as part of Bristol’s commuter belt.
House prices have risen about 10% over five years in the South Monmouthshire postcode areas of Chepstow, Caldicot and Magor, in comparison to Zoopla’s 2% Wales average.
But in Bristol, just the other side of the River Severn, property prices have risen 37% and Mr Heaven said south east Wales’ favourable prices and lower rates are proving attractive to house buyers.
“Eighty per cent of people buying houses in Monmouthshire from me are coming from Bristol,” said Mr Heaven, the owner of Crown Estate Agents on Chepstow High Street.
“Houses are in huge demand. In fact, there aren’t enough houses. Property is being snapped up within days, sometimes hours and prices are flying up.”
“With the railway electrification of the south Wales mainline, the planned south Wales Metro, the proposed M4 Relief Road around Newport, coupled with the beautiful countryside of South Monmouthshire and the Wye Valley, this is desirable place to live.”
Two big housing developments are planned at Chepstow’s old dockyard and near its hospital while a new estate is heading for Undy, bordering the M4 motorway near Magor.
Severn Tunnel Junction railway station in Rogiet, between Caldicot and Magor, has recently undergone an £8m refurbishment while a new train station at Magor has the backing of Monmouthshire council and is part of the new South Wales Metro proposal.
Nathan Reeks, owner of Nathan James Estate Agents in Caldicot and Magor, explained why south Monmouthshire is becoming attractive for commuters from Bristol.
“We recently had a couple from Bristol who bought a property in Rogiet near Severn Tunnel Junction station,” said Mr Reekes.
“They bought a four-bedroom detached house with detached garage for about £295,000, after selling their three-bedroom mid-terrace in Bristol for £390,000.”
“So they made almost £100,000 on a bigger house and the new owner can get to his work in Patchway on the outskirts of Bristol quicker from Severn Tunnel Junction than from when he lived in Bristol.”
“That’s typical of our business in the last six months as since the government was announced they are reducing the bridge tolls, 80% of my buyers have come from over the Severn Bridge.”
“The accessibility for Bristol, the Midlands, the South West, South Wales, London and Heathrow Airport is all the more desirable as South Monmouthshire offers a semi-rural location with a stunning backdrop.”
“It’s a great place to bring up children and with a new comprehensive school opening soon in Caldicot, the Monmouthshire market is very strong.”
New Marketing Suite
The 7Q Marketing Suite has moved to make way for Phase II of this exciting new development.
It’s new home is at Picton House in Lower Church Street, Chepstow, just a short distance from the original location. The top floor of Picton House has been converted into a show apartment allowing visitors to touch and feel the quality of these incredible properties.
Parking is available opposite at the Drill Hall car park. For the full address and directions, please see the Contact page.
Phase II Begins
Due to rise up from the riverbank, the second phase of this extraordinary development is underway.
This phase will consist of stunning apartments, duplexes and top floor penthouses located in a prime position overlooking the River Wye. Many feature exceptional terrace space, floor to ceiling windows and the corner plots have wrap-around balconies to maximise the far-reaching views.