Scrapping Severn Tolls to bring ‘mass influx’ of commuters into Wales

The Severn bridge tolls. Picture: Stewart Black (CC BY 2.0)

Scrapping the Severn Tolls will lead to an influx of Bristolian commuters snapping up cheaper properties in south Wales.

That’s according to the Bristol Post, which has been advising its readers on Wales’ property hotspots.

According to the paper, there will be a “mass exodus” to  Wales “where, historically, homes are much cheaper”.

“Couple that with the scrapping of the tolls and there’s even more reason for Bristolians to jump ship,” the paper said.

“But you do get more for your money the further you go into Wales.”

According to the paper, housing developer Lovell Homes is targeting its latest development, Oakfield Grange near Cwmbran, at commuters to Bristol.

“It’s perfectly positioned for the M4, making it easy to get to Bristol and South West England, as well as to towns and cities across South Wales,” the housing developer is quoted as saying.

“On top of that, the location also offers the best of both of both town and country to enjoy. If you need a break from urban life, there’s plenty of green space on your doorstep or you can easily escape into the beautiful South Wales countryside.”

Speaking at the Conservative Conference in Manchester, the UK Government’s Welsh Secretary Alun Cairns said that the scrapping of the Severn Tolls was an “opportunity to bind the south-west and south Wales ever closer together”.

It would create “a new powerhouse” on the “western side of the UK,” he said.

Articles via Email

Get instant updates to your inbox

We do not moderate comments before they appear. The views expressed in the comments are those of our users and do not necessarily reflect the views of Nation. Cymru. Please read our community standards and participation guidelines before contributing.

newest oldest most voted
Notify of
John Young
Guest
John Young

We’ll be outnumbered by immigrants very soon at this rate.

Gareth
Guest
Gareth

You sound an awful lot like Nigel Farage!

Owain
Guest
Owain

Except the Welsh are a minority people trying desperately to keep their own language, identity and culture intact. The English are not.

Brian ap Francis
Guest
Brian ap Francis

Thank you Owain. I wish I could have put those words together myself. Succinct and so true.

Brian ap Francis
Guest
Brian ap Francis

Exactly. I would have thought that the average insular “We want a separate nation” luddites would fear this move as they want to preserve their precious country and language, not dilute it with those awful English people.

John
Guest
John

The Luddites were English, and if it was the English language that was in danger, they’d have something to squawk about.
I wonder if the scrapping of the Severn Tolls, will make much difference, to the White Flight from England.

Edeyrn
Guest
Edeyrn

Thats the way it goes…..you are evil wanting to consdier Wales a nation…….but an amazing lovely warm person for believing in the nationalist UK state

Edeyrn
Guest
Edeyrn

Luddites were pro-technology entrepreneurs…..but anti Slave conditions and low pay in massive mills….please get basic history right before calling them ignorant…..rather ironic

Melindwr
Guest
Melindwr

We’re all immigrants, Mr Young, it’s only the length of our tenure that identifies us.

John
Guest
John

And we, the Welsh, were here before the English invaded.

JD
Guest
JD

I’m not sure if it will to be honest. Many won’t want to put up with the Welsh health and education system. I know of one family who work in Cardiff but live in the Forest of Dean as they don’t want Welsh schooling.

It will also mean that the thousands of Welsh people who’ve moved to the Bristol area to work can come home. It’s one of the reasons why Ysgol Gymraeg y Ffin in Caldicot was opened.

Tailorboy
Guest
Tailorboy

I think you could well be right and it may be wishful thinking from the developers. I worked in Bristol and commuted there for years – the west of Bristol, Avonmouth etc is commutable, because the M49 is a pretty quiet stretch of road, but traffic to get anywhere else in Bristol is horrendous and I think journey times and the hassle will be too much for most to consider. Young people and people setting up families etc, will make decisions based on lifestyle and schooling. I think what the developers are doing is trying to maximise the appeal to… Read more »

Garmon
Guest
Garmon

More harmful English immigration into Wales. It’s the issue no-one wants to talk about. It’s alright to talk about limiting immigration to England and ‘integrating’ by learning English but as soon as you make the exact same case for Wales, you’re somehow an anti-English bigot. Go figure.

Dafis
Guest
Dafis

That’s how it’s always been with the English. Utterly irrational but common characteristic of Anglo-centric colonist, imperial mindset.

John Young
Guest
John Young

‘We’ll be outnumbered by immigrants very soon at this rate’. The statement was pretty stark and meant to be, especially as it’s a statement of fact. I read recently that, if the current influx of non-Welsh into Wales continues Welsh people will be in a minority in our own country within 70 years. There are already 600,000 English people living in Wales which is 20% of the population. My comment is nothing to do with the fact they are English, it’s to do with numbers. I’d say the same thing if it was 600,000 Romanians or Poles or whatever. I… Read more »

Claire
Guest
Claire

I am absolutely gobsmacked by the views on here. I started browsing this site thinking it looked like a good standard of journalism and was filling a gap in the market. But it is the most xenophobic bilge I have ever come across. The ‘immigrants’ from England are moving about within the UK as they are absolutely entitled to do. They do not bring with them a different culture. My Welsh husband and his children live the same lifetysle as me and my children. We watch the same TV, discuss the same political issues, eat the same food, shop in… Read more »

Dafis
Guest
Dafis

Claire, I stand corrected and apologise for that unintended slight. I would modify my remark to …. ” That’s how it’s always been with many of the English..” to make it clear that we are not talking about ALL of them. The rest can stand as there is ample evidence of this kind of negative supremacist outlook. You go on to say …”People making unpleasant comments ….., telling me that even if my Welsh became fluent (I’m learning and doing quite well on a conversational level) I would never be really included or could ever understand their culture.” That is… Read more »

John Young
Guest
John Young

Hallo Claire. Just for a bit of perspective, i’ve got no problems with English people. It’s simply down to the numbers. When myself and my wife (also Swansea born) decided to learn Welsh our first tutor was an English lady named Sheila who, like yourself, had learned Welsh. She was fantastic and everyone in the class loved her. My sister is married to an Englishman and they live in Hertford and my brother’s partner is English from Carlisle. They live in Llangennech. So, as I say i’ve got no problems with English people and have never done anything like you… Read more »

A Gog
Guest
A Gog

Perfectly put Garmon.

Gareth Rees
Guest
Gareth Rees

Yesterday the Western Daily Press [sister newspaper to the Western Mail], based in Bristol, produced a supplement in collaboration with Great Western Railway, ‘100 Great Westerners’ – ‘Celebrating the people who make our region great’. Ostensibly this was to mark ‘GWR’s upgrade to the line and its rolling stock’. Mike Norton, Trinity Mirror’s Editor-in-Chief for Bristol, Gloucestershire, Somerset and Dorset went on to say that the ‘100 great Westerners’ were ‘chosen by our readers’ and ‘all have made a significant contribution to the West Country’. He continued ‘In this special supplement…..we take a look at the lives – and fascinating… Read more »

daffy2012
Guest

There’s nothing wrong with people from one nation/culture/ethnicity etc to another. They usually enrich the area they move to and their effect are possitive. But this article talks of a ‘mass influx’ of people from an economically/culturally dominant nation to a much smaller neighbouring one. It is of course a wet dream for those of a Brit nationalist mind-set such as Alun Cairns and the commenter Brian ap Francis above. If causing local house prices to move out of the reach of locals is good, along with further cultural and possibly political effects, then this is to be applauded. Otherwise,… Read more »

Dafydd ap Gwilym
Guest

Nothing new there then. I think we have all know this for a very long time, well some of us. Purely and simple ethnic cleansing!

Capitalist and Welshnash
Guest
Capitalist and Welshnash

117 years after Hardie won Merthyr.

We still don’t have a conservative Welsh-centred voice who will openly fight against such things.

Dafis
Guest
Dafis

Nothing wrong with Hardie winning Merthyr. It was a victory of its time and was needed. Fact remains that it never yielded much in terms of progress mainly because most of the Labour M.P’s that entered the Commons later were just self seeking greedy little bastards with overwhelming growth of that type since 1979.

Edeyrn
Guest
Edeyrn

Keir Hardie believed in Welsh self-rule thankyou very much………….Hardie would have openly discussed all matters in Wales……dont tar him on your anti-socialist witchhunt (and I dislike state socialism as too authoritarian! )

Capitalist and Welshnash
Guest
Capitalist and Welshnash

‘would have’

Quite.

Oh dear me, the irony when peering upon Neil Kinnock’s career is obvious.

Edeyrn
Guest
Edeyrn

fair play with your civil comment……I just didnt feel it was right to smear keir hardie……he had a good heart…even if all human ideology ends up in the dustbin of history

Red Dragon Jim
Guest
Red Dragon Jim

Kier Hardie did campaign against foreigners, in Lanarkshire he led a campaign against Lithuanian workers, during which he published pretty crude comments about them.

However I don’t say this to tarnish him. He was a product of his time and conditions, and his later career included support for all kinds of liberation and internationalist causes.

Jason Hughes
Guest
Jason Hughes

There is the genuine risk to the Welsh property rental market. Hinkley point is earmarked for 5.000 temporary jobs but only 500 homes have been built. It is conceivable that many will car share and take advantage of cheaper lettings in Wales either saturating the market or forcing prices up or both. There is already a shortage of cheap affordable housing this will only increase the problem.

Edeyrn
Guest
Edeyrn

EVERYONE AVOIDS THE BIGGER QUESTION…………….just smearing everyone as “nasty purist fascists”…………the bigger question is….WHO IS MAKING MONEY FROM ALL THIS DEVELOPMENTS……………..it certainly isn’t us or the communities around us.

The same people applauding a UK immigrations system…..call others fascists for discussing immigration effects on Wales……….YOU CAN NOT MAKE THIS UP…..sheer hypocrisy rife in Britain today

Jonathan Edwards
Guest
Jonathan Edwards

“Scrapping Severn Tolls” – who believes that this will happen? CBI Wales campaigned for a cut. London makes a cut, throwing a bone to its base supporters. Was there a rational basis for this cut? The trouble with the Welsh economy is not the Severn Tolls, its the East Germany proportion of the economy which is State owned or funded. Or to put it the other way round, the lack of a vigorous private sector. Now that Wales is going to “own” the bridge, watch the Welsh Government act canny. They will keep the tolls, they need the money. And… Read more »

Red Dragon Jim
Guest
Red Dragon Jim

I don’t think this is correct. The bridges are going to be owned by the UK Government and they will abolish the tolls. Welsh Government ownership is Plaid’s view but obviously not supported by the unionist parties.

Andrew
Guest
Andrew

Perhaps more programs like valley cops should be made to put potential incommers off. Merthyr again portrayed as a town of in-breed mutant piglets on drugs.although i dont suppose many bristolians would venture that far north of the m4 corridor, those who are brave enough would be welcomed.

Robert Williams
Guest
Robert Williams

Garmon and John Young make the essential points here. It never ceases to surprise how much naive rejoicing there is about any improvements in facility of communication, as if this were always a benefit. These things always have to be considered in the setting of ‘Who – Whom’, as Marx put it – in other words, who is subject and who(m) object, or who wields power and who suffers it. No prizes for guessing who is who in this context. The remarks quored by Alun Cairns, Secretary of State ‘for’ Wales and MP for Bristol North-North West give the game… Read more »

Tudor Rees
Guest
Tudor Rees

Beth am y tagfeydd traffig at y M4?

michael williams
Guest
michael williams

This isnt ment to be racist. Juat observational. There has been an increase in colour diversity in cwmbran and other parts of the Vallies. I dont k ow if it is from Newport and Cardiff or Bristol. But there has been. The problem with Wales is we havent got trade coming from else where. Like a brisge connecting Wales to Island. It would be a boon for the west Wales aeea that would prosper the Welsh and the Language there due to money influx and prospects Time to start getting rid of out one way into england roads! And make… Read more »

T
Guest
T

I’m really sorry to hear Claire’s analysis, this site is not xenophobic, it is not anti English, the comments are just that comments, from people like me with too much time on their hands, don’t make the mistake of equating the comments with the site, and before judging these comments I suggest you look at the comments section on any article regarding Welsh culture, language or politics on any British media / newspaper site, then you will see xenophobia for real. Well done on learning Welsh, but if you don’t believe that there is a difference between English and Welsh… Read more »

Cymreigiwr
Guest
Cymreigiwr

Unfortunately, it’s impossible to hold this debate without people misinterpreting it – some of them wilfully, with an agenda. Approaching a quarter of the population comprised of migrants from a larger, economically much stronger nation with 20 times larger population inevitably poses genuine issues for Welsh identity and nationhood, and has to somehow be managed, if negative effects are to be minimised. Last week’s Telegraph pointed out that if current inmigration rates continue unabated, then the Welsh kids being born this year would become a minority in their own land before they reach 70: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/wales/10878554/Welsh-could-become-a-minority-in-Wales-as-English-set-sights-west.html In what other nation on… Read more »

Robert Williams
Guest
Robert Williams

May I add to my previous submission, written in some haste, about Alun Cairns and his Greater Severnside notions? That these notions are anathema has nothing to do with anti-English sentiment, it is simply – and obviously – the case that such a model turns turns Cardiff, and S-E Wales in general, away from any engagement with the rest of Wales. If Mr Cairns’ vision were achieved it would merely complete the picture of a tripartite Wales, the north dominated by Chester/Merseyside, the middle by Birmingham and the south by Bristol. So far the principal benefit of devolution has been… Read more »

Capitalist and Welshnash
Guest
Capitalist and Welshnash

Come now Mr. Williams. Does such a ‘vision’ benefit Alun Cairns’ career? Birmingham punching through the middle of Wales. No, that’s rather naïve. He merely wishes to preserve and entrench his position for any future pursuits allowing greater public stature, an admirable motive. He’s playing his cards well. Whether SE Wales’ being connected to Bristol inadvertently weakens Welsh identity has not entered his mind once. Such thoughts would be of no benefit to his position, and would be foolish to consider for any man in his shoes when pondering the path of one’s future strategies and positions of play. Do… Read more »

Petroc
Guest

The idea that Brynmawr and Abertileri are about to become Bristol suburbs is laughable, despite the beautiful green valleys they have become, however there are economic benefits for a tollfree M4. A few hundred extra residents in Chepstow might even allow the population growth needed to get a new Welsh medium school in the area.

Robert Williams
Guest
Robert Williams

I’m afraid I’ve read the response by Capitalist & Welsh Nash to my observations several times without being able to make sense of it. My fault no doubt – sorry.
As for Petroc’s contribution, it doesn’t seem very likely that newly arrived Bristolians are going to clamour for Welsh medium education. That really goes to the heart of this discussion, doesn’t it?

Cymreigiwr
Guest
Cymreigiwr

You might find Petroc is right, Robert. My wife ended up commuting over the border to the West Country for work for a couple of years. Many English colleagues seemed to completely accept Welsh medium education and bilingualism as the obvious choice if you live in Wales, whereas ex-colleagues in Newport seemed more likely to reject it and be prejudiced against it.

Edeyrn
Guest
Edeyrn

The Welsh language…went off a cliff face with the arrival of the railways…………yet in other countries their language remained strong………because the Welsh language was looked on as scummy………lets be honest cyfeillion….history is horrid to the weak lol

Cymreigiwr
Guest
Cymreigiwr

For the record, it wasn’t weakness that caused the decline of the Welsh language, it was a sustained campaign, over generations, of vilification, removal of status and punitive discrimination.

sianiflewog
Guest
sianiflewog

Re: Claire: Sais ydwyf, neu dyma beth mae pobl yn dweud amdana’ i: dwi’n byw yma ers lawer dydd. Dwi wedi dysgu’r iaith i ryw lefel.[ I’ve integrated and learnt the language, i hope] Sadly most english immigrants don’t (can’t?!!!) learn the language, and so they are having a horrific effect on our language. Also bringing a thatcherite ‘stuff you’ mentality with ’em. If all the famous Poles, Lithuanians etc that Niguel Ffiarrage raves on about insisted on speaking their languages to the detriment of indigenous english people, the englush would . . . . (i’ll leave you to fill… Read more »

Red Dragon Jim
Guest
Red Dragon Jim

If we have free movement with England, policies are going to cause behavioural effects. If commuters truly do move to Gwent and earn salaries in Bristol, half their tax will go to the Welsh Treasury, as I think it will be done on residency not workplace. Property values and GDP would go up. That’s not to say rising house prices are a good thing all around. Nor is it to argue that the weakening of Welsh identity in Gwent is a good thing. It is really frustrating to me, and if you have free movement with such a massive neighbour… Read more »

Edeyrn
Guest
Edeyrn

Im English born and bred with English born parents…and while yes Claire has a point about some xenophobia here that isnt beneficial to anyone…..I strongly disagree with her about “English culture and Wlsh culture are the same”…………they are only been made the same by forced UK policies forcing everyone to become clones……….forced to have the same TV, the same school cirriculum….the same scraping before the aristocracy and monarchy

I suggest she reads about the Welsh in the days of self rule…………….different world……………Hywel Dda is a legend to me – some of his laws are STILL much more progressive than English law

Edeyrn
Guest
Edeyrn

Celtic cultures were not English culture,,,,,,,they have been brutalised and squashed to become English – but time makes many forget

Edeyrn
Guest
Edeyrn

Claire says “people dont think about colonialism and imperialism anymore in England” – yet people still are imperialist in views………..and colonialism is still happening across most of the poor parts of the world, by corporations and large state bullying………….England and many parts of Britain and Northern Ireland can seem a very sheltered place….getting as bad as USA for ignorance