30/03/2012 Look North (East Yorkshire and Lincolnshire)


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Good evening and welcome to BBC Look North for a special programme


about the Humber Bridge. The headlines tonight... As tolls come


down the Chancellor tells BBC Look North it will be a multi million


pound boost to the local economy. This cut will boost the economy by


about �250 million. As the changes are made, who will benefit most?


We'll tell you what a survey for this programme suggests. Toll free


for four years - the lessons from Scotland about what the future


holds. The air those in Scotland who believes the Humber has much to


learn from their experience. -- there are those. And we'll look at


the controversial history of this much loved landmark. The sunniest


march on record across parts of the region, but it is about to end.


When the Humber Bridge opened it was supposed to bring together the


North and South banks of the river. But for the last three decades the


cost of crossing the bridge has been seen as a barrier to economic


growth. Now after a long campaign, this weekend will see the bridge


tolls finally come down, halved for cars and cuts for all. We're live


tonight from a boat on the Humber to find out what that could mean


for our economy. The Chancellor said exclusive interview said he


believes the boost to businesses will be �250 million. We


commissioned our own research which suggested an overwhelming 95% of


people think this community will benefit from the cuts. 500 people


were questioned. Most people said the main advantage would come from


and for commuters. More from our political Editor... As dawn breaks


over the Humber this has been the scene on countless mornings, with


commuters meeting at this car park to try to save money on tolls.


we meet every morning, share over the bridge which saves us about


�400 a year. Over the Mersey tunnel, then in Wales, it seemed to be


disproportionate here. Of the regular users questioned 55%


suggest they will use the bridge more frequently when the tolls are


reduced. In many ways, reducing the tolls is a gamble for the


government. It will cost �115 million in taxpayers' money. The


Chancellor believes the long-term impact on the regional economy will


be huge. The evidence we have is that this cut will boost the local


economy by around �250 million. So it is good for jobs, people looking


for work, they will be able to find it on the other side of the river


if they don't have in now. Kate uses the bridge most days to travel


from her home in north Lincolnshire to the north bank where she works


as a nail technician. It is a journey which costs and more than


�100 a month in bridge tolls. book is �54. There are 20 tickets


and a book. It will be so much better. I don't have to think I


really have so many people in today, I will not break-even, then have to


rearrange them. It will only be �3 a day instead of �6. Much better.


Asked who will benefit the most 53% said commuters. Compared with 17%


who believe the main beneficiaries will be those who use the bridge


for leisure activities such as concerts and sport. 10% believe


shoppers will benefit most. Recruitment consultants believe new


job market will open up on both sides of the Humber. The reduction


in the cost of the tolls will only appeal better to people looking for


work and they will be prepared to travel further for that opportunity.


Not everyone believes Lower Bridge tolls will bring widespread


economic benefits. Jim runs a job club for the unemployed in north


Lincolnshire. If you take the �15 a week reduction in paying the toll


back and forward each day that is more than being eaten up by the


rising cost in petrol and diesel. For people around the minimum wage


they will not really see a significant advantage. We have had


rising unemployment amongst young people, job losses, this will not


be a panacea. A a thing sometimes East Yorkshire has been forgotten


by government over the last couple of decades. I hope you will see a


real commitment to East Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire with the


Humber Bridge tolls, many politicians promise to cut them


before, we actually have. It seems the majority of people believe the


lower cost of crossing the Humber will reflect positively on the


economic outlook in this part of Well, with me now is businesman


Malcolm Scott who had had his own plan to buy the Bridge and bring


down tolls. Good evening. Are you disappointed you're not the man?


The idea was to remove the debt, reduce the tolls and have a radical


change in the government's structure of the bridge and all


those matters have been dealt with. In a way, you started the debate,


you pushed it. I hope so. I just took on board would have been done


before and many people from different places have been fighting


to remove the tolls totally and when that was not possible, to get


the best settlement. How happy are you with the solution we have?


concerned it is not sustainable as far as I can see it. There is a


future risk of the debt not being dealt with that properly. But what


a great weekend. You think we could go back to where we are again in


the future? We have to be so grateful. If we have bought one


year ago we would be standing here on this boat in front of the bridge


talking about the tolls coming down, it is a great day. Let's enjoy it!


George Osborne brings 250 million will be a boost to local businesses,


what impact do you think it will have? That is consistent with the


Buchanan study that said if they came down to �1 rather than one per


and 50 there would be 300 million a over the period. The major


beneficiaries are the individuals enjoying the social side of using


the bridge. Economics comes off the back of that. If you're an employee


now travelling across the bridge every day, it cost to roughly


�2,000 in gross income, that his heart. And haulage companies?


have come down for them by one third, which is encouraging but it


is unlikely to have an immediate impact. We need security that they


will not increase over time that gives businesses confidence to


invest in the region. Good news. Good to see you on board. Thank you.


Let's have a quick reminder now of why prices are coming down.


Historically the tolls have been high because of the large debt owed


by the bridge. The government has cut that debt by �150 million. That


leaves �182 million underwritten by the four local authorities around


the bridge. However, it's enough for a cut that will see cars pay


half, down to �1.50 per trip. Even better news for bikers - motorbikes


will now travel for free. And for the heaviest lorries it's a cut


from �20.30 to �12. Well, in Scotland they went one step further


and abolished all tolls for bridge crossings. It's been free since


2008. Again the argument was that scrapping tolls would boost the


economy. So four years on has it worked? Our Business Correspondent


Paul Murphy has been to the Forth Bridge near Edinburgh to find out.


It has a similarity to its Humber cousin, the bridge also divides two


distinct communities, urban Edinburgh from rural Fife. And it


has also fuelled decades of political debate. Businessman Alan


Russell lobbied to get tolls scrapped here four years ago but


now says even toll abolition has not created an economic miracle.


think we are talking about a small cost which is almost a token


contribution to the cost of running a bridge. Reduce that cost, or take


it away, then people are happy with that but does it change their


travel patterns? No. The comparison between the bridges will always be


difficult to make in terms of the cost of the tolls. It was only ever


�1 to cross here before the tolls were abolished completely but there


are those here who believe the Humber has much to learn from their


experience. Down the road at Edinburgh University I met a former


Yorkshire man who believes the economic benefits of reducing the


Humber Bridge toll are being greatly exaggerated. They will have


a marginal impact on the economic good performance of the area. If


you want to improve the economy of the area you have to look at the


constraints on the performance of that area and they are unlikely to


be bridged toll -- bridge tolls. It is likely to be structural changes,


the educational attainment of the training of the workforce,


workforce quality. But the experience here suggests people


have become more mobile, particularly for shopping and


leisure. On the banks of the 4th, Paul runs a seafood restaurant and


has views about the cutting of the tolls. I think it will encourage


people more to use the bridge and go further afield because it will


not be more expensive which in terms of the economy and the other


side of the bridge will have an impact. Four years on from the top


gutsier they say there is little evidence of net economic benefit


but spending within the existing economy is much more mobile and the


opportunity which comes from that freedom of movement is what the


Well, Paul Murphy is back from Scotland and he's at the Bridge now.


So from what you saw in Edinburgh who are the winners when tolls go


down? The obvious winners are the regular users. We worked out that


if you move back and forth every day of the week you save around


�500 a year as a motorist. Apart from that, there are discretionary


users who might travel more to restaurants and theatres on either


side of the Humber. Will it be used the regional economy? The


Chancellor certainly thinks so. That said, he is spending 150


million of taxpayers' money in reducing the tolls so it will be


extraordinary if he said anything else. -- would be extraordinary. On


Monday the local economic partnership is announcing


enterprise zones on both sides of the Humber offering huge tax breaks


to business. That is part of the big strategy here. The reduction is


not the silver bullet but when combined with other things going on


it is hoped they will collectively Contact us to let us know what you


think. What difference will toll We look forward to hearing from you.


Still to come: Take all the wire and a rapid end to end, that would


go around the world price. Are agreed to things you never knew


about the Humber Bridge. And we will have the weather later.


We have a treat tonight. A long- range forecast for April, and there


are big changes in store. Join me in a few minutes.


Let us get back to the studio for the rest of the news.


Anglian Water says the current drought affecting allah region is


the worst they have ever seen. The comments come after a two dry


winters which have left reservoirs at low levels. Last week fish had


to be moved from one river because of worries that be dry up. A


hosepipe ban is expected to come into effect on Thursday. Students


had been protesting about the decision to end A-level teaching


and some GCSEs at the Grimsby Institute. More than 70 pupils are


affected. The institute insists the change is in line with government


back games. Students mean they will have to move schools and the travel


costs will increase. It is five pts 70 per day return. A lot of people


come from places where there is no regular service bus. There is no


college bus, so it costs me �12 per day. It would not be possible for


me. 5,000 litres of engine oil has been dumped across three locations


in Lincolnshire. Three separate incidents took place across three


days. The oil was fined across -- near the A46.


And meat supplier says it has had a 10 % rise in sales over the past


year. The company supplies products to supermarkets across the country.


Although sales are up, the company says its profits are lower because


it has had to reduce prices. High street and Hull, North East


Lincolnshire, and West Lindsey are to have government cash spent on


them. The money is from the High Street Innovation Fund. It is aimed


at improving their shopping experience.


In sport Hull FC can top Super League tonight if results go their


way. First they have to defeat Bradford Bulls. They also have to


hope Warrington failed to beat St Helens.


Both are doing all K. -- both are doing OK. Nothing is one in Easter.


It is 1st September. It is not impossible to win the Super League


from outside the top two. Now back to the River Humber.


Thank you. We are on the Rebecca M. It is a


fantastic evening. The sun is just going down. This is the skipper. He


has been working hard for the last few hours. It has been quite an


ordeal. Let us have a look at what has happened behind the scenes.


Are floating studio arrived at lunchtime. All of the Ket had to be


loaded by hand. It is safety first, then we set sail. Tides on the


Humber admit that we needed an early start. It was then a pleasant


journey up the river. By 3pm we were in position. We were ready to


checkout the technical to make sure it all worked.


Although hard work is down to the technical team.


They have all done a fantastic job. Crossing the river has always been


an issue for as long as people have lived here. It took more than one


century of campaigning to actually get the bridge built. There was a


lot of rambling along the way. It has had its critics. Our reporter


looks back at the controversial history.


It was an engineering marvel when it was built, but bridging the


Humber has always been tangled up in money troubles and politics.


Before the bridge at two choices. The road round by Goole took a long


time. You could use the ferry, but people were fed up with that too.


The best way to cross the Humber is to slum it! From Victorian times


local businessmen and politicians push for something better, but the


money was not there. Bridge schemes, tunnel schemes, came and went, but


Hull was losing out. We were out on a limb. It was to


improve our communications. Abridge would be good for the area. The


Labour government could see it might be good report.


# Will they ever bridge a Humber? In 1966 transport minister Barbara


Castle announced Abridge would go ahead.


Some suspected help Labour win the seat.


In fact it took another five years before a Tory government agreed to


Geological problems, industrial disputes, strong winds, and


occasional accident all cause delays. 1970s inflation was soaring,


so also was the cost of the bridge. Not everyone was convinced it was


worth it. There is no advantage in using the bridge. This bridge goes


from nowhere to nowhere. It cost him nearly �90 million. There was


still pride when it opened, but also frustration. The job and the


bridge was as much about politics as it was about ferrying people


across the water. The debt was impossible. Everybody recognises,


but nobody did anything about it. 30 years of wrangling has finally


led to a new deal. Even with the tolls down as the bridge still have


Joining me now is the leader of Hull City Council, Stephen Brady.


Good evening. What do you think tonight? It is very choppy!


Coalition Government manage to do something that you did not do.


have made request of the years. The prices coming down. This is great.


This is a good thing. It is right for the area. How will it benefit


the region? If we cannot unite the leaders across the south and the


North! I thought you said you would not bring in politics! There is a


first for everything. Of course there is.


We want businesses working together for the interests of the region. We


will certainly go for it. Problems for this region could be on the


bridge. A of course they do. There are great opportunities coming in


that such as wind energy. The future for our region is bright.


bet you used to come across on the boat! There has never been girls!


One girl. My mother was evacuated here before the war. We have got


relatives across Humberside. As a family we have got connections on


the other side of the river. I have memories of when the Humber Bridge


opened. I was a shop steward at BP at the time. The Queen came to open


the bridge and saw the wonders of the chemical industry at the same


time. Despite his problems, and all the political wranglings, the


Humber Bridge is still a huge engineering achievement. It is an


iconic landmark. Here are some of the things that


make this bridge so great. What more do we need to know about


this landmark? I had been passed with the job of telling you as many


facts as they can in the time it takes to drive across the bridge.


Let us start with the fact that since it opened 158,770,658


vehicles have crossed the bridge. Plus one!


If an early ideas had gone ahead, it might have been a tunnel. That


was suggested as the best initial option. There was a short-lived


hover grasped service in the 1960s. First hour.


All of that wider end to end would go around the world price.


The top two towers are up slightly further apart than the other two


towers. The bridge used to be the longest single span suspension


bridge in the world. It lost that honour in 1997. It is now the 5th


longest. It does still hold the world record


for the greatest number of scooters in procession. 860 crossed in 2010.


The bridge has been immortalised in words. Philip Larkin wrote a poem


about it. North and south meet union manifest.


It also starred in the 1985 in Only Fools And Horses Christmas Special


and has had the fool top gear treatment. It is British design,


British Engineering. Just time to tell you that it takes two minutes


and 20 seconds to cross the bridge from their Hull toll booth to


Barton foreshore. It did for us anyway.


Things that you never knew. The wind is increasing now. The sun is


wind is increasing now. The sun is going down. Here is the weather: It


is a beautiful evening. We are coming to their end of an


exceptionally dry and sunny March. Climate patterns are now shifting.


April is looking very different. Much more unsettled. At times it


will be colder. There could be some decent rainfall for the first time


in a long time. Let us hope that happens because there are problems


across our region. April is looking very different indeed.


He's the sunshine on the foreshore. -- he's the sunshine.


Cloud will increase from the north- A damp and grey end to the night.


Saturday morning will be damp and overcast. The drizzle will die out


through the first have of the morning. From the north east there


should be a clearance coming in. A bright afternoon. Temperatures will


But is at 12 degrees Celsius drop. -- that is a 12 degrees Celsius


drop. Monday looks drive. Rainfall on


Tuesday. As it clears it could turn wintery. That is the forecast.


A reminder of our main stories. The Chancellor has told us that the


reduction on the tolls on the Humber Bridge will be worth �250


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