Crossing the Itchen Bridge is about to get more expensive for motorists due to yet another toll increase coming into force at the weekend.

The 80p 'off-peak' charge will be officially scrapped from Saturday, February 10 meaning drivers of cars and small vans will pay £1 per crossing all day round.

For residents with a SmartCities account, the discounted charge of 30p will go up to 40p while HGV drivers will now be charged £40 instead of £25.

The increase, first revealed last November, has been described as "another attack on the motorist" by Conservative councillor, Jeremy Moulton.

But Southampton City Council says the toll is "essential" to manage the number of vehicles using the bridge and pay for its maintenance. 

Cllr Eamonn Keogh, Cabinet Member for Environment and Transport, said: “The decision to remove the off-peak charge for the Itchen Bridge is essential if we want to preserve this key highway asset for the future and it is the fairest way, given the considerable wear and tear that the bridge incurs on a daily basis.

“We fully appreciate that the Itchen Bridge is a key link between the communities of Southampton, and I encourage our residents to ensure that they are signed up to the SmartCities card to benefit from the residents’ concessionary toll.” 

Officially approved by Southampton City Council’s Cabinet last month, the hike was the second to be announced in less than a year.

It comes after the council confirmed the bridge will close for eight weeks in the summer for the most significant set of roadworks since it opened in 1977.

The works will include resurfacing, drainage improvements and the long-awaited installation of suicide prevention measures.

The bridge will be closed to vehicles only from July 15 to September 6.

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