THE charges to cross the Whitney-on-Wye toll bridge are increasing for the first time in 18 years.

The tariffs, which contribute towards maintaining the bridge, are required to be increased due to the combined effects of 18 years of inflation.

The charges will rise from 50p to 80p for a car with free return crossings and other categories are pro-rata except low emission vehicles. Period tickets will only be increased slightly, and a new three month ticket will be introduced for seasonal users.

Anyone wishing to receive a schedule of the full tariff, or to make objections, is asked to state their reasons along with a stamped addressed envelope to: The Bridge Tariff Review, Whitney-on-Wye Toll Bridge, Whitney, HR3 6EW.

The closing date is June 15, 2007 and increases will not be applied earlier than July 1, 2007.