TamarTag is the name of the Electronic Toll Collection system at the Tamar Bridge and Torpoint Ferry crossings. The system uses safe, secure and reliable communications technology to perform an electronic monetary transaction between a vehicle passing through one of the toll facility's and the toll operator. The Electronic Toll Collection system offers a more convenient way for frequent users to pay their tolls, speeds up transactions through toll lanes, and reduces the handling of cash for both the customer and operator. In addition the faster transaction time increases the throughput at the recently widened Bridge and facilitate the collection of tolls from the greater numbers of vehicles being carried by the new larger Torpoint Ferries. The new technology has also added extra capacity to the toll plaza by facilitating shared use of a 7th tolling lane (formerly the bus only lane).
The Tamar Bridge and Torpoint Ferry Joint Committee is a local government committee formed by five councillors from each of the two Joint Authorities, Plymouth City Council and Cornwall Council. A special coalition between these two authorities began in 1950, when together they began lobbying national government to fund and construct a bridge across the lower reaches of the Tamar to secure the prosperity of the region. In 1955, in the face of increasingly compelling justification for a bridge and continuing government inaction, the Joint Authorities took the initiative to go forward with the scheme as a local joint enterprise. The following year they jointly promoted a parliamentary bill which would allow compulsory purchase of land to build a bridge and subsequently charge tolls to repay construction costs and fund future operation.
The Joint Authorities also took the opportunity to acquire joint possession of the Torpoint Ferry, at the time owned solely by Cornwall County Council, putting the control of these two vital local crossings of the Tamar together under the control of one governing body. The Tamar Bridge and Torpoint Ferry Joint Committee was subsequently established by the passing of the first Tamar Bridge Act, which received Royal Assent on 27th July 1957. Since that time the Joint Committee has operated and maintained the two facilities, and has continued to invest in their improvement to meet changing demands.
The Tamar Bridge and Torpoint Ferry remain critical components of the region's transport infrastructure helping to safeguard the economic wellbeing of Plymouth and South East Cornwall.
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