The Tamar Bridge spans the River Tamar between Plymouth, Devon and Saltash in Cornwall – it also operates as a toll bridge for motorists who use it. Here we take a look at how much the toll costs, the hours it is operational and whether it applies at weekends, in the evening and during bank holidays such as Christmas Day.
Here is all the information you’ll need if visiting Cornwall via the A38, to help ensure you have the correct funds ready to pay the toll without causing a delay.
The Tamar Bridge - with the Royal Albert Bridge in the foreground - connects Devon to Cornwall. (Credit: Pixabay)
Where is the Tamar Bridge toll located?
The bridge carries the busy A38 and crosses from Devon to Cornwall. Tourists heading towards popular destinations such as Looe and surrounding towns on the southern coast of the county could well find they are directed on this route by their sat-nav devices.
What are the opening times of the bridge?
The bridge is open and the toll is charged 24 hours a day throughout the year - except Christmas Day when the toll charge is suspended - so you’ll be able to cross into Cornwall, or back into Devon whatever time of day you choose to travel.
Avoiding peak hours will help ensure you are not left in long queues as tourists pour into – and out of – Cornwall.
Tamar Bridge toll cost?
The following tolls apply to vehicles using the crossing when travelling eastbound from Saltash, Cornwall to Plymouth, Devon. There are no charges applied when crossing from Devon to Cornwall via the Tamar Bridge.
|Type of vehicle||Cash charge||TamarTag Charge|
|Cars / vans under 3.5 tonnes||£2.00||£1.30|
|Cars / vans under 3.5 tonnes with trailer||£4.00||£2.60|
|Trucks and vehicles with 2 axles and MGW over 3.5 tonnes||£4.90||£2.45|
|Trucks and vehicles with 2 axles and MGW over 3.5 tonnes with trailer||£9.80||£4.90|
|Trucks and vehicles with 3 axles and MGW over 3.5 tonnes||£8.00||£4.00|
|Trucks and vehicles with 3 axles and MGW over 3.5 tonnes with trailer||£16.00||£8.00|
|Trucks and vehicles with 4 and above axles and MGW over 3.5 tonnes||£11.00||£5.50|
|Trucks and vehicles with 4 and above axles and MGW over 3.5 tonnes with trailer||£22.00||£11.00|
Is the Tamar Bridge free to use at weekends or in evenings?
No. The Tamar Bridge crossing is not free at weekends or in the evening. Charges apply 24 hours a day on all days apart from Christmas Day.
Additionally, there is no off-peak period, such as late at night through to early morning before the rush-hour, where the tolls are charged at a reduced rate. The single toll - see above - is charged 24 hours a day.
Do I have to pay the Tamar Bridge toll at Easter?
Yes, you will need to pay the usual charge across the entire Easter holiday period - including Good Friday, Easter Sunday and Easter Monday.
Do I have to pay the toll both ways?
Unlike many toll bridges, roads, and tunnels, the Tamar Bridge toll is only paid in one direction – this is when drivers cross eastbound from Saltash in Cornwall into Plymouth, Devon. This means travellers heading into Cornwall won’t need to pay on their way in to the county, but they will need to do so when leaving.
How can I pay for the crossing?
Motorists using the Tamar Bridge can pay the toll using cash, credit card or tag – if they have an account. The booths are manned and change can be given for cash payments.
There is now a contactless payment pad for motorists who wish to use their debit or credit card. These are positioned at the pay booth.
Users can also apply for a Tamar Tag, to make payment smoother and automatic. The application forms can be found here.
Is the price of the Tamar Bridge toll going up?
Yes - and it already has for account holders. A consultation has been completed and an application has been made to the Department for Transport to increase toll charges on the Tamar Bridge.
For example car drivers who pay in cash will see the toll increase from £2.00 to £2.60 in January 2023, while account customers saw their discount cut to mean their previous payment of £1.00 going went up to £1.30 from May 2022.
Is the Tamar Bridge closed due to storms in 2022?
The Tamar Bridge has high-wind procedures that dictate what happens when strong winds hit the region. These can range from minor restrictions for some vehicles to the total closure of the bridge.
How busy is the Tamar Bridge Toll and will I be held up?
With the Tamar Bridge heavily affected by seasonal traffic - as tourists head to Cornwall in summer months, drivers can face delays at peak times. The bridge is used by more than 16 million vehicles each year and a busy weekend in summer could see over 50,000 cars and trucks using the crossing.
Is the Tamar Bridge to use on Christmas Day?
Yes - the Tamar Bridge is free to use eastbound (the only chargeable direction) on Christmas Day.
Do I need to pay if I have a Blue Badge?
Drivers with disabilities will need to apply for a Mobility Pass as a Blue Badge alone will not entitle the holder to discounted tolls on the bridge. Drivers can apply for a mobility pass here.
Do cyclists and motorcyclists have to pay to cross the Tamar Bridge?
No. The crossing is free for cyclists and those who are riding a motorcycle. The crossing is also free of charge for pedestrians using it.
Can I get live traffic information for the bridge?
The Tamar Bridge website publishes traffic updates to help you plan your trip, along with two webcams covering the approach to both sides of the bridge to allow a visual check of traffic conditions. Both the Tamar Bridge updates and webcams can be found here.
Contact the Tamar Bridge toll office
If you need to get in touch with the team at the Tamar Bridge, you can contact customer service by email at email@example.com or give them a ring on 01752 361577 during normal office hours.
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