A UK GOVERNMENT department says it is not proposing any changes to the use of tolls on the Severn Crossings – despite calls from the First Minister of Wales to the contrary.

On Monday Carwyn Jones called for charges on the Severn Crossings to be devolved to Wales and said he wanted to enter talks with the UK government on the issue.

But a spokesman for the Department for Transport said large quantities of debt remain outstanding at the end of the private concession – the agreement that allows a private company to maintain the structures and collect tolls on the bridges.

He added: “This has been the case since 1992 and the legislation is clear that the tolls can only be used for the purpose of paying the costs of building, maintaining and operating the bridge.

“We are not proposing any changes.”