A LEADING Member of the National Assembly has says the cash-only tolls on the Severn Crossings have "dragged on and on” because crossings operator and the UK government cannot reach an agreement.

Michael German AM questioned the First Minister about the delays in introducing debit and credit cards to pay for crossing the Severn. The First Minister agreed with the former Liberal Democrat leader that the “decision should have been made by now.”

Mr German asked why a feasibility study into the use of cards to pay tolls had not made its final recommendations. The First Minister said negotiations were still ongoing between the operator and the UK government over who would pay the bank charges for accepting card payments.

Mr German, who has been at the forefront of the campaign to end the cash-only tolls on the Severn Crossings said: “There is just delay after delay.

"After launching the campaign over a year ago we have succeeded in convincing the Welsh and UK governments to look into the issue. They commissioned a feasibility study which reported last October. Since then we’ve heard nothing, until today.”

It emerged that the move to accept cards was being delayed by the failure to agree who would pick up the tab for processing fees for cards.

Mr German added: “We have plenty of examples of operators accepting card payments like the M6 Toll and the London Congestion charge. Car parks routinely accept cards.

"It’s a mystery why the Severn Crossings and the UK government have such a difficult time getting card payments introduced.

"The cash only tolls only serve to act as a bar to the development of Wales and a barrier to visitors.”