The Humber Bridge Act of 1959 set up the Humber Bridge Board. This was set up to construct, operate, maintain and administer the bridge but until 1971 due to many circumstances it wasn't able to proceed with any plans at all.
The Humber Bridge membership consists of 22 members taken from the councils responsible for the repair and maintenace of the bridge.
|One (1)||Lincolnshire County Council|
|Five (5)||North Lincolnshire Council|
|Four (4)||East Riding of Yorkshire Council|
|Twelve (12)||Kingston upon Hull City Council|
|The Humber Bridge Act.||1959|
|Government Decision to build Bridge.||April 1969|
|Loan agreed by Government.
Start of detailed design.
|Work started on the southern approach road.||July 1972|
|Started work on sub-structure.||March 1973|
|Started work on super-structure.||April 1973|
|Completed work on North Tower.||May 1974|
|Completed work on South Tower.||July 1976|
|Began spinning of cable.||Sept 1977|
|Completed cable spinning.||July 1979|
|First box erected.||October 1979|
|Last box erected.||July 1980|
|Bridge opened to traffic.||24th June 1981|
|Official opening by H.M. The Queen.||17th July 1981|
The Bridge Construction was funded by way of government loans, which was to be repaid out of the Toll income, and the Humber Bridge Board having powers to fund any deficit from rate precepts. Technical difficulties, problems with the labour force and unusually bad weather led to the construction taking nine (9) years instead of the proposed five (5) years, couple this with high rate of price inflation during this time, these were the main reasons for the increase in cost. When the bridge opened to traffic in 1981 the operating costs left too little surplus to cover the cost of the mounting interest charges and the debt grew year by year. In the period of 1992 to 1998 the government made annual grants to the Board so the debt would not increase. In 1998 and agreement was made between the government and the Board, were all monies owed was consolidated into a single loan with a reduced interest rate. Some of the debt was written off and some of it had the interest suspended. At the present rate it should be fully paid off within a period of 40 years from 1998, and with no need for using the rate precepts.
The bridge and approach roads cost a total of £98m but by the time the bridge opened to traffic it had risen to £151m as a result of the interest charges which occurred
during the construction period.
(The original estimated costs for construction were £28m ) By 1982 the debt was £164.6m, and 1992 it had increased to £439.3m.
It was pegged at £435m during the period 1992-1998. After the restructure of the Boards finances in 1998 the debt in 2009 was £350m.
Over the last couple of years the Bridge Board has applied to the Department for Transport for toll increases, the last one being refused in 2009, but after a three-day public inquiry in March 2011 government approval was given, and the go-ahead has been given to increase the Humber Bridge toll by 30p. The board said, at the inquiry in March 2011, that if the increase was not approved it would be £2.2m short on repayments that year.
By 2012 the debt had fallen to £332m due mainly to some very considerable grants received from the Government during that period.
In March 2012 the Government came to an agreement with the Bridge Board to write off a further £150m of the debt, reducing it to £182m, and to set a fixed interest rate of 4.25% for the rest of the life of the loan, the Bridge Board including the four local authorities agreed to -
(1) A reduction in the toll for cars from £3.00 to £1.50 and significant reductions in the tolls for the other classes of vehicle.
(2) A radical reform of the Bridge Board to bring in new expertise and give it a sharper commercial focus, so that costs are controlled and opportunities to bring in new revenue are seized.
(3) The local authorities taking on full responsibility for the remaining lower level of debt, and sharing it out much more broadly and realistically between them.
Since the agreement of improvements to the running of the bridge there has been the introduction from early November 2015, the paying of your toll automatically without stopping at a booth by using a special electronic HumberTAG, which will be linked to your online account.