Today’s lifting of the tolls on the Severn Bridge provides the Forest of Dean with an unequalled opportunity to expand its businesses.
The Forest is now not only a key gateway between our regions but with the close links being developed with South Wales - nations as well.
For too long, the Forest has been seen as something of an island in Gloucestershire, right on the Welsh border and often ignored.
That hackneyed opinion is certainly not my view now having edited newspapers in the region for the last 16 years.
The Forest is now ready for take-off as far as the development of new business is concerned and the expansion of the great companies already with a home there.
The tolls are quite simply a catalyst for this change to make the Forest very much open for business.
There is a great, skilled workforce in the Forest working for companies like Suntory, JD Norman, Simplicity and Severn and Wye.
So, what is making the difference in the Forest?
The politicians here - so often I am afraid in the past seen as argumentative and obstructional to change - have seen the light.
The invigorated Forest Economic Partnership has developed really good plans to energise the area to attract new business investment and make the most of the Forest’s brilliant environment and tourism potential.
Today is a day of great change for the Forest of Dean and it must be grasped quickly.
Ding, dong the tolls are dead but the Forest is very much alive and kicking.