National Alliance Against Tolls Scotland - Erskine Bridge Press Release Jan 2005

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Erskine Bridge Press Release Jan 2005 - "BRIDGE TOLL TAX"

Anti Tolls campaigners who last month celebrated the ending of the tolls on the Skye bridge are calling for the Erskine Bridge Tolls to be scrapped immediately.

They have been looking at the accounts for the Erskine Bridge and are shocked by what they reveal.

One reason given for the ending of the Tolls to Skye was the "discredited tolls regime", but in its own way the situation with the Erskine Bridge is as bad.

The bridge cost 11 million to build, but the various figures that have been published show that they have now collected 82 million in Tolls. Of which 20 million is currently lying in a bank account!

To add insult to injury, the cost of collecting the tolls since the bridge opened in 1971 is probably more than the cost of building the bridge.

Calls for the tolls to be scrapped have already been made by various MSPs, including Jackie Baillie, Trish Godman and Des McNulty. But all the minister, Nicol Stephen, has said is that Erskine and the other 2 remaining tolls in Scotland are "under review". The first stage of this review was supposed to be reported back to the Scottish Parliament last Autumn, but nothing has happened.

Alex Crawford for the National Alliance Against Tolls Scotland said:-

"All tolls are unfair to those who are affected by them, and don't make economic sense as an asset is underused while drivers avoid the tolls, if they can, and make longer journeys."

"In the case of the Erskine Bridge, the Tolls are just a blatant tax. Governments are always reluctant to let a tax go, but the Scottish Executive should relieve this unnecessary burden on the people of West Dunbartonshire and Renfrewshire without further delays."

"Ending the tolls will also reduce traffic on the other Clyde crossings."

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