National Alliance Against Tolls - Press Release 26 February 2006 - Attack on Spin

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Press Release 26 February 2006 - Attack on Spin

Tom Minogue on behalf of the National Alliance Against Tolls Scotland, today issued this statement:-

"The authorities and their spin doctors are certainly doing a good job in pulling the wool over people's eyes on the question of tolls and the Forth Road bridge.

We have had tales of the bridge falling down, but it isn't, and there should be an Inquiry as to how this issue arose. Despite these reported concerns about the bridge and the rumours that FETA may be disbanded, the members of FETA decided on Friday to create extra jobs and increase pay for some of the staff, with the top job to get 95,500 a year - enough to pay for nearly 100,000 round trips across the bridge!

Traffic is reported to be increasing at a vast rate, but it isn't. The fact is that there were 100,000 less round trips over the bridge in 2005 than there were in 2003.

There have been promises that there will not be 4 tolls. Yet at the same time the Transport Minister has this last week persuaded MSPs to pass Road User Charging Regulations. He told MSPs that they had nothing to do with the Forth bridge. The MSPs accepted this extraordinary statement and then willingly gave the Minister the rope to hang the users of the Forth Road bridge with.

There has been boasting about the 40 million that the authorities are spending on the A8000 / M9 spur scheme. But not a word that this main artery is being paid for by users of the bridge. The Executive have said that they will make a contribution, but they have been a bit quiet on the fact that their contribution is conditional on Road User Charges being introduced. And very quiet on the fact that they want their contribution used to subsidise public transport,

There have even been promises and talk of a new bridge. Many Fifers would welcome a new bridge. But the chance of this ever getting off the drawing board are slim. Powerful anti road interests in Edinburgh don't want to see any increase in road capacity over the Forth. If they have their way any new bridge would probably be reserved for trams and horses and carts. This fantasy bridge would apparently be privately financed and tolled. Is there any Scot, who having seen what happened on Skye, would believe that the tolls would not be astronomic? The tolls would be so high, that no one would use it. The banks and their army of advisers would not get their profits, and the bridge would not be built.

Oh! And what is the reason for all this spin. Well they forgot to tell the people that the tolls are due to end on the 31st March. That is they are due to, but the Executive are expected to make an Order extending them. It seems that some MSPs think that they can stop this. But the Executive has the power to just ignore them. Will the Fife MSPs just accept this, or will they fight for Fifers?"

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