The bridge between Kyle of Lochalsh on the mainland and Kyleakin on the Isle of Skye finally opens this coming Monday.
The last ferry between Kyle and Kyleakin will be at 1500 on Monday. The Caledonian Macbrayne Users Consultative Committee have arranged a public meeting to discuss the withdrawal of the ferries - to be held two weeks after the last ferry!!
The Skye and Lochalsh Council will be boycotting the bridge opening (to be carried out by the Scottish Secretary) due to the imposition of high tolls.
In summer, cars will cost £5.40, in Winter, £4.20, each way. You can also buy a book of 10 tickets for £24.40. The bridge company are allowed to increase the bridge fees each year by the rate of inflation. They are also allowed to increase the tolls even more if the amount of traffic falls below a pre-determined level (not sure what that is at the moment, but it is based on ferry traffic over the last few years).
There will be a bus that runs from slipway to slipway between 0530 to 2300. Cost is 55p a journey, or £5.50 for a book of 50 tickets. This seems very reasonable, but this is because the bus service is subsidised by the Regional Council at least for the first year. The bus will have NO special facilities for disabled, elderly or pushchairs.
Also, although you can walk across the bridge, there will be no streetlighting of any kind anywhere across the bridge to reduce light pollution. This will make it very hazardous for anyone walking across during Winter.
We're all hoping that the bad weather that we got the other day will come back on Monday and that the bridge will get shut due to high winds!
Copyright © Ray Shields, 1996.
Most recent revision, 15 February 1996.