17 October 1995 - Skye Bridge Protests Start

Part two of the first day of the opening of the Skye Bridge.

At midnight, the tolls came into force. Two or three cars drove over from Kyleakin approached the Toll Plaza and refused to pay. they then stayed parked at the barrier.

By 0100 there were 30-35 cars all lined up at the toll booths refusing to pay. Alongside them were the Skye Pipe band who kept spirits high, despite the torrential rain and high winds. Everyone got absolutely soaked. There were some members of the press there, but they thinned out after an hour of rain :-)

The Police were there, but weren't bothered as long as nothing untoward happened, which it didn't. Talking to them personally, they also thought the levels of the tolls to be ridiculous. Some representatives met with officials of the Skye Bridge company, but they would not come out to talk to the people at the barrier.

By 0400 I was soaked right through and thought it was time to go. The other hardy soles intended staying the night. The police had said that they would give everyone 10 minutes to leave, or each driver & passenger in the cars would have their names taken and reported to the Procurator Fiscal. 30 minutes later, the Police still hadn't done anything.

At 0430, the Police told the protesters that if they did not leave within 30 minutes, they would be charged. So, at 0500, all protesters were charged with refusing to pay the toll and reported to the Procurator Fiscal.

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Copyright © Ray Shields, 1996.

Most recent revision, 15 February 1996.