Bridge operators were slammed this week for not introducing any extra staff to deal with lengthy tailbacks as traffic ground to a halt on the Skye Bridge. This was despite a hike in the level of the bridge toll for summer (£5.20 instead of the Winter rate of £4.30).
Anti-toll campaigners, SKAT, pointed out that although the fares on the former Kyle-Kyleakin ferry also rose during summer, these charges could at least be justified as the ferry operators had to take on extra staff as well as an additional ferry to cope with the increase of traffic.
A spokeswoman for the bridge company said that they employed 15 staff all year round and confirmed no extra staff were employed during summer. She claimed that despite extensive queues on both sides of the booth this week - at one stage the tailbacks reached through the centre of Kyle of Lochalsh, making waiting times of up to 45 minutes - the company were happy with the traffic flow at the bridge (unlike the poor souls who had to queue!).
Local Councillor, John Farquhar Munro, who got caught up in the traffic jam, said it was quite absurd to have only one toll booth when traffic was so heavy, but said there was no provision for extra employees to collect tolls at the booth anyway.
Copyright © Ray Shields, 1996.
Most recent revision, 20 August 1996.