SKAT has said that the survey provides clear evidence that the tolls are harming the tourist trade in the area and have challenged the Scottish Tourist Board to oppose the tolls.
The survey also highlighted the fact that motorists were concerned that they were in the queue at the toll booth before realising the extent of the charges, some being embarrassed to find they did not have sufficient cash to pay the charge. On the way back off Skye to the mainland, others were shocked to find they had to pay another £5.20, believing that the £5.20 that they paid on the way over was a return charge.
The survey was carried out on 25th July and 8th August by the Council's transport services staff. No advance warning had been given of the survey. On the 25th July, the survey showed that 117 vehicles of the 1,277 (9.2%) which approached the toll booth did a U turn.
On the 8th August questionnaires were offered to all drivers going across the bridge. The study indicated that the toll price was the main reason for turning back in 56 cases.
The most unusual reason for a U turn at the toll booth came from a visitor who had completely lost his bearings and was supposed to have been heading for Thurso!
Copyright © Ray Shields, 1996.
Most recent revision, 18 October 1996.