21 November 1996 - Andy Gets Another Appeal!

Skye bridge protestor Andy Anderson could be back at the High Court in Edinburgh within a month of his last appearance there, bringing a fresh challenge to the legitimacy of the tolls.

Mr Anderson has already had an appeal to the High Court rejected. However, a sherrif in Dingwall gave him leave to appeal when he rejected Mr Anderson's challenge to the compentency of six new charges against him.

Mr Anderson immediately sought leave to appeal, and said that when he heard the case could come up to the court in Edinburgh in a weeks time that he would oppose any attempts to pressurise him to going into court before he was fully prepared. "I am not going to be put in the position where I wouldn't get a chance to prepare my case properly."

At a hearing in Dingwall earlier this month, Mr Andersons council, Ms Scott, challenged the competency of the charges and highlighted a section of the 1991 New Streets & Roads Works Act. In his ruling last Friday, Sherrif James Fraser said that the defence council had accepted that their argument had to clear two hurdles and continued: "The first was that the toll on the Skye Bridge was 'any rate, tax, impost, whatsoever'. The second was to establish that the complaint was the recovery of the tax".

On the first point, Ms Scott argued that the word toll clearly meant tax and on the second point said that although the wording of the section of the Act seemed to point against her she submitted that on the whole the Act was directed at the recovery of tolls.

However, in his conclusion, the sherrif said that the Crown's argument was plainly correct. He said "The contention that the toll is a tax is one of substance but the defence has to clear the second hurdle, and I expressly reserve my point of view on that point."

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Copyright © Ray Shields, 1996.

Most recent revision, 21 November 1996.