20 February 1997 - Bridge U Turns Lets Drivers Off

Skye residents have been using new tactics to save having to pay the horrendous toll charges on the Skye Bridge. With the toll barriers located on the mainland side, drivers have been regularly crossing the bridge, stopping before the toll barrier and picking up/dropping off their passengers before doing a U turn and returning to the Island - all without paying a penny.

At Dingwall Sherrif Court this week, bridge manager Russell Thompson said he was powerless to do anything about it "There's no way I can drop everything and go chasing up the road after them demanding toll money - I don't even know if I am legally entitled to demand payment for a U turn even though they had crossed the Bridge."

The Sherrif found several protestors Not Guilty of refusing to pay the toll, "You have raised sufficient doubt in my mind for me to find you not guilty."

Another protestor, retired art teacher Ian Willoughby from Uig on Skye, was aquitted when the Sherrif accepted he had not actually passed through the toll barrier, although he and his wife did take part in a protest that day. Police said that they had seen the couple go through the barrier. However Sherrif Booker-Millburn said he did not think the couple were telling lies; nor were the police, who were simply mistaken. He fined Mr. Willoughby 30 on the third charge, however.

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Copyright © Ray Shields, 1997.

Most recent revision, 20 February 1997.