11 February 2008

Forth & Tay road bridge tolls scrapped

This morning at 0001hrs tolls on two of Scotlands major road bridges were scrapped. The Forth and Tay Road Bridges have seen the removal of pay booths and barriers and all traffic is permitted free crossing at all times. This comes after the Scottish Transport Minister, Stewart Stevenson, signed an order for the tolls to be removed after Royal Assent was given.

The Forth Estuary Transport Authority and Tay Road Bridge Joint Board remain responsible for managing their respective bridges and will receive funding directly from the Scottish Government. The Tay board will also receive a one-off grant of £14.8m to allow it to repay all outstanding loans.

Mr Stevenson said that when his party came to power they pledged to remove the tolls on the Forth and Tay Road Bridges and that it has taken them only 9 months to do so.

The tolls for cars stood as follows on their last day of implementation:

£1 Forth Road Bridge
80p Tay Road Bridge

33 of the 104 staff involved in the collection of toll fees for both bridges have been made redundant.

The Forth and Tay Road Bridges join two other Scottish road bridges who scrapped their tolls: the Skye Bridge in December 2004 and the Erskine Bridge in May 2006.

We in the LEYTR area hope that such positive action towards the removal of bridge tolls will be echoed in the single structure that keeps the LEYTR area together, the Humber Bridge. Residents here were paying yesterday's Forth Road Bridge toll fee in 1981 and it has risen steadily to £2.70 today though we understand that the first positive steps have been made towards either a 'toll holiday' or the possibility of the Bridge's entire £337 million debt being written off.