16 February 2008

The most expensive bridge in the country

Scroll down to the last entry on this blog and you'll see it details briefly the removal of toll charges on two bridges in Scotland, one of which - the Forth road bridge - the Prime Minister Gordon Brown uses to reach/leave his constituency. I placed an ending paragraph in true journalistic form, with the possibility for this free road bridge crossing to be extended to other areas of the UK, specifically the Humber Bridge in the LEYTR area.

How frustrating was it then that the Humber Bridge Board chose to wait a mere three days before announcing its decision to increase the toll for crossing the Bridge by 20p per car from £2.70 to £2.90 from 1 April, in line with its obligation to the DfT to raise tolls every two years?

The announcement of toll rises here is always met with very bad publicity. But never so bad as this announcement in light of the very public news of free bridge tolls in the PM's constituency.

Peter Hill, the Bridgemaster, has written to people who purchase books of tickets in advance and a copy of his letter has been posted on the Bridge's official website.

The group Humber Action Against Tolls are expected to contest the rise in toll fees, the irony here being that the Humber Bridge Board is required to pay for the Inquiry. There has only ever been one outcome, though a partial breakthrough was won by bus operator Stagecoach at the end of 2006 when it spearheaded a campaign to have the toll fee reduced for bus operators running registered bus and coach services.

There is currently an active petition on the 10 Downing Street website; ending 8 March 2008 the petition calls on the Prime Minister to stop the Humber Bridge's escalating tolls - the most expensive in the country.