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Totton and Eling Town Council to consider doubling £1 toll bridge charge

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THE cost for vehicles crossing the historic toll bridge at Eling could double to £2 under plans being considered by the town council.

Motorists are currently charged £1 per day for a return journey and motorcyclists 70p, at varying times seven days a week. Currently the charge is only payable by cash.

Town clerk Derek Biggs told the A&T there were "many issues" with the bridge and said the council was setting up a sub-group of members to look at the areas of concern.

Eling toll bridge currently costs £1 for motorists to cross
Eling toll bridge currently costs £1 for motorists to cross

The bridge at Eling Hill, which is owned by the town council, is thought to date back to before 1700.

The income helps to maintain the bridge and the adjacent historic mill as well as preventing it becoming a rat-run and damaging the crossing.

Mr Biggs said the issues surrounded the cost of the toll as well as the structure of the bridge itself and the two-tonne weight limit, which may need to be reviewed as vehicles were getting heavier.

He added: "It has been 20 years since the toll bridge cost had a review and in terms of inflation it bears no resemblance to what it should be.

"There are other issues to be examined so we will set up a task-and-finish group to look at the items and report back to the council."

As reported in the A&T, councillors agreed last April not to install an automated barrier at the toll and pledged not to make the staff who operate it redundant.

Concerns had been raised after the council said it was looking at ways to ensure everyone who used the bridge paid the toll.

A petition against the changes collected over 1,000 signatures.

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