The controversial tolls on the Skye Bridge have been removed.
First Minister Jack McConnell and Liberal Democrat Transport Minister Nicol Stephen visited Kyleakin on 21st December 2004 and confirmed the immediate removal of the tolls, bringing a nine year campaign to an end. Since 1995 the Skye Bridge has charged the highest tolls in Europe - £11.40 for a return car journey that takes less than 2 minutes each way. The cost of buying out the tolls was £27 million.
Campaigners have incurred criminal charges and custodial sentences in their efforts to remove the tolls. Campaigning will continue to remove these criminal convictions. It is hoped that the 21 people who will lose their jobs as a result will soon gain employment with the likely prospect of a significant boost to the economy.
Fisherman William Easingwood from Dunbar became the first driver legally to cross the bridge without paying since it opened.
UPDATE 24 Mar 2005: Skye Bridge sees increase in traffic - click here.