A great tradition

Is toll collecting on the Swinford Bridge a quaint tradition or it is actually just a bloody nuisance?

A great tradition
28th April 2006 Jane Tomlinson

This blog was originally written in May 2006 – and I am no longer campaigning actively about the Swinford toll bridge. However my ‘Scrap the Toll’ website is still live here. It is intended to inform other people what I have already tried.


“Ah, the toll bridge”, I’ve heard some people say, “what about the tradition of it, the history? It would be a shame to lose it.”

As regular readers will know I am fascinated about history, and I’m all for respecting and preserving it where necessary. I’m not proposing to scrap the bridge, for goodness sake – I love it! It is a most elegant Georgian structure of glorious yellow stone. Just those silly tolls.

That old ‘tradition’ argument doesn’t wash. It was once a tradition to watch Grandstand on a Saturday afternoon and the Morecombe and Wise Show at Christmas. It was once tradition to bait bears, hunt foxes and burn witches. Tradition sometimes has its place and should may be worthy of respect, but that doesn’t mean it should get in the way of people getting on with their lives right now.

The British ability to adapt, be flexible, move on and assimilate new ideas is the very thing that makes us great.

For Swinford Toll Bridge times have changed. It’s now time to get rid of those silly tolls.

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