Sunday, 14 December 2008

Facts about the bridge

  • The bridge was opened 1769.
  • Paid for by the Earl of Abingdon, the bridge is made of local stone in the Georgian style to replace a pre-existing ferry.
  • It crosses the Thames between Eynsham and Farmoor on B4044 in west Oxfordshire.
  • Oxfordshire County Council estimates that 10,000 motor vehicles use the bridge every day.
  • The current toll is 5p for cars, 12p for single decker buses, 20p for double decker buses, 10p for vehicles towing caravans or trailers, and 10p an axle for lorries. The tolls were raised in 1994 from 2p for cars.
  • An Act of Parliament, An Act for building a Bridge cross the River Thames, from Swinford, in the County of Berks, to Eynsham, in the County of Oxford, 7 George III, c. 63. dated 1767 (Ref No HL/PO/PU/1/1767/7G3n22) allows the bridge owner to collect a toll. It prevents any other river crossing to be constructed for three miles in either direction.
  • The owners do not pay tax on the revenue they collect from the tolls, a perk granted by King George III in the Act of Parliament.
  • An online poll in 2006 on the Witney Gazette website showed that 87.5% of voters want the toll scrapped.
  • The bridge is in the constituency of David Cameron MP (Conservative), Leader of the Opposition.
  • The last time the bridge came up for sale in 1985 the Oxfordshire County Council failed to buy the bridge by acting too slowly.

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