Page last updated at 15:27 GMT, Thursday, 3 December 2009

Toll bridge bought for over 1m

swinford toll traffic
Traffic at the toll can be very heavy in the rush hour

A toll bridge in Oxfordshire used by nearly four million vehicles a year, has fetched £1.08m at auction.

The Swinford toll bridge was built across the River Thames at Eynsham in 1767 and is governed by its own Act of Parliament.

The buyer also gets a stone cottage. Car drivers using the bridge to get to Oxford pay 5p and lorry drivers 50p.

But some people living in the area want the charge scrapped saying it adds to rush hour delays and congestion.

The bridge, in David Cameron's constituency, enjoys tax-free status following an 1767 Act of Parliament.

This granted private ownership of the bridge and its tolls to the Earl of Abingdon and "to his heirs and assignees for ever".

The buyer will be exempt from paying income tax, capital gains tax, inheritance tax or VAT on the bridge because of the Act.

The estimated gross annual income for the new owner is about £195,000.


Toll bridge bought for over 1m

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