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Last Updated: Wednesday, 7 November 2007, 16:43 GMT
In quotes: Bridge toll abolition
The Scottish Government's transport committee has voted to scrap tolls on the Forth and Tay bridges. Here is reaction to the move:

John McGoldrick, National Alliance Against Tolls (NAAT)

We are obviously very pleased that the committee is following the course that was already laid down by parliament when they unanimously agreed to the principle that the road tolls should be abolished.

In our view if there is any increase in traffic it will largely be off peak. We don't believe there will be a significant increase in peak period traffic.

We are hopeful that the tolls will be gone by Hogmanay.

John Letford, Dundee's Lord Provost

The city council, the Tay Road Bridge joint board and the local community were all in favour of the abolition of the tolls and this decision will be universally welcomed in the city.

Alison McInnes, Liberal Democrat transport spokeswoman

The SNP claims to be committed to tackling climate change, yet the first bill to be passed by their government will increase harmful emissions.

The committee has compelling evidence that a likely consequence of scrapping the tolls will be increased traffic and emissions. I am seriously concerned that the Scottish Government appears to have no measures in place to combat this rise.

The transport minister must bring forward plans to tackle these rising emissions as a matter of urgency.

Fife Council spokesman

This is good news as it ends the unfairness faced by people living and working and investing and running businesses in Fife which are at a disadvantage compared to those in the rest of Scotland.

However, we are also acutely aware that the decision must be balanced so as not to cause a detrimental effect on the environment through increased vehicle use, pollution and congestion.

To that end we await news and welcome any further national initiatives to encourage greater use of and greater provision of more sustainable travel for cross Forth journeys.

Transport Minister Stewart Stevenson

I welcome the views of committee. Their view that tolls should be abolished echo the view of the majority of the parliament who have voted to end tolls on both the Forth and Tay bridges.

This government has made clear that it is unfair and unacceptable that the two road bridges into and out of Fife are the only remaining toll bridges in Scotland.

We want all road bridges in Scotland to be free of tolls, ending years of injustice for the communities of Fife, Tayside and the Lothians.

Tony Martin, Forth Estuary Transport Authority (FETA)

The Forth Estuary Transport Authority welcomes moves to abolish bridge tolls on grounds of fairness.

However, there are valid concerns over the possible negative impact of removing tolls on traffic congestion and the environment, so we welcome the transport committee's recommendation that the Scottish Government invests in measures to help mitigate these unwelcome side-effects.

It's now over to the Scottish Government to end the uncertainty by providing a clear timescale for the abolition of tolls.

Liz Cameron, Scottish Chambers of Commerce

We are delighted to see the ending of a long term injustice by the reversion of the operation of these major river crossings to being part of the open road network so important to our connectivity in promoting Scotland's economy.

It is especially important if we are trying for policies which give equal opportunity to businesses regardless of location in our country to achieve this breakthrough.

It is vital that the Scottish Government maintain the income levels needed to keep these roads open and fully functional. The need for investment in public transport becomes crucial when the present scenario predicts 30% growth over the next 10 years in people movements.



SEE ALSO
MSPs support bridge tolls removal
07 Nov 07 |  Edinburgh, East and Fife
Concern over bridge staff morale
11 Sep 07 |  Edinburgh, East and Fife
Bill aims to scrap bridge tolls
04 Sep 07 |  Edinburgh, East and Fife
MSPs vote to scrap bridge tolls
31 May 07 |  Edinburgh, East and Fife
Union unease at bridge toll plans
30 May 07 |  Scotland
Salmond plans to end bridge tolls
23 May 07 |  Scotland
Party moves to scrap bridge tolls
30 Mar 07 |  Scotland

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