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Last Updated:  Friday, 28 March, 2003, 08:02 GMT
End of line for historic toll
Porthmadog Cob
The Cob road was widened last year
The familiar sight of queues of cars snaking along a north Wales coastal road in summer will become a thing of the past when an historic toll is abolished this weekend.

After nearly 200 years, the five pence toll on the Porthmadog Cob has come to an end.

The Welsh Assembly Government has bought the Cob and its round toll house from the Rebecca Trust, which has collected the fee from passing motorists for the past 25 years.

The last five pence will be handed over at 1500 GMT on Saturday after the news was announced by Minister for the Environment Sue Essex on Friday.

Travellers have paid to cross the structure since 1811 when it was built by William Maddocks.

Porthmadog Cob
Constructed by William Alexander Maddocks between 1808 and 1811
Formed on more than 5,000 of reclaimed land over the mouth of the Glaslyn river
Grade 2 listed structure
Ffestiniog narrow gauge railway line runs along the top
1.7km long
The Rebecca Trust was named after the famous 19th century tollgates rebellion

The towns of Porthmadog and Tremadog were named after him when the area developed into a busy shipping port for the international slate industry.

Now the Cob forms an integral part of the A487 route which links north and south west Wales.

The Rebecca Trust was set up by local trustees who wanted the money raised to be distributed among local charities.

Prior to the change of hands, the money was pocketed by Maddocks' descendants, who lived outside Wales.

Announcing the deal on Friday, Sue Essex said she was delighted the assembly government had been able to purchase the A487 Porthmadog Cob and toll house.

She said that, as well as reducing traffic congestion and improving road safety, the deal would enable the Rebecca Trust to continue making an annual gift to local charities.

View from the Cob
The views from the Cob are among Snowdonia's most dramatic

Maldwyn Lewis and Bryan Rees-Jones, founder members of the Rebecca Trust, welcomed the sale.

Mr Lewis said: "We are very happy that our original aspiration when we purchased the Cob 25 years ago - to close the Porthmadog Cob tollgate once and for all - has come to fruition.

"I'm also glad that local charities from Porthmadog and Penrhyndeudraeth will continue to receive the annual contribution they have enjoyed over the years from funds distributed by the Trust."

In March last year, the road was widened by 1.2m to make it easier for lorries and buses to pass each other.

Before that, the route was only 5.5m wide at its narrowest point, causing major congestion problems.

A footpath and cycleway were also created on the inland side of the Cob which form an important part of the national cycle route, Lôn Las Cymru.

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