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A great tradition

“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 many of my regular readers know I am bonkers about history – especially prehistory – 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.

But 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. Recently those marvellous Routemaster buses were made redundant and also Concord was taken out of service – two classy pieces of engineering, I’m sure you’ll agree, but no long fit for purpose. When something is functionally outdated we look for something to replace it and remember the prototype fondly. Tradition has its place and should be respected 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. Please sign my online petition here. And why not ask another bridge user you know to sign it, too?

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