I recently got an email from Paul M from Witney who works in Oxford. Like thousands, he suffers the hell that is getting over the Swinford Toll Bridge every morning. I thought of Paul as I rode effortlessly past the traffic on my motorcycle yesterday morning, stuck in the impromptu car park that Eynsham had become after yet another death on A40.
Paul told me: “I am sick of paying for the privilege of sitting in a jam every day … Everybody who uses the bridge is of the same opinion – the toll needs to be stopped… until recently I felt that I was the only one going mad about this.”
No Paul, you’re not. You are one of thousands who sit silently, patiently, Britishly queuing to pay that stupid 5p. After yesterday’s disastrous waste of time, Paul goes on: “It is fair to say I was absolutely furious and I refused to pay when I went passed.” Good on you! He turned his frustrated fury into action. (I like that a lot.) He spoke to the Oxford Mail and Fox FM and got some print and broadcast coverage highlighting the daylight robbery that is the toll collection.
I’m hoping to speak to Paul very soon to see where we go with this next. It’s clear that talking to the politicians, no matter how well meaning they are, is not going to be enough to persuade them to act. Words alone will not solve this problem. Massive public support and a series of actions is going to be the only way to banish this 18th century anachronism.
If you were caught up in the queues, abhor antiquated laws, time wasting, do what you can right now and SIGN this petition! If you feel moved to join our struggle, email me and tell me or leave a comment here.