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Skye eye


Perhaps Mr Wilson (Letters last week) is not aware that the bridge to the Isle of Skye met with significant opposition when proposed, and was the subject of one of the Public Accounts Committee's most scathing reports following its construction.

Of course, the bridge is valued by many for reducing journey time between Skye and the mainland. However, readers may not be aware that the cost of the bridge to UK taxpayers was over £93M. Independent reports conclude that it should have cost only £15M to £25M to build. The difference is attributable to disastrous government experimentation with PFI and suggests that Mr Wadsworth's description of the bridge which caused such offence may be justified - certainly under this highly suspect procurement method.

Instead of 'unnecessary', my favoured description would be 'disgraceful misuse of public money'.

I don't personally know any residents of the Isle of Skye, but I understand that, as one of the poorest communities in Britain, they were subjected to the highest tolls per mile of road anywhere in the world.

I would suggest that after nine years of campaigning for removal of the tolls, which led to over 600 arrests, more than 350 prosecutions and planned appeals to the European Courts of Justice and Human Rights, the locals were not applauding the Scottish Executive too fervently when it finally removed the tolls.

Jason Hibbert (M), jason.hibbert@atkinsglobal. com

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