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Toll bridge up for sale

One of England’s few remaining privately owned bridges will be auctioned next month, offering canny investors the chance to pocket £190,000 a year - tax-free.

Around four million vehicles cross the Swinford Bridge, in Oxfordshire, every year, with cars paying five pence for the privilege and lorries shelling out 50p.

Residents say private ownership of the structure amounts to “highway robbery”, and have urged the council to buy the bridge and scrap all toll fees.

The property comes with a cottage and surrounding land. Surveyors put its estimated value at £1.65 million, describing the bridge as a “budget-beating investment”.

It has been free of income tax since the 18th century, when Parliament granted ownership of the bridge and its tolls to the Earl of Abingdon and “to his heirs and assignees for ever”.

 

Readers' comments (1)

  • M Seshagiri Rao

    If people having paying the dues for centuries, it is no highway robbery. Presumably, the owners have been maintaining the bridge in a good condition fit for the traffic. Instead of asking the Council to buy up the bridge and scrap the tolls, the Community should build another bridge giving the same service alongside and force the owners to go bankrupt

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