Public inquiry on doubling toll fee
A PUBLIC inquiry will be held in May over plans to double the fee charged to motorists crossing the Clifton Suspension Bridge.
The inquiry is to be held after the bridge's trustees proposal to increase the toll by 100 per cent from 50p to £1 were strongly opposed.
The scale of opposition to the plans has persuaded the Department for Transport to hold a hearing before it rules on the bid.
Protesters against the rise say the trust has not justified the price hike and it appears to have substantial funds in its reserves.
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The Clifton Suspension Bridge Trust has justified the price increase by explaining that the extra money is needed to meet an £8 million maintenance bill over the next ten years.
But opponents say roads in Clifton will become rat runs as motorists try to avoid the charge. They also fear a price hike will place increased pressure on already congested roads around the Portway, Anchor Road and Long Ashton bypass.
The trust said regular users will still get a discounted price with a pre-paid cash card.