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1769 Swinford UK toll bridge sold for $1.8m (1.08m pounds)


See 1769 Swinford UK toll bridge sold for $1.8m (1.08m pounds)

This is an interesting situation:

--- Quote ---But the bridge's legal setting is an embodiment of English Eccentricity. On the plus side of the eccentricity its revenues are exempt from taxation of all kinds.


On the negative side of English eccentricity the state controls toll rates and they are presently five pence (8 cents) for cars, 10p (17c) per axle for 'lorries' (trucks).
--- End quote ---

J N Winkler:
I love how he talks about "English Eccentricity" in initial caps, as if it were a name-brand product.

The Guardian (one of the "Big Four" of London-based British daily newspapers which are not "red-top" tabloids) has more detail:

I am actually a little surprised the winning bid was as low as it was--there was a lot of buzz about this sale because of the tax-exempt status, which is considered valuable since the British government is trying to crack down on offshoring of income in order to avoid taxes.  (For instance, there is apparently to be a 50% tax on corporate bonuses which is designed to be unevadable since it will be collected at source, i.e. before there has been time to move the money to the Channel Islands or elsewhere.)

Toll bridges on minor roads in Britain are considered an anomaly and a concerted effort was made to buy them out in the 1910's and 1920's, but a few escaped and are still in business.  The "big players" in the toll bridge business in Britain are almost all estuarial crossings built in the 1960's or later when government policy allowed the use of tolls for major crossings.  Examples include suspension or cable-stayed bridges like the Humber Bridge, both Severn crossings, and the QE II bridge, as well as subaqueous tunnels like the Dartford tunnel.  The major exceptions are crossings like the Mersey and Tyne tunnels, which were built before 1960 under their own acts of Parliament.


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