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Repeal the Whitchurch Bridge Act 1988

Comment 13th July 2010

The Whitchurch Bridge Act was a private Act that has empowered a private company to collect tolls for  a bridge that divides a community in Oxfordshire / Berkshire, and then to use that money to build anothe bridge; the Act gives the company the right to a return on the value of the bridge. The company is not raising the money itself for the new bridge, just forcing up tolls to make everyone who crosses it now to pay for the new bridge. The more the bridge costs, the higher the return the company can claim it is entitled to. The company has the exclusive right to have a crossing here in perpetuity, is exempt from corporation and income tax, and has, and no doubt will continue claim  higher and higher values for the bridge, in turn generating the right to a higher profit every year.

Once the new bridge is built, the 1988 Act should be repealed, as should the original Act of 1792,  leaving the bridge as it is, but  free from tolls.

No compensation would be due to the company, as they have had their profits for 200 years, and the new bridge will not have been paid for by the company raising money from its shareholders, but by those people who have had to pay to cross the bridge over the last 22 years.

There can no justification for a tax free privilege granted at the time of the French Revolution to continue in perpetuity; when will it end ?

Both Acts should be repealed NOW

 

 

Why does this matter?

The existence of the toll bridge is inappropriate in itself, but the terms of the 1988 Act coupled with the rights and privileges of the 1792 Act are totally out of tune with modern society, modern rights and responsibilities. As such, it is a cause of grievance and disharmony, and, with the privilege rights available to only the owners of the bridge, tax free and in perpetuity, it is a matter that will have to be addressed at some point before the end of time. This is the one case that disproves the two certainties of death and taxes


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