Scepticism at Executive's pledge to remove bridge tolls is unsurprising

Alastair Dalton states (31 March) that the Scottish Executive's pledge to cut tolls has been greeted with scepticism. This is hardly surprising. The First Minister, Jack McConnell, in a massive U-turn, has decided that toll booths must be removed on the Tay Bridge to reduce congestion, but retained on the Forth Road Bridge as removing them would cause congestion.

This illogical stance can be made sense of when one considers that the SNP (pledged to remove all tolls) is stronger in Tayside than in the Labour heartlands of Fife. So Mr McConnell considers the tastiest electoral sweetener must be given to the area where his party is most at risk and he hopes the partial removal of tolls on the Forth Bridge will placate Fife Labourites.

I am disgusted that the party whose very existence is owed to low-paid workers continues to punish these people (and those on state benefit) to whom the 1 toll is a burden.

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I am convinced that the complete removal of tolls would not greatly affect the level of cars using the bridge as the better-off in society will not be persuaded to car-share by a 1 incentive.

TOM MINOGUE, Victoria Terrace, Dunfermline

Which government is going to do something about the Forth crossing issue and the rapidly increasing congestion which is gradually strangling this area to a dead stop?

A new crossing is needed now - not only for the sake of the immediately adjacent areas like Fife and Lothian, but also for the whole of eastern Scotland which uses this vital link.

Visiting other parts of Europe, and further afield, we see communication networks being constantly updated and improved, by forward-thinking nations; road, rail, sea and air travel is much more advanced in the rest of Europe than here. We need to get our ostrich-like heads out of the sand, face up to realities, use the resources at our disposal and be up and doing.

ANDREW HARMER, Pitfour Place, Kirkcaldy

The Green manifesto rejects a new Forth crossing (your report, 4 April). Surprisingly, it is missing an opportunity to improve public transport across the Forth. A tunnel could take trains and buses as well as cars, meaning rail transport could be expanded significantly. This option would not be possible with a road bridge.

Failure to plan now for a new Forth crossing risks the nightmare scenario that the existing road bridge might have to close to traffic before an alternative is in place.

SHEENA CLELAND, Lennie, nr Kirkliston, Midlothian