The Cob, a man made causeway, which has carried travellers over the mouth of the Glaslyn River at Porthmadog for nearly 200 years, was nationalised by the Welsh Assembly last year.
Built by William Maddocks in 1811, the Cob and its round tollhouse are important landmarks on the A487 coast road. It is often the site of long queues in summer as motorists wait to pay the five pence toll. The toll was fixed by the Act of Parliament that authorised the original construction.
The Cob, which also carries a cycle path and the Ffestiniog light railway, was originally one of many privately owned toll roads in Wales. For most of its existence Maddocks and his descendants collected the profits, but 25 years ago a local group, the Rebecca Trust, purchased it, and have been distributing the money they raise to local charities. Now the Welsh Assembly has brought it.
Many people have welcomed the removal of the toll as the culmination of an historic struggle for free, i.e. tax-funded, roads.
iGreens prefer to regard it as the last gasp of a failed nationalisation
programme, which despite strangling Snowdonia in concrete, still leaves tourists
standing in queues and prevents locals going about their business.
Holiday road congestion is an inevitable result of
The toll is only partly to blame; congestion in Porthmadog causes
queues as well.
There are only two real alternatives.
Thank you to Gareth Lewis for belatedly alerting us to this news.
NOTE - those who visit the old toll house at the southern end of the causeway might be interested to know that one of the best British sites for finding fossil trilobites is only a mile or so away. Click here
Rebecca Trust was named after a gang of 19th century Welsh hooligans, the
Rebecca Rioters, who objected to paying turnpike tolls. Although they
had not built any roads themselves, they threatened toll keepers and
vandalised toll booths until the politicians of the day caved in,
expropriated the turnpike owners property and created free roads by fiat.
Some people still applaud what happened even as they complain at the pollution
that is a direct result of failing to respect private property.
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