AS the opening of the new bridge gets closer, there is an increasing campaign to have the tolls stopped.

Last Monday, there was a public meeting held in Widnes by "Scrap Mersey Tolls" to consider what action should be taken.

There were nearly 100 people at the meeting making comments and suggestions.

The local politicians seem to be proud of what they have achieved but it would have been much better if they had just done nothing.

The many negative features of this scheme are unknown to 99% of the people in our area, and they have been unknowingly walking into a darker future.

One of the many points that was highlighted at the meeting was the effect of fines on those who for some reason do not pay the toll or are not recorded as paying.

It will be a gateway to paradise for the bailiffs but horrendous for many other people.

Like most of the negative features of this scheme it has not been publicly talked about.

The fines will not only affect local people, a lot of those fined will be stranger or tourists.

The experience of being chased for fines will mean that most will then avoid our area, increasing the damage that will be caused to the local economy by tolls.

We will be doing what we can over the coming months to oppose the tolls, but we urge everyone to contact their local councillors and MPs now to tell them "Scrap the tolls."

John McGoldrick, Mersey Tunnels Users Association.