The removal of the Kelston Toll Road and the reinstatement of two fields it crossed has begun this morning, with the restoration work being donated by the original builders of the road.
The works will be carried out by R M Penny of Ston Easton, the original builders of the road, completely free of charge in an effort to help reduce the losses incurred by the operating company, Kelston Toll Road Limited, due to the reopening of the A431 on 17th November 2014.
Mike Watts, spokesperson and director for Kelston Toll Road Limited, said: “We are overwhelmed by this generous offer by R M Penny as we were facing significant costs just to dig up the road and to leave massive piles of stone all over the site.
“I couldn’t believe it when Roger Penny himself called to say that he’d heard of our financial plight and that we were about to put the toll road stone up for sale on Ebay and offered to not only dig the road up but also remove all the stone and reinstate the fields completely free of charge.
“This offer by Roger Penny comes in a week when (thanks to the support of our local MP, Jacob Rees-Mogg who appealed on our behalf) HMRC have also agreed to waive the shortfall in the balance of VAT due from the revenue of toll fees during the short life of the toll road.
“Both these situations mean that, at the end of the day, we will have almost broken even and no one is out of pocket.
“However, we still have an outstanding business rates demand from BANES Council but hope that this can also be waived on the basis that the toll road never officially existed and we were not provided with any of the council services.
“It will be sad to see the end of the toll road and for our little bit of Kelston motoring history to disappear without trace but it is good to know that the toll road served its purpose during its 14 week existence by helping people go about their daily business whilst the A431 was closed!”
The Kelston toll road company are planning on producing some limited edition memorabilia for anyone who wants to remember the road, with details to be published on twitter @KelstonTollRoad soon.
Mr Watts concluded: “I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who showed their support for Kelston Toll Road throughout from John Dinham, the farmer who let us use his land, to my wife for letting us put our house up as guarantee so we could build it, to our local ward Councillors for their help and reassurances and to the local, national and international media who constantly reported the toll road ensuring that people knew it was there giving them the option to use it – thanks and goodbye!”