Toll road made from an English field eases driver frustrations
- A good deed for English commuters on a road closed by construction may turn into a good profit for a farmer and a local businessman.
- The construction shut a road between the cities of Bath and Bristol, which left commuters with a 14-mile detour ("diversion" in British English) that John Dinham, owner of Roundhill Farm, tried to help by letting people with four-wheel drive vehicles take a shortcut through his fields.
- Conventional vehicles kept getting stuck in the mud, though, and Dinham would need to pull them out, and discussion over a pint at a local bar led him and Mike Watts to decide to build a private toll road.
The construction is expected to last through year's end. Watts said they expect the tolls – £1 for motorcycles, £2 for cars and £3 for vehicles pulling trailers – will pay for building the road. If it does better than that, Watts said, they'll split the profit.