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Road toll activist calls on Zeta

Aug 31 2004

Colin Hughes, The Western Mail

 

THE campaigner behind the nationwide boycott of toll roads is hoping to win celebrity support.

Former Neath Mayor John Warman is banking on having the backing of Swansea's Hollywood star Catherine Zeta-Jones for "national avoidance day" on September 8.

Mr Warman's Campaign Against Severn Tolls (Cast), decided on a 24-hour boycott of both bridges in protest at this "unfair tax on entering Wales."

Now the National Alliance Against Tolls (Naat) has followed his initiative by making the second Wednesday in September a national day of protest targeting toll roads everywhere.

But Mr Warman believes that the campaign will achieve more impact if a celebrity such as Zeta-Jones lends her support.

He said yesterday, "I have sent her a message via her parents and it would be nice if she did give her support because it is important to get a star on board to give a boost to the campaign."

Meanwhile, he has moved the campaign up a gear by enlisting the support of lorry drivers at service stations all along the M4.

And he said, "This won't be a one-off because I am hoping to make it a firm date in the calendar every year."

Ian Warren, managing director of Bluebird Coaches of Neath, said the 13.90 charge was an "extra burden we could do without."

The company, which runs a fleet of 18 coaches, pays 10,000 a year in tolls - money that could be better used by employing another driver.

"We are trying to compete with companies based in England and they are automatically at an advantage because they don't have this additional burden," he said.

 
 

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