Film audience says ‘no’ to Bute bridge

The subject of a bridge between Bute and the mainland - most likely across the Kyles of Bute - has been aired several times over many years. The current link is provided by MV Loch Dunvegan, the regular vessel on CalMac's Rhubodach-Colintraive ferry crossing.
The subject of a bridge between Bute and the mainland - most likely across the Kyles of Bute - has been aired several times over many years. The current link is provided by MV Loch Dunvegan, the regular vessel on CalMac's Rhubodach-Colintraive ferry crossing.

The idea of a bridge linking Bute to the mainland is still a no-go - at least as far as one small chunk of the island’s population is concerned.

A straw poll of audience members at Bute Film Society’s first screening of the new year found that while 20 people were in favour of a bridge, 32 were not.

The poll was carried out before a special showing of The Bridge Rising, a 2013 documentary telling the story of the ten-year campaign against the tolls on the Skye Bridge.

Among those in the audience was Andy Anderson, who lived on Skye throughout the campaign and was at the forefront of the anti-toll protests.

Mr Anderson, who served a brief prison sentence for refusing to pay to cross the bridge, wrote a book on the campaign, The Skye Bridge Story: Multi-National Interests and People Power, which was published in 2008, four years after the Scottish Government bought out the bridge’s owners and abolished the tolls.

Mr Anderson, who now lives in Dunoon, told a Q&A session after the film that he would prefer to see more maritime connections throughout the Argyll area - and that while he was not opposed to fixed crossings, his preference would be for tunnels rather than bridges.

Speaking in the Scottish Parliament in a recent debate on Argyll and Bute’s depopulation, the area’s MSP, Michael Russell, urged some “big thinking” on the subject of fixed links between Argyll and the central belt and also within the area.

* What’s your view on having a fixed link between Bute and the mainland? Is it an idea whose time has come - or would it erode the positives of living on an island? Log in or register below to have your say, or comment on our Facebook and Twitter pages.