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Toll bridge owner Grahame Penny with Drover Cycles' Joe Wellard who uses the bridge daily on his cycle commute to work

We’ve teamed up with Whitney-on-Wye’s historic toll bridge to offer free river crossings to customers and members of Velo Hay cycling club.

The Grade II listed river crossing – which has been in use since the late 18th Century – charges cyclists 10p to traverse the river Wye without getting their feet wet.

But owners Maggie Taylor and Grahame Penny have agreed a special deal which means Drovers customers and Velo Hay riders cross for free.

We often cross the bridge on our Wednesday evening Velo Hay rides – the auto-toll isn’t set up for collecting fees from cyclists and there wasn’t always someone on hand to take our 10 pence pieces.

We realised other cyclists weren’t  paying either and didn’t want Maggie and Grahame missing out, so we got in touch to agree an annual licence with them. Besides serving as a convenient river crossing, the bridge is a great place to stop for tea or coffee.

Whitney’s part stone, part timber-trussed toll bridge was built in 1779 on order of Parliament and is still governed to this day by the Department of Transport.

Maggie told us: ‘The 10p toll has been a bit of a pain to implement and collect, and it did feel a bit churlish to charge cyclists – but our hands were tied. The toll is set by Government and we couldn’t just waive it.

‘Luckily we were able to come up with this compromise – it’s a great arrangement and we look forward to welcoming cyclists who want to stop off and use our picnic tables beside the river.’

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