Skye bridge is opened by Forsyth

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The Independent Online
The Isle of Skye loses its romantic island status today when the Secretary of State for Scotland, Michael Forsyth, opens the pounds 30m bridge connecting it to the mainland.

Mr Forsyth is sharing the ribbon-cutting ceremony with children from the local Loch Duich primary school.

The project has been dogged by controversy - and only partly because it renders redundant the musical image of Skye as a place accessible only by bonny boats speeding over the sea "like a bird on the wing".

Conservationists voiced fears for its effect on wildlife, and islanders complained about the toll charges, which are pounds 5.20 for a car in high season.

The 570-metre bridge was built mainly with private money, with the construction firms recouping the outlay from toll charges before handing the bridge into public ownership next century.