Tax haven toll bridge up for sale

A tax-free toll bridge that has seen the safe passage of millions of commuters, residents and tourists into Oxford City Centre for hundreds of years is going under the hammer in central London.

Spanning the Thames at Eynsham, the Swinford Toll Bridge is governed by its own Act of Parliament that grants it tax-free status and generates a gross annual income of approximately £195,000 by charging 5p per car and up to 50p per lorry.

The Grade II listed bridge was granted its unique status in 1767, providing a tax-free income for the Earl of Abingdon who took ownership.

The same rights can be enjoyed by the new owner, who can expect to pay between £1 million and £1.25 million for the bridge - which comes with a two storey Grade II listed Cotswold stone cottage, 4.36 acres of land including part of the river bank and an area of woodland.

The buyer will be exempt from paying income tax, capital gains tax, inheritance tax or VAT on the bridge because of the Act.

The bridge is being auctioned by property consultants Allsop at The Park Lane Hotel in central London at 2pm.

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