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New Port Mann bridge liked, drivers not sold on tolls

SURREY (NEWS1130) – A new Insight West survey shows 65 per cent of respondents are satisfied with the new span, but there’s still a division on tolls.

Not surprisingly though, those that never or rarely use the bridge are most in favour of paying for it.

“The issue of tolling seems to have divided Metro Vancouver into two camps – those who are in favour since they don’t drive over the bridge, with the opposition camp being firmly entrenched among drivers who are impacted,” says Steve Mossop, President of Insights West. “Residents south of the Fraser remain bitterly opposed to the toll, despite being satisfied with the new bridge overall. It will be interesting to see whether drivers follow through with their bridge avoidance plans and we end up with an under-utilized bridge like the Golden Ears while congestion move to the free routes.”

The survey shows a significant number of weekly bridge users plan to use different routes, free routes.  SFU City Planning expert Gord Price says that won’t last though. “You’ve got that nice wide bridge and that new highway, widened, it’s going to be a tough thing to turn down if you’ve got to fight traffic,”says Price.

He says once people try out the alternatives they’ll likely realize that they can get value for their money using the new bridge.  

Price does point out that the real results will show once the South Fraser Perimeter Road is completed and how much easier it will make other commuting options.