WITH the news that the Itchen Bridge toll has been scrapped in a bid to help combat the spread of coronavirus, today's archive pic is of the booths when they were first erected.

On  June 1, 1977, the first vehicle to make the journey on the newly opened Itchen Bridge was an 18th century landau drawn by a magnificent pair of greys with coachmen in period costume.

The first person to officially drive across the bridge was the Mayor of Southampton, Councillor Joyce Pitter, who was accompanied by Councillor John Deacon, chairman of the city’s planning and transport committee.

The pair were followed by a bus load of councillors and civic officials, then came the city’s grey Silver Jubilee bus with school children and adults aboard.

The bridge was opened to pedestrians the day before with Edith Park of Sholing being the first to cross.

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