City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

New Road Bridge To Cross The Forth

By edg - Posted on 19 December 2007

Scottish Ministers are going ahead with a Forth Replacement Crossing at a cost of £3.25-£4.22 billion, it was announced today. It will be a cable-stayed bridge situated West of the existing road bridge.

The new Forth Road Bridge is being justified because cables have corroded to such an extent on the existing Forth Road Bridge that it may have to be closed to lorries by 2013 and to all traffic by 2019. The new Forth bridge, which will be the biggest project in Scotland, could open in 2016.

Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Sustainable Growth John Swinney told the Scottish parliament: "A cable stay bridge has lower overall risk and can be used by all types of traffic, including freight, pedestrians and cyclists and is considerably cheaper to deliver. It also provides for a more affordable dedicated public transport corridor to allow use by buses, light rail or trams."

"This decision on the FRC sits well with our strategic objectives to make Scotland, greener, wealthier and fairer. It supports our objectives of becoming a global leader in our response to climate change and safeguarding our natural and built heritage.

"We are supporting commuters, supporting business and protecting the environment. This crossing will ensure that we continue to provide and effective transport network and achieve that goal."

WWF Scotland's Acting Director Dr Dan Barlow said ministers should have waited to make the decision.

"With work still underway to review the options for repairing the existing bridge the Government's decision to proceed with developing proposals for a new Forth road bridge is premature.

"Building an additional crossing would generate yet more traffic and climate pollution. Rather than committing £3-4bn billion to a new crossing Government should instead be implementing measures to tackle congestion and improve public transport."

The government will be soon be putting forward a Scottish Climate Bill where the target is expected to be a cut in Scotland's greenhouse gas emissions of 80% by 2050.