Campaigners Anticipate Bridge Announcement

Posted by chdot on February 14, 2007

The ForthRight Alliance is condemning the decision it expects today (Wednesday 14th February) by Scottish Ministers to press ahead with a new Forth crossing despite not having all the facts about the current state of the existing bridge. The initial technical report is not expected until the end of May, with the full detailed report unlikely before next year.

The ForthRight Alliance is publishing its own proposals The case against the Second Forth Road Bridge, which sets out a range of sustainable alternatives to an environmentally-destructive new road bridge.

Paul Tetlaw, Chair of TRANSform Scotland, says – “The Scottish Ministers must wait until they have comprehensive evidence of the current state of the Forth Road Bridge before taking any premature decision. So far, there appears to have been no interest in examining the facts or considering sustainable, smarter alternatives. In recent weeks, all the major parties have been clamouring to stake out their environmental credentials. Yet on crucial decisions such as this all of the parties have shown themselves unable to take hard decisions to defend the environment.”

The report concludes –

It would be simply poor governance for the Scottish Executive to be forced into a decision to build a new Forth Road Bridge before all the relevant facts are known.

If it has already been decided to build a Second Forth Road Bridge on the basis of ‘emerging findings’ from the current engineering study of the bridge cables, then these need to be published so that a transparent and informed debate can take place.

The people of Scotland are entitled to know all the options and alternatives before a decision is taken to press ahead with spending up to £1 billion of their money on the country’s biggest transport infrastructure scheme for decades.

If conclusive evidence demonstrates that it is not feasible to keep the existing bridge open to traffic, a replacement crossing would be acceptable, but only with more effective traffic management and enhanced capacity for public transport.

An additional – rather than replacement – crossing would be an unmitigated disaster. It would be environmentally, socially and economically damaging, and of no benefit to Edinburgh, Fife or Scotland.

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