The announcement that the Forth Road Bridge is to be closed for the rest of this year going into next year is devastating for people getting to work and for businesses.
The roads leading to Kincardine are I am told queued up for miles as people try to find an alternative route in and out of Fife.
The Forth Road Bridge (FRB) is to shut until the New Year for repairs following the discovery of defective steelwork.
The bridge operators Amey have a robust inspection team is in place and these defects are problems that have only occurred in the last number of weeks.
Chartered Engineer Mark Arndt, Amey’s Account Director responsible for the bridge said:
“This is a complex engineering challenge. The component failure is in a difficult to access location and our response is also highly dependent on weather conditions.
“We continue to work around the clock on inspections, assessments and calculations along with the development of designs to effect the necessary repairs, while at the same time mobilising all the specialist resources required from across the UK to reopen the bridge as soon as is possible.”
A range of options for carrying out the repair work has been considered including running traffic on the bridge while repair work is in progress.
However, even with a restriction in place on HGVs using the FRB, continual running of traffic over the bridge increases the risk of causing extensive secondary damage to the structure.
Further damage to the bridge would require a full closure for a much longer period in order to carry out repairs.
For live traffic updates please visit: www.trafficscotland.org by following twitter.com/trafficscotland
Further information on the planned works is available at: http://www.transportscotland.gov.uk/project/forth-replacement-crossing/information-road-users
Transport Scotland Communications : 0141 272 7195
I have written to the Transport Minster and Fife Council asking that the Scottish Government, the local Councils, ScotRail and all transport operators work together to try and minimise disruption as much as possible by putting in place whatever measures can be achieved at this point. We need
- More trains and carriages
- More parking including transport links between Halbeath Park and Ride and Rail Halts
- Good quality public information and communication to let people know where and when they can get parking, bus shuttles and trains
- A communication and support service be put in place for Fife businesses who run into difficulties as a result of transport problems
The Scottish Government have said; “We are taking every step we can to lessen the impact of this closure. Action now, will mean that any closure is much shorter than it might be if we waited. We continue to work closely with all partners to co-ordinate our efforts to lessen the impact of this closure. Additional bus and rail services are being provided between Fife and Edinburgh. Every effort and resource available is being deployed to repair the damage to the Forth Road Bridge and minimise the disruption to the public.”