A coalition of campaigning groups are calling on the Scottish Government to hold off signing the £2.3bn contract before Forth road bridge before the parliamentary elections.

Friends of the Earth Scotland, WWF, Transform Scotland, Spokes and the Forth Right Alliance have launched an online action calling on the Transport Minister to think again about spending £2.3bn on a bridge they say is unnecessary. They believe the money would be better spent on public services, affordable homes and green projects.

Last month Scotland’s most senior civil servant, Peter Housden, granted Ministers special dispensation to sign off the contract during purdah, a period when Ministers aren’t usually allowed to make major announcements. The campaigners want the decision put off until after the election when new research on the state of the existing bridge will be ready.

Francis Stuart, Parliamentary and Policy officer, Friends of the Earth Scotland, said:

“We already know that the existing Forth road bridge can be repaired. Further studies to be published shortly are likely to confirm this can be done cheaply and with little disruption. To spend £2.3bn on an unnecessary bridge when public services are facing huge cuts is irresponsible”

“£2.3bn would be better spent protecting public services and investing in the green infrastructure needed to tackle climate change and protect the poorest in our society. At the very least the Government should put off signing the contract until after the election when the next Parliament will have the opportunity to take an informed decision based on the fullest evidence.”

ENDS

For media enquiries, please contact:

Per Fischer, Press Office, Friends of the Earth Scotland
t: 0131 243 2719

Notes to Editors

Hold that pen! Don’t sign off another Forth road bridge online campaign
www.foe-scotland.org.uk/go/hold_that_pen

Friends of the Earth Scotland exists to help people in Scotland look after the planet for everyone’s future. We think globally and act locally in Scotland, delivering solutions to climate change by enabling and empowering people to take both individual and collective action. We offer help to people with the big things in life – helping to sustain a healthy society and environment. We believe that all of our children’s futures will be better because of what we do.
www.foe-scotland.org.uk