Second Forth Crossing will be a costly mistake
An unnecessary second crossing across the Forth, when the existing bridge
can and must be repaired, risks sabotaging Scotland’s progress towards a
The new bridge across the Forth is currently budgeted to cost up to a
staggering £2,300 million, money that could be spend on better public
transport and other green investment, if it could be made available without
excessive borrowing from future budgets.
The government have admitted they will continue using the existing crossing
so it will have to be repaired at some point. Reducing traffic on the bridge
is the best way to make crossing the Forth a pleasant experience.
Repairing the existing bridge will cost a maximum of £122 million according
to FETA. Compare that to the £2,300 million forecast to be spent on a second
crossing, with no clear indication of where the cash will come from. And a
second Forth crossing would lead to additional climate changing emissions,
contrary to the statutory goals of Scotland’s new groundbreaking climate
Environmental campaigners, Friends of the Earth Scotland called on the
Scottish Government to heed their own climate laws and invest in getting
people to use bikes, buses or trains before taking the car.
Juliet Swann, Friends of the Earth Scotland Head of Campaigns, said:
“Previous plans for a Second Forth Road Bridge were thrown out in the
mid-1990s on the grounds that it was unsustainable. It is astonishing that,
fifteen years later, and in the run-up to the critical Copenhagen climate
change talks, that the largest infrastructure project in Scotland is a road
bridge designed to accommodate ever-increasing levels of traffic growth.
“If Scotland is to both meet its climate targets and support a sustainable
economy, the government should be investing in better public transport, and
helping people make the shift from the car to the bus, the train and the
bike, not blowing billions on a new road bridge.
“Given that the Bridge is reparable at a much lower cost and impact, it is
both financially and environmentally irresponsible to pursue the
construction of a new bridge.
“We absolutely agree with the local Friends of the Earth groups in
Edinburgh, Fife and Falkirk who are campaigning against this unnecessary
project. Their striking stunt at the Scottish Parliament at the weekend
demonstrated clearly their concerns that local services are suffering while
millions are being allocated to an unsustainable second bridge.”
For a photo from the bridge stunt at the Scottish Parliament or other media
enquiries, please contact:
Per Fischer, Press Office, Friends of the Earth Scotland
T: 0131 243 2719
Notes to editors
Forth Crossing Bill‹A Bill for an Act of the Scottish Parliament to give the
Scottish Ministers power to construct a new bridge over the Firth of Forth
and to construct and improve associated roads and structures; to authorise
the acquisition, or temporary possession and use, of land for
construction and improvement works; and for connected purposes. (SP Bill 33)
This Hybrid Bill was introduced by John Swinney MSP on 16 November 2009.
Friends of the Earth Scotland exists to help people in Scotland look after
the planet for everyone¹s 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
Friends of the Earth Edinburgh, Friends of the Earth Falkirk & Friends of
the Earth Fife are volunteer local groups of Friends of the Earth Scotland.
Friends of the Earth Scotland and Friends of the Earth Edinburgh are members
of the ForthRight Alliance, the campaign coalition against the proposed
Second Forth Road Bridge. www.forthrightalliance.org.uk