Forth Road Bridge shut till New Year amid safety fears

04/12/2015
Highways Reporters

The Forth Road Bridge is to shut until the New Year for repairs following the discovery of defective steelwork. 

Following a meeting of the Scottish Government Resilience Committee (SGoRR), chaired by the First Minister, the decision to close has been taken after inspections carried out by specialist engineers and following advice and assessment of the fault by independent experts.

Transport Scotland says work is already under way to repair the bridge and this will be done as quickly as possible with a view that it will be reopened to traffic to allow it to be used for the return to work in January.

Additional rail capacity was put on overnight and a full travel plan is being prepared for the duration of the closure.  This will include further additional rail services.  Management say all other options are being explored including a dedicated bus corridor with park and ride facilities and passenger ferry services across the Forth.

SGoRR will continue to meet over the weekend and further updates will be provided and a dedicated webpage for travel information will be created.

In the meantime, Transport Scotland says it encourages people carefully consider their travel plans and whether journeys are necessary.  In a statement it said "we would urge them to check conditions before they set-out and look at options like car-sharing and public transport alternatives."

Emergency vehicles will still be able to use the bridge in bluelight situations.

Transport Minister Derek Mackay said:

“The decision to close the Forth Road Bridge is not taken lightly. It is based on the expert opinion of the engineers who operate the bridge day to day and that of independent experts in the field.

“Every effort is being made to open the bridge as quickly as possible but safety is the main priority, however these works are weather dependent given the height and location of the bridge. We are aware of the potential economic impact, for strategic traffic in the east of Scotland and on people living in local communities.

“This is an unprecedented challenge in the maintenance of the Forth Road Bridge. On balance following advice from engineers and independent experts, the full closure is essential for the safety of the travelling public and to prevent further damage to the structure of the bridge.

“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.

“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.”

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 resources required to reopen the bridge as soon as is possible.”
Highways jobs

Definitive Map Manager

Cambridgeshire County Council
£32,825 - £35,401
This role is based within the Highways Service at Cambridgeshire County Council and provides an unusual and... Cambridgeshire
Recuriter: Cambridgeshire County Council

Bridge Park Operations Manager

Brent Council
£38,799 - £41,706 p.a. inc.
This is an exciting opportunity to play a key role in managing the operations and contributing towards the... Brentford (City/Town), London (Greater)
Recuriter: Brent Council

Assistant Engineer

Cambridgeshire County Council
£21,074 - £30,756
A great opportunity for someone looking to start or develop a career in Highways Engineering including the... Cambridgeshire
Recuriter: Cambridgeshire County Council

Head of Strategic Transport

Cheshire East Council
£64,000 - £75,000 + benefits
We’re committed to “working for a brighter future together” – and we expect you to be too! Cheshire
Recuriter: Cheshire East Council

Regeneration Manager

Mole Valley District Council
£52,895 - £57,143 FTE
This is a great career opportunity to specialise in town centre regeneration and repositioning. Dorking, Surrey
Recuriter: Mole Valley District Council

Technical Services Officer (Mechanical)

Kirklees Metropolitan Council
£36,876 - £38,813
This is an exciting and challenging time for Kirklees and we want to expand our team to manage and deliver construction... Kirklees, West Yorkshire
Recuriter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Road and Footway Asset Engineer

Kent County Council
£28,925 per annum
An exciting opportunity has arisen to join the Road and Footway Asset Team as an Asset Engineer. Kent
Recuriter: Kent County Council

Head of Waste

Lincolnshire County Council
£65,651 - £70,725
As Head of Waste, you will be commercially focussed and forward-thinking. Lincolnshire
Recuriter: Lincolnshire County Council

Assistant Director

Reading Borough Council
Up to £92k
It’s the ideal time to take the lead on our modernisation agenda, and deliver growth in the trading of our front line services. Reading, Berkshire
Recuriter: Reading Borough Council

Assistant Director – Highways

Lincolnshire County Council
£82,264 - £107,878
Come and lead the future agenda for our highways services. Lincolnshire
Recuriter: Lincolnshire County Council

County Highways Manager

Lincolnshire County Council
£55,503 - £60,578
Seeking a highly motivated leader and an excellent communicator, who has a proven ability to build relationships and trust, leading by example. Lincolnshire
Recuriter: Lincolnshire County Council

Local Highways Manager (East) - Lincolnshire County Council

Lincolnshire County Council
G12 £43,662 - £50,430
Seeking someone who combines excellent technical knowledge with a dedication to the customer. Lincolnshire
Recuriter: Lincolnshire County Council

Download your Highways App

Google App Apple App

Highways on Fridays

Latest Issue

latest magazine issue

Latest Issue

The ALARM survey 2019

Game over for flyovers?

Traffex, Parkex and Cold Comfort Scotland previews

View the latest issue

Latest Video