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Forth Road Bridge: Failure to deliver commitments threatens public transport corridor

Published 31 January 2018 by Transform Scotland

Transform Scotland has today raised concerns over a lack of action to deliver public transport improvements as part of the Queensferry Crossing development.

A briefing published by Transform Scotland shows that many of the commitments made in the Forth Replacement Crossing Public Transport Strategy (PTS) have not been delivered — more than 8 years after the PTS was established. There appears to be no sign that a number of major commitments – including bus priority measures and new park & ride facilities – are being moved forward in the near future.

The news comes on the day that the Scottish Government officially re-opens the Forth Road Bridge as a public transport and active travel corridor, with the bridge now being used exclusively for buses, taxis, pedestrians and cyclists.

Whilst the Forth Road Bridge’s status as a public transport corridor is welcome, the Government’s failure to deliver promised public transport infrastructure improvements around Fife and Edinburgh poses a serious threat to the public transport offering in the area.

Delivering the public transport infrastructure improvements as promised would deliver faster and more frequent public transport services for commuters between Fife and the Lothians, as well as reducing congestion and air pollution across the region.

Colin Howden, Director of Transform Scotland, said:

“It’s obviously welcome that the Forth Road Bridge is being prioritised for walkers, cyclists and bus users.

However, the bridge on its own doesn’t deliver a ‘public transport corridor’, as the Scottish Ministers claim. Bus journey times into Edinburgh won’t improve significantly until public transport priority is put in place at either end of the bridge and not just on the bridge itself. Unfortunately, most of the major commitments made by Transport Scotland towards public transport investment have not materialised, notably A8 corridor bus priority measures, improvements in bus priorities between Barnton and Edinburgh, or a new bus park & ride site at Livingston.