Business as Usual for Forth Road Bridge
3 June 2015
Transport Minister Derek Mackay today visited the Forth Road Bridge to see how the new Forth Bridges Unit is bedding in during its first days of operation.
The Scottish Government’s prestigious new Forth Bridges Unit took over responsibility for the operation, management and maintenance of the Forth Road Bridge (FRB) on June 1, 2015 from the Forth Estuary Transport Authority (FETA).
The Forth Bridges Operating Contract was awarded to Amey in November 2014 and includes responsibility for the Queensferry Crossing when complete in 2016. The Contract also includes the approaches on both sides of the Forth from M9 Junction 1A at Kirkliston to M90 Junction 3 at Halbeath and will run for five years, with scope for extending up to a maximum of ten years
Mr Mackay met with staff who look after the bridge day to day and are transferring across to Amey from FETA bringing their expertise, experience and knowledge of the bridge with them.
Mr Mackay said: “Transport Scotland and its operating companies are responsible for the running of the Scottish Trunk Road network including over 2,000 bridges and a number of major estuarial crossings including the Skye, Kessock and Erskine bridges.
“Work to bring responsibility for the management and operation of this important strategic link in Scotland’s trunk roads into line with the rest of the network began as far back as 2012.
“We value the experience and expertise of those involved in running the bridge over the past 50 years. TUPE arrangements have been implemented under the contract for staff from FETA, providing the opportunity for ongoing employment and continuity of service for those using the Forth Road Bridge.
“The implementation of this contract will deliver economic opportunities for local small and medium sized businesses and training and employment opportunities for local people on an ongoing basis.
“The Forth Bridges are a major part of the local landscape and in recognition of this the contract demands that, as operators, Amey regularly consult and engage with local communities to keep them involved in issues regarding the Forth Road Bridge.
“We are 18 months ahead of the Queensferry Crossing opening and the Forth Bridges Unit taking on responsibility for the new crossing. Looking ahead we will look to deliver improvements in service delivery for bridge users. For today the priority is very much business as usual in the day to day running of the bridge.”
The Forth Road Bridge Act 2013 paved the way for the new arrangements involving a single operating company. The Act makes the road over the Forth Road Bridge a trunk road, dissolves the Forth Estuary Transport Authority (FETA), and transfers all its property, obligations and liabilities to the Scottish Ministers.