This evening, my theme is the Forth Road Bridge, which is not to be confused with the Forth Rail Bridge.

The Forth Road Bridge dates from 1966 but, unlike its sister rail bridge, has suffered structural problems. The bridge now carries about double the daily traffic it was designed for in addition to which the steel cables have suffered extensive corrosion for which a repair solution cannot be guaranteed. In light of the cable corrosion problems a decision has been made to build a new crossing across the Firth of Forth which is deemed essential for the busy route between Edinburgh and the east of Scotland. The new bridge will cost over GBP1.0bn and will prove a major claim on Scotland’s budget at a time of financial austerity.

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